Living full life and fulfilling others

TOTALLY LIBERATED: Nqobekile Manyoni. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 10/05/2010. © Sowetan.
TOTALLY LIBERATED: Nqobekile Manyoni. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 10/05/2010. © Sowetan.

PINNING down businesswoman and life coach Nqobekile Manyoni for an interview was tough as her busy schedule made it difficult to secure a suitable date.

We finally met at the Sowetan offices and the interview was everything but ordinary.

She breaks the ice by giving me a warm motherly hug. Then she tells me how to beat the baby blues when I tell her I had just returned from maternity leave.

At 52, the elegantly dressed mother and grandmother oozes energy and confidence.

"Since becoming a life coach, my life has changed for the better. I've learned to live in the here and now. If I feel sad and want to cry, I allow those emotions to happen, deal with them and move on. Living in the here and now is very liberating," she says.

Manyoni, who has spent 14 years assisting emerging entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses, says since becoming a life coach a year ago, life has never been better. Her changing moment came when she discovered a training course by internationally acclaimed author and life coach Martha Beck.

"Knowing who I am, where I am going and how to handle challenges has always been important to me. Like most people, I always felt something was missing in my life, but didn't know what it was. I was longing for peace and quiet and I felt I still needed to discover my purpose in life even though I had worked with people all my life. Through life coaching, I was able to tap into my inner self and discovered the empowering tools in me that I didn't even know I had," she says.

The qualified business management specialist says life coaching has helped her to identify "limiting beliefs" that had kept her from reaching her full potential.

"Most people think that holding on to people and material things makes you strong and happy, but what we fail to realise is that it is in letting go of the depressing things that strengthen and liberate you. Life coaching teaches you how to let go. Keeping your handbag clean and clearing your wardrobe by getting rid of clothes you haven't worn in over a year is one way to start sorting out your life," Manyoni says.

But how did she know she wanted to become a life coach?

"I love working with people and have also been gifted with a strong intuition. I found that people open up to me easily and I'm always giving advice to people on how to better their lives. Knowing that I have made a difference in one person's life gave me fulfilment. I decided to train as a life coach just to hone the skill that I already had," she says.

Manyoni, who is also chairperson of the South African Women Entrepreneurs' Network in Gauteng, recalls the days she too felt empty inside while everybody thought she had everything going for her.

"I had looked outside for peace, love, happiness and validation, not realising that I already had all of that inside me, but did not know how to tap into it. I am now at peace with myself after discovering and connecting with my essential self. I am in control of my destiny," she says.

Manyoni is currently preparing for her next life coaching training session to be held on May 22. She urges women to participate in such programmes because women are often unable to break free from limiting beliefs. Most people, particularly women are afraid of change. "We need to forgive ourselves and be brave enough to identify the things that hold us back from reaching our destiny and then learn how to let go of those things," Manyoni says.

To register for the life coaching sessions, call 083-541-0361 or visit