For this blog interview, I got to interview one of my very best friends who’s been a constant source of inspiration and support to me. We met back in 2011 and immediately we knew we just had to be friends. More importantly, we knew that we just had to make a positive impact on the world together, and so I am also blessed to call her my business partner. Mmabatho Mokiti is an impact entrepreneur specifically focused in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM field). Thanks B, for sharing your story……
EOB: Please can you share with our readers a little bit of your personal background and story. Where did you come from and what inspired you to be the person you are today?MM: My grandparents have had a huge influence on the person I am today. I was born in Diepkloof, Soweto (South Africa) and spent the first 9 years living with my grandparents. I lost my father when I was 5, so my grandfather was my first father figure and is the main reason I am an entrepreneur today, he was my first business mentor; even thought I didn’t know what that was at that time. He made me believe that it was possible and he never let me forget how smart I was and that it was something to be celebrated.
My grandfather was the only one of his siblings who moved from rural Mpumalanga and made a decision to educate all 8 of his children, which ensured that their children would then also get educated. My grandmother on the other hand did not get a chance to go to school and yet placed great importance and value on education. My grandparents have been a true testament to what education can do for a family and the life long wealth it creates. My mom is also a great inspiration in my life, she too did not get to finish high school, but she made sure that we went to the best schools and I’ll always be grateful to her for that. Growing up my mom never let me forget how great I can be and that anything that I put my mind to in life I could achieve, all my mom’s ever wanted for myself and my big brother was to get an education, be independent and live out our dreams.
EOB: How and when did you discover your purpose?
MM: That was really God just leading me in the right direction. When I was 18 I got a part time job whilst at university as a Mathematics tutor at a tutoring company and I just fell in love with teaching. I loved interacting with teenagers and seeing their reactions after they started doing well and how they gained confidence. I knew right then and there that I wanted to give the gift of education to someone. I started looking into ways in which I could live out my purpose as a teacher, whilst still getting into business. Finding your purpose is truly God given because once it reveals itself to you, God will do all in His power to reveal some snippets to you, until one day you look back and think, that was God revealing my purpose to me. I firmly believe that my purpose was revealed to me way earlier then I can remember , but I just didn’t know it until I started tutoring, as a child I was always the teacher teaching my cousins when we played school, I remember even helping my little cousins out with their homework when we were younger.
EOB: What is your purpose and key passions in life?
MM: I’m a teacher to the core of my being, I love education and empowering others through education. I will grab onto any opportunity to teach someone and leave them feeling like a better version of themselves.
EOB: How does one start embracing a life that is more intentional and driven from the inside out?
MM: I only started living an intentional life in my late twenties. When I was 26 I went through a life changing breakup and this forced me to take a step back at my life and re-evaluate everything; from the friends I had, to my career, my goals, the kind of relationships I wanted to engage in, the space I wanted to create and the places I wanted to go to. I would say before one can start embracing a life that is more intentional they firstly need to come to terms with the fact that things are going to change in their lives and they are going to loose some people who don’t believe in this “new person”, but it will all be for a good reason. Living an intentional life also means that you have to fall in love with your life, loving yourself is very important, fall in love with yourself, every bit of your life and the bits that you don’t love is an indication of what you need to change. Be aware of the people you let into your life, the energy they bring in cause when you love yourself, you don’t allow anyone to mess with your energy and space.
EOB: What past experiences and people have helped shape who you are today?
MM: As mentioned above my break up in my twenties was the wake up call I needed to start living my life wholeheartedly for myself and with no regards to others opinions. My friends and the people I’ve let into my life have also played a big role, I intentionally allow people in my life who share similar values to me and are invested in their personal growth, as much as I am invested in mine. It’s through my friends that a lot of my growing has happened and they have allowed me and sometimes pushed me to dig deep into the person I really am. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of seeing two life coaches in my life and they have helped to face my deepest and darkest side in order to become a better person.
EOB: What are your top three habits that contribute to your success?
MM: Prayer, tithing and always believing and knowing that I deserve the best because I’m the best.
EOB: Have you ever felt down and out in life and how did you get back up and get your inspiration and motivation back?
MM: Yes, of course. At the very beginning of my business career there was a point where I was making no money at all and it’s times like that that I kept my eye on my vision and why I wanted to go into business in the first place. I’ve always been a great believer in writing out my goals and putting them up, so every time I was down and out, I would look at my goals on my wall and it would be a great reminder that my current situation was only temporary and that greater things awaited me. My favourite Bible scripture that has also gotten me through some tough times. Matthew 19:26; “With God all things are possible”. This always reassures me that God did not create me to fail, but to be great and extraordinary in His own way. Now I know and understand that every hurdle I go through is a lesson that life and the universe is trying to teach me, so I need to just pause and ask myself “what is this suppose to teach me?'
EOB: Please can you recommend three books or podcast episodes that was a gamechanger for you?
- Return to Love - Marianne Williamson
- Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
- A New Earth - Eckart Tolle
- All the podcast where Oprah is in conversation with Iyanla Vanzant
EOB: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would that be?
EOB: What’s your one piece of wisdom that you would like to share with the world?
MM: Never dim your light for anyone, God did not create us to be mediocre or ordinary, He created us to be extraordinary, unique and shine brighter each day like a flame that never goes out, but only gets brighter. My second favourite verse Matthew 5:15-16 says; “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lamp stand and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven”. I once heard a saying that has stuck with me for many years, it said; “ A candle doesn’t loose it’s shine by lighting another candle”, which in essence is as we shine, let us help others shine and help them to find their purpose and live a purpose driven life.
~ Ezlyn Olivia Barends ~