I love encouraging people to follow their dreams, to dream big and to believe that anything is possible. What I love even more is hearing from or reading about people who do that. People who follow their passions and don’t let anything hold them back.
I met one such person not long ago, Soneni Gwizi. There are times I meet people and that’s that and once in a while I meet someone and I think to myself I’m so glad I met this person. During our first meeting, she inspired me in a way that I actually had to note it down in my journal that today is the day I met Soneni Gwizi.
She is a Radio & TV talk show host, a Disability media facilitator, an Activist, a Speaker and most recently an Ambassador for ADD International. She’s a woman who wears many hats and from where I’m standing they fit perfectly. She has won multiple awards for the work that she does. In my hope that she would inspire you in the same way she did me, I interviewed her to give you a glimpse into the woman behind the awards and the barrier breaking. I sent her some questions and this is what she had to say:
Q: What are you most proud of in your life?
A: I’m proud that I was raised to embrace my disability & understand that I’m woman enough to achieve whatever I desire. My disability is just a condition that I can manage. I’m proudly African & I was brought up by a strong black woman. Being a Zimbabwean also gives me a sense of national pride.
Q: What does it mean to you to be an ADD International Ambassador?
A: It is a great honor as a woman with a disability from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to represent an International organization that has a huge responsibility in empowering disabled activists in Africa & Asia. I’m also thankful that I have a good team from Zimbabwe who inspire me to do my work & everyone who adds value to my life; my family, friends, colleagues, employers & my audience.
Q: What 3 life lessons would you want young people to know?
A: In life you have to believe in yourself, love yourself and work hard. This way, you will achieve greatness that will serve others.
Q: What 2 books would you recommend or have given to people as a gift?
A: My favorite give away books are a Bible and a blank note book so that they can write their own story & dreams. The bible teaches us a lot about purpose. Without purpose life is meaningless.
Q: Who are some of your influencers or role models?
A: My greatest influencers are God, my late mom Jane Moyo-Gwizi, children & any person that lives beyond what the world expects them to be. All the mentioned have these words in common; loyalty, genuine love, pure caring & trust.
Q: What does success look like for you?
A: To me success is living a peaceful life and doing what you love. In turn it blesses others. Knowing when to let go and forgiving others for the hurt they have caused is something I consider to be success. To me success is not measured in material possessions.
Q: It’s 5 years from now, what does your life look like?
A: I’m striving to continue to touch lives and make tangible impact in different communities in my work. I live to see more empowered people with disabilities.
Q: What is your anchor? When all else fails, where do you turn?
A: My faith in God is my solid foundation. That’s where I find my purpose as a disabled woman. I’m always at peace because I trust Him all the time. I also love music! It keeps me physically & mentally active.
Q: What is your message to the world?
A: My message is this: Never be embarrassed of who you are and where you come from because that’s the foundation of your starting point to championship!
I hope you have been inspired by the person and woman that Soneni is. She is an example of what happens when you follow your dreams and dream big. You get to touch lives and that for me is the best legacy you can leave on this earth. Are you doing something towards pursuing your passion? If not, are you allowing anything to stop you from doing that? Take time to think about it and allow yourself to dream big and when the time comes don’t be afraid to act. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.