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I always ask people what their full names are and I tend to call people by their full names because I enjoy knowing and understanding the meaning of people’s names and reiterate that by saying their names in full.
I also ask people what their star signs are because I believe in astrology. With my limited knowledge of it, I still believe in what’s ‘written in the stars’. On the show Jabul’ujule, we hosted an astrologer who did my chart and one of the things he said was ‘you are fruitful; you came into the world holding wealth, not necessarily money but wealth.’
People have given me different nicknames but there’s a dear lady who calls me ‘Riches’ and a dear gentleman who calls me ‘Nomwealth’ – what beautiful interpretations of my name. And yes I’m not swimming in gold but I am SO blessed in SO many ways that make me eternally grateful for what the powers that be have entrusted me with and have kindly showered me with.
My grandmother named me ‘Nongcebo’ and there it is, written in the stars.
A reminder that the universe is bigger than us – there are correlations and meanings beyond ‘us’.

Respect What is Important to Others.
I was a speaker at the Essence Festival 2016 and one of the other guest speakers (an international personality) on the lineup arrived just in time for his talk and left immediately after.
Not be accident but by design.
I overheard the event custodians expressing their displeasure that this speaker came only to speak and not listen to them and what other guests had to share. That was profound for me. As someone who is invited to speak at certain events it taught me the importance of showing that you value your hosts by taking the time to interact with them and their programme as well and not just being there to say what you have to say and then leave. It also taught me the importance of valuing the human aspect of the work we do. People book your services, people. Not order numbers, not programme, but people – it’s important to treat them with respect.

Know Who You Don’t Want To Be.
For a little bit I worked with someone who is notorious for being mean, difficult, condescending and downright just unpleasant to interact with on all levels. In the 15 years that I have been working in various spaces, that person is the second most awful working experience I’ve ever had. What an eye-opener to what human beings can be like. It reminded me how NOT to be in working with other people.

I Am Blessed.
I look at my family and know that I am blessed. The powers that be have placed goodness and kindness in my life; they have entrusted me with a golden soul. I am in awe and I marvel.

I had the opportunity to start lecturing this year. My first group was second year Media in South Africa students. An amazing opportunity to share my work related experience in a learning environment. Standing in front of those students 4 times a week gave me so many insights into myself. I was trusted by people who had no previous experience of me and yet they had so much faith in me and gave me this opportunity. I am grateful.

Be Unapologetic About What You Won’t Accept In Your Space.
I am not apologetic about what I won’t tolerate. A violation of boundaries and an act of deep disrespect reminded me of this. As a rule, I don’t accept violation of my mental, emotional and physical space in any way. I needed to emphasize that again and I’m glad I did.

The good things that happened in 2016 were all as a result of people making decisions to trust me, to support me and to believe in what I’m working towards. Some of them are people who didn’t know me from a bar of soap but still helped make my life that much better and that much easier.
I am eternally grateful to those who walk with me, in action, in words, in heart. They are blessings that give rise to what I’m blessed with.

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