Getting to Know Mo Malele

Mo Malele is a doer of many things, a wearer of many hats and a lover of people! As a poet, recording artist, award winning entrepreneur, wordsmith extraordinaire and content producer she has no shortage of creativity and determination. I recently interviewed Mo and have been left inspired…

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
With a finance and accounting background, I often describe myself as a creative at heart but with a business brain. I am a poet, recording artist, award winning entrepreneur, wordsmith extraordinaire and content producer. My dynamic personality has led me to build a career in a wide array of industries as I pursue all things that inspire, grow, and challenge me, as well as contribute positively to my community. My poetry style can be described as conscious, self-aware, self-reflective, critical, and extremely honest as I tackle various social issues like love, loss, mental health, hope, politics, economics, inequality and much more through my poetry and challenge my listeners to live life to their fullest potential as the best versions of themselves. 

Please tell us about your events company.
NK Innovations is a creative, dynamic and innovative marketing and events agency that delivers problem solving solutions and always exceeds expectation. We are a young but experienced team of highly ambitious marketing professionals. As a marketing agency we offer a wide array of ATL and BTL services, including event and project management. We have a unique ability to reach and engage with diverse consumer groups across South Africa, with relevant and receptive brand messaging that delivers ROI accretive campaigns for our clients.

What is Shopapolitan?
The expanded unemployment rate in SA sits at 42.6%, meaning almost half our workforce is economically inactive, majority of which are in townships and rural communities. We know that we need to stimulate the economy in order to create jobs and the only way to do that is through the creation of profitable, sustainable, tech-enabled businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs lack the infrastructure, resources, knowledge, and funding required to implement tech in their businesses. This is where we come in – our vision is to build economically self-sustainable communities by making innovative tech affordable and accessible to township and rural based businesses and in doing so help them to techify and digify their business. How do we do this? In a word Shopapolitan. Shopapolitan is an end-to-end e-commerce marketplace that gives township and rural based businesses everything they need to operate a profitable e-commerce business. We offer:

  1. a safe, secure, and compliant platform and payment gateway.
  2. Data analytics & Digital marketing services.
  3. Distribution and Logistics management.

What are some of the biggest challenges that you face with Shopapolitan?
The challenges we face are the very same challenges that inspired the Shopapolitan business concept which continues to drive us despite the roadblocks; lack of access to market opportunities, lack of funding and necessary infrastructure to take advantage of available opportunities. Many of these we have overcome to some extent in order to get to where we are today, however our biggest challenge is still funding to launch the platform on a wider scale so we can reach more communities, merchants and customers.  

What or who inspired the Shopapolitan concept?
Entrepreneurs and small business owners like us, who have great ideas, ambition and hard work ethic to match those great ideas, but have little to no access to markets, opportunities, resources, infrastructure, knowledge, networks and funding required to bring those ideas to life. Ironically enough, we draw inspiration and motivation from our challenges and pain points as well as those of our fellow hustlers, dreamers, entrepreneurs and small business owners.

What or who has kept you going during the pandemic?
Honestly speaking, a brutal understanding that I am back against the wall, stuck between a rock and a hard place, shipwrecked or plane-wrecked in the middle of nowhere and no-one is coming for me…no-one is coming to save me. If I am to survive, I will have to save myself, and the only way to do that is to hustle hard, hustle smart, hustle relentlessly, hustle humbly but hustle like my life depended on it because it did! And I always say the hustle never stops, it just changes form! So, keep hustling!

You are a poet, recording artist and content producer, what inspires your creativity?
Everything and everyone I get to experience! I believe that as a creative, inspiration is everywhere, provided you are listening and tuned in…provided you are conscious and aware of the life you are living. If you live on autopilot, you will miss the creative inspiration that lives hidden in the seemingly mundane moments of life. I am also inspired by how as ordinary people we all have a little bit of extraordinariness in us and if we just gave into that the world would be filled with ordinary people living their truth and creating extraordinary things, we can all experience and benefit from. The idea of living in a world where we are all consciously and constantly striving to live life as our truest and best selves both excites and inspires me because therein lies the magic!

You have a new album in the works, please could you tell us a bit about it and how it differs from your last album ‘My Country Needs Me.’
For starters ‘My Country Needs Me’ was my first album and producing that project independently taught me a lot about the business of music and what it takes to release a proper project you can be proud of, so you can definitely expect to see those “business of music” lessons learnt coming through in this album. This new album will be different in a couple of ways; 1) I am producing all the beats on it. 2) This is most likely going to have more visuals attached to it and if all goes well it will also be a visual album. 3) It is going to be shorter than the previous one and a lot more personal for all of us, not just me! 4) A lot of the pieces were written during Covid so it will be very Covid relevant.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are starting out?

