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Issue 001 2009
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WEIRD STUFF
Genevieve
   

When we approached Buhle Mncube for a chat before her final departure from her brief sojourn in Queensland, we were not only surprised at the humility and humble nature of this very powerful strong woman, we were also amazed at her definitive dress sense which oozed nothing but class and elegance. Buhle is a  fashion icon, a mother, a business woman,  and a writer. The meeting which was held at her very posh and tastefully furnished apartment was meant to be brief but we ended up chatting for hours in a very relaxed environment over dinner and champayne.  In this very exclusive interview Buhle Talks about her Life, her ambition, her return to homeland South Africa and her plans for the future.

Whispaz: Tell us a bit about your background:

Buhle:  I知 a 35yr old South African of the Zulu t
ribe. I come from a family of 3, the only girl between two brothers. Raised by loving and supportive parents and from a very close knit extended family. Family is very important to me and it has been my biggest support system over the years, especially the very close bond I share with my mother and my beautiful teenage daughter. My maternal grandparents are still alive as well, we thank God and I知 surrounded by a truck load full of fun to be with uncles, aunties and over 30 first cousins. We are a tribe itself;-)

Whispaz:  You mention you are a mother. 

Yes I知 a proud mother of a wonderful teenage daughter, Lusanda but popularly known by her nickname Giraffe. She is turning 16 this July and I知 happy that I値l be home soon enough to celebrate her sweet 16  with her. She痴 my pride and joy, my first priority and the reason I get motivated to wake up every single day and do even better. I thank God for the gift of motherhood, hopefully at His time and place, Hell expand my brood and big sis can have a little brother or sister or even two. But its not a desperate measure, I believe that Gods time is the perfect time. I知 working on it though.

Whispaz: What did you do in SA before you moved to UK?

After graduating from university in Durban, I moved to Johannesburg and worked with two top corporate companies, Transnet and loveLife respectively after which I resigned and started an event management company with my ex husband.  The company was doing well and has grown even bigger even now but unfortunately the pressure of mixing both our private lives and business took it痴 toll and we separated in 2005. We have both moved on and have mutual respect and admire the progress we have made in our different paths and we keep a healthy communication channel between us.  We still hold each other痴 torches very high, our marriage kept us grounded for all those years from university to adulthood and that chapter of my life taught me all there is to know about womanhood, marriage, love and  life in general. I知 a better person today because of that experience.

Whispaz: Do you still believe in marriage and given a second chance, will you walk down the aisle second time around?

Of course I will, why not? Some of the experiences we go through when younger are meant to prepare us for better things later in life when we are wiser, better and stronger. The fact that the first marriage broke down or people are divorcing everyday doesn稚 mean that we should write off an institution that is healthy and good for raising children. There are a lot of good happy marriages out there but people tend to focus on the bad side of it. The important part of being in a union is the ability to love yourself first and being able to live with yourself before you can take a deep commitment and out of insecurity and fear you end up trying to push or change your partner to be what they are not. Hence it痴 very important to marry your friend, somebody you just love and like for who they are and not try to change or control them. 

But w
hat I don稚 believe in is staying in unhealthy relationships, be it marriages, friendships or partnerships, any relationship that doesn稚 grown you emotionally and mentally as a person but instead is filled with tears, arguments and violence is just not it. Unfortunately a lot of women find themselves in these sort of marriages and relationships  and are afraid to remove themselves because of what the society will say, the stigma attached to be a divorcee or a single mother. Personally? I will rather live alone with a cat and raise orphans or the homeless than be in an abusive or lonely relationship. I love myself to much to settle for just whatever is thrown in my face. When you learn to love yourself, peoples opinions doesn稚 really matter you simply do what痴 right for your health and peace of mind. You learn to be true to yourself and not try to save faces at the expense of your own happiness and serenity. But yes, at the right time...I値l do it again but I知 not under any pressure

What matters is a stable, loving and nurturing committed relationship with a man I truly respect and enjoy being with than a piece of gold on my finger. Commitment is in the heart and not at the registry office.

Whispaz: How long have you lived in the UK and why are you relocating back to South Africa:

I have been in UK since 2005, partly studying and working for a housing NGO in Oxford which supports people who have suffered mental distress and most of our clients involved women who had mental breakdown due to relationship/marriage breakdown. It痴 been a very fulfilling position because it gave me an opportunity to support and make a positive contribution in other people痴 lives. I知 relocating back to SA to set up my own company in event management and image consultancy. I値l be working as a freelance stylist for various print magazines too as well as being a personal stylist/shopper to high profile personalities in the South African痴 Who痴 Who list. Once fully established there are plans to expand to other African countries, Nigeria to be precise. I have established very good networks with business minded people over there and we shall explore business opportunities where there痴 a gap. There are so many opportunities for black women especially in SA, it痴 a matter of identifying the market and explore such opportunities. 

