Taking My Position By Nonjabulo Zondo (South Africa)

I have many names but am commonly known as Nonjabulo Zondo. One of the other interesting names I have been given is ‘Umfundisi’ (teacher, priest, missionary). Born and raised in Mjila that is referred to as a rural area located southeast of Kwazulu-Natal, I was raised to believe that any mother was ‘my’ mother in my community, and I felt loved, safe, and important. Surrounded by beautiful nature and charmed by the gorgeous mountains, the rivers and the changing colors of the forests, peaceful sounds, and heart-warming views visible each time I put my foot out of the Rondavel. My rootedness in rural life allowed me to connect with the Women Leadership and Training programme (WLTP).

A calling

WLTP was initiated by The Grail in 1985 – a way of living – with its focus on empowering young women and girls and being active in environmental justice. The organisation nurtures women (ages between 8 to 20 years old) and drives them towards their highest potential leadership skills to heal the hurts of the world. It becomes more meaningful and powerful as a group of women to embrace each other and to consciously remind ourselves of the boundaries we aim to break, of a way to move forward and tackle one problem at a time in our communities to move away from what used to be and adapting consciously to live in the present.

TFT, start where you are!

At first, I could not understand the connection between WLTP and TFT or where the journey would take me, but I was confident and motivated. A selfless being wanting to fix what is broken and trusting in the spirit of mystery and all sources of life, thinking of ways to intervene for a normal being to have at least enough of the basic needs. However, never have I come across a training programme willing to support my hopes and what I believe is the right thing to do. Realizing that even small efforts can change the world, starting where you are was the key highlight. Honestly, it felt like I had been preparing and waiting and ready to discover TFT for the longest time.

Reality consciousness

TFT has been and continues to be a personal journey that gives me satisfaction and gives me confidence and the tools to be an effective community developer, who is hoping to achieve what’s best for the community. It has improved the ways in which I interact with different age and ethnic groups which was rather challenging before.
Communication skills and the way I approach problems have been improved – I now understand the importance of listening and engaging in conversation to find a unified solution.

Moving along

TFT has elevated my thought process. I consciously remind myself of how reality looks, that I must create the life I want to live and that everything begins with me. I was inspired and challenged to identify family, love, and freedom as my core emotional drivers. I had to bring this in alignment and consciously build on this fuel of motivation where I am because home is commonly where I feel emotions which gives my thoughts its impact. This led to my first Family theme workshop of 10 participants in September 2021, to reconnect, track back our family history, re-align and reunite, and find mutual understanding and balance. I was also searching for validation and motivation to create a solid background should I need a place for comfort and inspiration. I have been wanting to act and make amends to bring us close as a family, to give each other reassurance of love, support, and security more than anything else. The process has been therapeutic and healing. We speak more openly of the past and how it has shaped us. “My dad was an angry man, but I understood why” said my Aunt Nokubonga.

A girls gathering

This is a close and fragile initiative I had been shying away from for some time. TFT has helped me shape the structuring of a Girl’s gathering workshop where we build assertive young women to assist each other in our archetype roles, speak of our health, the earth, and the environment, and many other topics that help us to grow. The first meeting was in April 2022, seven girls availed themselves in the space. However, I am finding myself conflicted and feeling inattentive to this initiative as more girls have been interested to be a part of the gathering. Currently, most of my attention is on the TFT Diploma course which is slowly sharpening my skills and abilities to become a more efficient and informative developer.

Pieces of me

I embrace all forms of the woman I am and the woman I am becoming. I am a women role model, I am a mother of a tween girl, I am a student of Agro-ecology, I am an entrepreneur, I am a small-scale permaculture farmer with big dreams, I am a partner, I am a lover, I am a sister, I am a leader in my own space, I am a healer, I am many things and I am growing to become more. My journey with TFT has elevated and sharpened my vision and broadened the way I perceive myself. My wish is to create a self-sustaining system that feeds me and still takes care of the earth.