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with Stembile Mpofu, Director CCMT
October 25, 2010
interview with Stembile Mpofu
yourself in five words?
Disorganised, passionate, focused in some areas. I'm
very willing to learn and I really enjoy connecting with people.
the best piece of advice you've ever received?
That I should always respect people. It doesn't matter
who he or she is or what they're doing in life, but I should
always have respect every person that I meet.
the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
When I was in university one of my student friends owed
me some money. He wouldn't give it back, even though I knew
he had money. So I put a notice on the notice board giving him a
deadline. I got my money back before the end of that day.
is your most treasured possession?
My family. I really value the love and the connection with
my husband and my kids.
do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I listen to a lot of Nina Simone; my office mates think
have any strange hobbies?
I love to shop for baby clothes.
do you dislike most about your appearance?
I've got a small head. I call it a peanut head. My
husband has a good laugh about that.
is your greatest extravagance?
I bought a pair of tortoises, which I couldn't afford; they're
carved in hardwood. They're really beautiful.
have you got in your fridge?
Yoghurt, cooked chibage, some fruit, and veggies
and there's some beers and some fruit juice.
is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is fear itself. I think it was Oscar Wilde
who said ‘the worst things in my life never happened'.
I am working on trying to live without fear because then you worry
about what hasn't happened, you don't enjoy where you
are in the moment.
have you got in your pockets right now?
A little bit of money, my phone, a pen, some lip balm and
some wet wipes.
is your favourite journey?
One of the things that I've found most fulfilling
in terms of my own person development is the journey into self,
reflecting, trying to understand who I am, my responses to certain
situations. Trying to be as honest with myself as much as possible.
And just to check in with what it is I actually believe.
are your heroes in real life?
I have a lot of admiration for my mother. She's a
very strong woman, very determined and focused. I also admire my
father. He's a very principled person; he values communities
and relationships and values people. CCMT has a board member Mrs.
Kachingwe, one of the first black women at the university. As I've
gotten to know her better through our work I have come to admire
who she is and what she stands for. She's a very humble person.
She remains connected to who she is, but also very intelligent,
and very astute in terms of operating at very high levels.
and where were you happiest?
I'm happiest now. And I think it's not so much
about what I have around me, but maybe it's in terms of my
own perspective. For a person to be happy its how you decide to
perceive what is outside of yourself. You know the thing about the
glass being half full or half empty. It's about how you see
things and interpret things around you. I feel blessed in terms
of my family and work and the opportunities that have been presented
were you like at school?
I was a comedian. Not very serious. I think I don't
function best within a formal academic environment, I prefer a practical
environment. I was very much into speech and drama, debating, that
sort of thing. I had lots of fun with my friends. I enjoyed my school
are you doing next?
I don't know. I would like to make a positive contribution
to the rebuilding of this country in whatever way I can. To concentrate
on the little things. Very often we want to do the big things, but
it's the little things that count and lead towards the big
things happening. I don't know what opportunities will present
to make that contribution, but I would like to do that because I
think we have a wonderful country with wonderful people and I'd
really like my children to be able to live here.
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