One day it will all be the thing of the past so I feel now is the right time for me, with the in
ternational exposure and network of people  I have been lucky to meet in various industries, from fashion to media and entertainment, I think I stand a good chance to break even if I put my brain, energy, passion and effort into my venture. We have a number of very talented people who are being wasted in foreign countries doing odd jobs just to keep their heads above water. I think more and more Africans need to think about business ventures in their own countries and go back to invest in their
communities. 

The first world countries are termed 租eveloped countries for a reason, there are very few opportunities of development if any at all
, as the market is already saturated and developed. Whereas Africa is a 租eveloping continent......theres so much to be developed, so the opportunities are there for those who have the courage to risk and pursue their dreams. I知 throwing my dice too, I hope it will pay off and later my children can benefit or take over from me. We need to direct our children into more business mentality than the 9 to 5  employee mentality and  develop the seed and business ethics from  a tender age. 

Whispaz: You are a style icon tell us more about your creative fashion side:

I知 grateful and appreciative that people see me as a style icon, something I realise have somewhat impacted positively on other people. I don稚 see myself as a fashionista, simply because I don稚 follow seasonal trends. I just dress first and foremost for comfort. If I知 comfortable then I知 confident. Also my style varies, depending on my mood, weather, location, season and the type of function I知 going to. Fashion is a language, you get better and good at it when you think beyond the box. I知 a very bold person, so my clothes do reflect that strong character within me. It痴 very uplifting when people make an effort to look good and be appreciated. When I知 in public, I represent my parents, my daughter, my partner and my friends so it痴 very important to represent in a positive way. 

People judge us by the way we look, whether we like to admit that truth or not. If they look at a woman they ask,
who痴 mother is this? Who痴 daughter? Who痴 Wife? So yes, it痴 nice when people look at me and think, she was raised well just because how I look represent the values of dignity and respect that my parents instilled in me as a young lady. They too are very proud to show their only daughter off and it makes them feel they did their best as parents. And my daughter tags me along to her school when I知 home so her friends and teachers can see her yummy London mommy...LOL. So yes as the saying goes....団lothes maketh man. I concur.

Whispaz:  Really your dress sense must cost you a fortune to keep up with. So how much would you say you spend on Designer clothing and what痴 your guilty pleasure?

Well lets say not as much as most people think, I don稚 buy anything I can稚 afford as I don稚 use credit cards, so if I cant pay by cash, I don稚 buy it cause it means I don稚 afford it. Full stop. Unless of course I知 being pampered, I知 a lady so I deserve pampering once in a while. Having said that though, I also don稚 compromise on quality. I tend to capitalise on bargain sales and shop in designer outlets than Bond Street. But some of the vintage jackets and unique handmade jewellery I source out from the Sunday markets or vintage shops. I love craft markets because they sell something that you can not get from the high street. When I wear my clothes, I don稚 like to look like everybody else, so some of my clothes I personally design and I have a lovely Nigerian lady, Nike who understands my taste and style and stitches my clothes to perfection.... err, my guilty pleasure is shoes....shoes....shoes...and more shoes. Some I haven稚 even worn and when it was time to pack I realised how many shoes I had collected over time. I shipped 5 big boxes full of shoes only and I知 so tempted to buy more but the only glitch is the baggage allowance at the airport... will end up costing me more for extra luggage. Just not worth it, but my love for shoes is addictive. I guess it痴 in the woman DNA wiring...lol

Whispaz: You are also a writer, tell us more about your writing

Writing is my first love and greatest form of expression. I write when I知 happy, I write when I知 sad.....anything that I need to express deeply or articulately, I put down on paper. It痴 a form of therapy for me just as art painting is to an artist or music to a musician. I have also realised that my writing has a power to touch, inspire and motivate people in a positive way. I think it痴 a gift God is using through me to reach out and change lives. At times I write things in passing then later get messages on my inbox from people saying 奏hank you for raising a certain topic or issue, they were going through a difficult phase and all they needed to hear were the words of encouragement. Your writting and articulation somewhat helped me in a difficult situation. So I知 really grateful for the God given gift to be able to make a difference with my writing and touch lives. 

I hope to also branch into publishing and hopefully when settled I値l have enough time to put a pen and paper and write a book. We all have different and unique
talents, it痴 a matter of finding it and use it positively. I know of people who are gifted with words, but every time they open their mouths or write....they tend to destroy and break people with their words than heal. So it痴 very important that whatever talent we have should be used in a more positive way. When people shed tears of joy and say 奏hank you...it makes me feel that I am doing my little bit for the human race and that痴 how we receive our blessings.  By blessing others with what God has given to us freely. Words, whether spoken or written, have the power to either heal or break.

Whispaz: You seem very spiritually connected, is spirituality important to you?

