Mentor Mondays, My Story My Testimony / Monday, March 25th, 2019

“Dear Mpumi,

May you have the courage to dream;

the courage to ask; the courage to envision;

the courage to manifest, and ultimately… the courage to BECOME.

I love you.

Your biggest fan and greatest love – Mpumi.”

Personal journal entry on 19th January 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa – inspired by readings from Michelle Obama’s autobiography ‘Becoming’



My name is Nompumelelo “Mpumi” Nobiva – I go by Mpumi (or Lelo to some of my close friends and family). I am 26-years-old, born into abject poverty in 1993 at Spriutview Hospital on January 8th, 1993.

When I was born, my teenage mother Nonhlanhla Colleen Nobiva who was 17 years-old at the time brought me home as an infant to a corrugated iron shack in Zonkizizwe township where all nine of my grandmother’s children and grandchildren would have to survive below breadline.

Below breadline is a term used to categorize people who are so poor that their collective household income can only afford them daily livelihoods costing as low as– if not lower than – what it costs to purchase a loaf of bread in their country of residence). That was us, along with millions of our people who, in 1993 lived in the segregated dark days of Apartheid South Africa.    

Greatness is for all of us – it exists in all of us – but only a few make the choice of becoming their fullest and greatest potential. Click To Tweet

My family was very poor in material terms but yet very rich in spiritual wealth. My grandmother made sure we all know growing up that there is a God who knows and loves us all very much.

She, to this day – is a fighter; so was my mother who to the day she died was one of the brightest shinning humans I have ever seen. My immediate family members who I grew up around were all people who worked as hard as they could to keep us all alive – all of them my personal heroes with the exception of my father who left when I was a baby… a coward.

I could talk about my life, how I went from poverty and losing my beloved mother to the eerie AIDS epidemic that almost swallowed Sub-Saharan Africa in the early 2000’s – but you could learn about all that on my personal website (

I could also talk specifically about how when I was thirteen years old, a famous woman from America (who I knew close to nothing about) fondly known as Oprah Winfrey came to South Africa in 2006 and changed my life forever.

Sure, I could talk about these miraculous instances in my life however, I prefer not to this time around. Here at ‘Young and Spiritually Inspired’, I only wish to talk to you about one important thing I’ve learnt in this extraordinary journey I get to call my life. I’d like to share this very simple, yet elementary true lesson in life:  

Greatness is for all of us – it exists in all of us – but only a few make the choice of becoming their fullest and greatest potential. Only a few truly have the courage to become everything they’ve ever wished to become… which are you?


I am the one who never gives up. The one who is not only stubborn, but crazy enough to believe that all that has happened for me can also happen for millions of others in South Africa. In fact, I see it happening for billions more young people across the African continent. I believe in the power of our stories and richly diverse cultures for securing our future.

I’ve had the honor of speaking across several different countries and regions. I have spoken at the White House, congressional fundraisers, corporate functions and nonprofit initiatives in several countries and still find that: greatness is for all of us, only a few have the courage to fully become it.

In each instance, I find that those who have a greater sense of discipline to how they live and govern their lives – are greatness. Those who live their truths and express themselves so passionately that one can’t help but feel their life force – are greatness too. Which are you?

My prayer for you, much like my own prayer for myself is that part of your response on defining your own greatness includes the following declarations:

I am one who has the courage to dream.

I am one who has the courage to ask.

I am one who has the courage to envision.

I carry in me, the courage to manifest the greatest creations our planted is yet to encounter.

I am one who has the untamable courage to BECOME my truest self – no matter what it takes,

I lam one who love all that God has created me to be – as I am.

I am my biggest fan and greatest love.

Yes indeed, I am I am I am – Mpumi Nobiva.


Instagram: @Mpuminobiva

Twitter : @Mpumi_Nobiva

YouTube : Mpumi Nobiva

Website :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *