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Be strong in your power!

Healing and finding myself

Reflecting on the wounds that past traumas, mistrust, jealousy from family members and discrimination manifested in my life left me feeling hurt, betrayed, vulnerable, resentful and insecure. Through it all, I have learnt the power of forgiveness to release myself from the shackles of misery that once bound me from reaching my fullest potential as a womxn; living a life of fulfilment and affirming my existence in the world. When I began to heal each wound with sensitivity and kindness, I started rediscovering who I am. When each wound healed, every scar was as precious as pearls of wisdom. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a young womxn with strength, resilience, bravery, courage and more powerful than she thinks.

My lineage

I asked my father about my ancestry recently, and I learned that my ancestral clan, AbaThembu: ooQhudeni, ooThukela, ooMvelase (these are some of my clan praises) …, originated from KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa. During the Mfecane War, they decided to flee to the Eastern Cape Province for protection, land and freedom. However, they were met with a great challenge ahead to get across the Tugela River to migrate to the Eastern Cape – the river was full of crocodiles. They knew their salvation was on the other side of the river, and there was no turning back to the war. So, with strength, bravery, courage and resilience, they crossed the Tugela river with crocodiles and all, without any harm. They were the only clan to have crossed the river safely. The journey that my ancestors took helped to put my identity into perspective. I am a descendant of the AbaThembu kingdom. I am an emperor. I carry in my blood a legacy of divine royalty, power, leadership, discipline, excellence, strength and security in life. Being an emperor to me means I have the gift to live my life as a reflection of my ancestry and build an empire by using my history, talents, skills, knowledge, leadership, intuition and compassion to help move the world forward. 

A message to my younger self

Dear 16-year-old Nqabisa,

You experienced plenty of challenges of the physical and non-physical realms, but you got through it all, with the grace of God, the support and love from your nuclear family, and the protection and guidance of your ancestors.  Your strength, faith, determination, resilience, perseverance, courage and grace is synonymous with that of a warrior. With the sword in your hand, truly nothing can hold you back. You have the power and ability to overcome any challenge along your journey and cut people out of your life who no longer serve you. The purpose of the hardships that your family experienced and your own struggles was to expand your consciousness to influence your service to humanity.  Get to know yourself and where you come from to know where you are going. Simply put, you are here to create a legacy that will be bigger than yourself. Think bigger. Dare to dream. Take action.

Your future self hopes that this song by Beyoncé “I Was Here” will be your motivation every day.  

Nqabisa served as a staff writer for the University of Cape Town (UCT) student chapter of Her Campus online publication in 2020. In her role, Nqabisa wrote original and inspiring articles on various topics. She is passionate about increasing access to mental health services. She has done this by advocating for task shifting mental health treatment to lay counsellors in the mental healthcare system to meet the mental health needs of adults and adolescents in South Africa. She has always embodied servant leadership by taking up leadership positions in student governance structures and student-run organizations at the university. She has recently obtained her Master of Arts degree in Psychological Research from UCT and is a Mastercard Foundation alumni of the university's scholars program. She has served as the treasurer in the Postgraduate Humanities Faculty Student Council and the Vice-president of the UCT student chapter: Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, she continues to gain new insights on tackling humanitarian, development and sustainability issues from programmes such as the Prague Summer School: Development, Sustainability and Globalization online course and the UCT Global Citizenship short course on Citizenship & Social Justice: Activism, Service and Social Change amongst other leadership development programmes and initiatives. Nqabisa hopes to equip herself with the necessary skills and knowledge to become an emerging African leader, humanitarian and psychologist.
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