Without a shadow of a doubt. God is my first and my last. I wouldn稚 be anywhere in life if I didn稚 have the solid foundation of understanding God and for that I thank my wonderful mother MG who planted the seed very early in life. As I grow wiser and older and as a mother myself, I realise how important my faith in God has seen me through the rough tidal storms of life. It has taught me to surrender my will and trust that everything, be it good or bad happens for a reason. I praise God when I知 happy and on my darkest gloomy days, feeling down and low, deep in the valley, all I do is lift up my eyes and say i know that right where I am, God is! I知 so humbled to have this deeper level of understanding with my Creator, when I wake up I thank him for another beautiful blessed day. When I go to bed I thank Him for the protection. My faith keeps me rooted in the ground and knowing without doubt or fear that when the storms of life threatens to unroot me, I am not shaken, for I know that He who walks besides me is a faithful God. He has carried me through it all and still does and I believe that now His greater purpose about my life is about to be revealed. God does not forget, whatever promises He made will come to manifest at His time and place. See now, you putting me into the spirit Dorlapo....LOL

Whispaz: How & when do you relax, you seem like a very busy person. A socialite to the core. Do you make time to yourself?

I work hard and I play even harder. Yes I do find time to relax my busy body. I divide my time and balance it equally so that my social life don稚 over ride my private life or work. On good days I can be on a dance floor till the DJ runs out of tunes but when it switch my mode to 僧e time, I shut everything and everybody off and rejuvenate myself. I enjoy nature and countryside scenery. I also enjoy exploring new locations and destinations, and I play golf to unwind once in a while. Scotland is my playground, they have the best golf courses and the scenery on the valleys and hills is to die for. Wales also has the best places if you want to cut yourself off from the buzz and crowded city life. I really do know how to spoil myself just lazying around doing absolutely nothing with a glass of something mellow and just refreshing my soul, body and mind. I take time to count my blessings and appreciate the grace, peace, tranquillity, love and even beautiful nature surrounding my existence. It痴 very crucial to take a pause once in a while and smell the flowers. There痴 no rush in life, so long you understand that you are not in competition with anyone, there are no dead lines, you just go with the flow and enjoy simple life wonders. You do things your ways, at your own pace and time. Life is a journey, so we should enjoy every moment and live with passion and fun. Otherwise, if you can稚 enjoy what you are doing, then you are as good as 6 feet under. Waste of space and oxygen.

Whispaz:  So What's the secret of your extremely Good Looks?

Apart from trying to stick to a healthy diet, yeah right...LOL, most of what you see on the outside is the reflection of what痴 inside. I知 generally a happy-go-lucky- person. I知 a very straight forward person and not pretentious. If I don稚 like something, I dont bottle it in, I say so. I show my true emotions. I don稚 smoke which is another aging factor, moreover I keep my heart and head free of clutter and stress. Not saying that I don稚 go through life issues like any other normal human beings, I do but I tend to not take things too personal and also I forgive easily. I surround myself with people who make me happy and are straight forward with me. If I知 wrong they don稚 beat about the bush, they give it to me straight and narrow and just keeping an aura of healthy and not toxic relationships around me. I try and live my life with gratitude and humility, appreciating everyone who cross my path and makes an effort to show me love and kindness. In overall, my spirit and soul is free and that痴 the best  beauty secret better than any make up, botox or aging cream.

Whispaz:  Do you agree with the saying that 銑ife begin at 40?

Not really, life is basically what you make of it. It can begin anytime, any age when you finally discover your real true authentic SELF. I guess I知 10yrs ahead of the pack then cause my life began at 30...LOL, but honestly, life is what you make it yourself. You could be 45 and still waiting for life to 礎egin and the other person be 35 and be rolling and happening, exploring and enjoying life. It痴 all in the mind, when you change your thinking, life will happen automatically. Most often than not, we attract our thoughts. If you are a negative person, you life will be full of misery and sorrow but if you think positively, good things will follow you cause you expect nothing but goodness, peace, love, health and prosperity. In the school of life, you are what you think! It痴 all in the mind, as I always say: Happiness, just like freedom, is only a state of mind. Free your mind from clutter and see changes and blessings flow through in your life.

Whispaz:  Your Best 3 piece of advice:

  1. Always be yourself. Never change who you are for people. Remain true to yourself and loving yourself and others, it痴 the best gift you can give yourself and those who are lucky enough to cross your path. Love is contagious, when you are genuine, people will feel your warmth and will always want to be around you.

  2. Never take things too personal. People are gonna break their promises and disappoint you somehow somewhere along your journey. But always keep an open heart. Some of the challenges we go through in life are ironically, blessings in disguise. Pray and ask for God痴 guidance and understand that 創othing just happens. When you are true to yourself and treat people with dignity and respect they deserve, you can never loose. Those who think they are messing you, are foolishly messing themselves but obviously they are blinded by foolishness and don稚 know that truth. Don稚 be too hard on yourself when you fail on something. Learn to laugh at your mistakes and find humour in everything so you that you don稚 carry unnecessary stress on your shoulders. 

  3. Add FUN and Passion in everything you do. Be it at home, at play, at work, with your children, with your partner, with friends and life in general....have a positive outlook. Don稚 be paralyzed by fear to think outside the box and explore and never let anyone intimidate you. Be strong and flexible enough to bend without breaking.

Whispaz: To end our interview, tell us how do you feel about your life right now?

Content. Lively. Energetic. Loved. Passionate. Blessed......BUT the best is yet to come. Watch the space!!!!

 

Thank you

 

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