  • Fail forward, fail fast and implement the lessons prospectively…don’t torture yourself over the past.
  • When they say no, you say next and don’t be afraid to punch above your weight!
  • It’s ok if you don’t hit gold the first time you start digging. It doesn’t mean there isn’t gold, just that you must dig deeper, longer and differently.
  • BELIEVE! Believe in yourself, your team, your idea, your project, your market etc, whatever it is, BELIEVE IN IT! And when you don’t believe, put your head down and WORK AT IT, until you believe in it again!
  • Be conscious and aware of the life you are living and the business you are building. This will help you identify the pivots and see the gaps earlier.
  • If you are getting paid in exposure or experience, find ways to monetize/commercialise that exposure/experience…remember the bank doesn’t take exposure cheques.
  • Your network is your net worth! Find a tribe of like-minded, like-hearted people and build your social capital because they will help you build your financial capital.
  • The best way to create value is to first give away value! So don’t think of what you are losing when you are giving, focus on what you are gaining by giving and that will help you create incremental value.
  • HAVE FUN! Live and work your passion! Work is an integral part of life and life is an integral part of work. Find ways, projects, people, activities to bring the 2 into harmony where your passion is at the centre of both, and they will become 1! Which in my philosophical opinion is the only way life should be lived and businesses should be built. Life and work should be in harmony with each other.

Here are the ways that you can get in contact with Mo:
Shopapolitan: info@shopapolitan.com
NK Innovations: momalele@nkinnovations.co.za

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and visit her website.

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You are Just Not Good Enough

You are Just Not Good Enough

“You want to be liked.”
“You are a hugger.”
“You just don’t care.”
“You feel nothing.”

I heard these words often enough to actually believe it, question if it was true and agree that it was my fault when it all went wrong.

It’s 03:50 in the morning, I am lying in the bath as I prepare to get ready for the day ahead. The first thing that comes to my mind is ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ I am exhausted as I only went to bed at 23:45 the previous evening. I am drained, tired of living in fear, tired of being stressed and anxious, tired of crying myself to sleep at night. I’ve lost weight and not in the healthy sense and my collar bones have never stuck out before the way that they do. Will this person be in a good mood today? Please let them be in a good mood. Why have I allowed them to have so much control over me? Why? Please can the noise stop! Please can the guilt, regret, tears, and pain just stop!

GET OUT!
As the day went by, something a friend said to me replayed in my head from a while back. “Get out, before that individual breaks you! Get the hell out!”
Me: No, I can do this! I will prove to that person that I belong, that I can do it, that they are wrong about me!

Later that afternoon I was walking around anxiously and my friends’ words “Get out” was clear in my mind. I looked in the mirror and all I could see in my eyes was pain and sadness. When I smiled, it looked so fake, I simply could not pretend anymore. It was time to stop holding on and walk away.

I wish that I could tell you that this is a scene out of a movie, but this is what was happening in my life over a year ago. I fought, held on and tried to make something work that cost me my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Mentally, if this is what prison is like, then I was in a mental jail. I thought that if I had walked away sooner, that I would lose everything and people would walk away, judge me and want nothing to do with me.

So why did I keep this person in my life and where did it all start to go wrong?
To be honest, despite all the sh*t that I was going through, I still valued this individual and thought it would pass and that it was just a phase or something. It started off with manipulation and guilt, and because I was never a confrontational person, I never put up a fight. I just wanted this person to be proud of me, no matter what it took. I wanted their appreciation and for them to value me and all that I did. It was never enough, and my mistakes were highlighted, used as an example, and repeated often. Soon the promises/threats or facts would arise, and the insults just got worse and more frequent. I got to a point when I would just stare at them while they were saying these things to me, because anything that I said to try and defend myself would seem pointless or would just be thrown back in my face with an example of my mistakes of the past and how they were affecting this person’s image negatively. I felt completely numb during these confrontations from their side (yes, not conversations.) Strange enough, this person was a firm believer in showing kindness to others, I just didn’t know that I was excluded from that fact.

That was one year ago.

Yes, this all happened over one year ago, and it’s taken me 12 months to finally speak out and share just some of the pain that I was going through. However, even though this ended a year ago, my journey to healing only just began. It took me 5 months to grasp “normal life.” I felt like the prison door had finally opened and I walked out, feeling free, but now I had to start over…again. The healing process included dissecting all that went wrong, what was apparently my fault and me wondering if only I did better here and did better there, maybe it would have turned out differently. I still cried for a while, trying to understand and make sense of it all. I had to learn to appreciate myself and life again. I started picking up some weight, going out with friends and opening up to my goals and dreams again. Most importantly in the first 5 months, I learned to forgive that individual without hearing the words…I am sorry, or I apologise. I also learned to forgive myself for all that I blamed myself for and for not listening and walking away sooner.

Where am I now?
Well, I am now an Entrepreneur and Director of my own company Phoenix Media, I am focusing on my self-development, blogging again and just enjoying the journey of discovering what life has to offer. I no longer carry that pain and I carry no resentment or anger towards that person. I am not afraid to ask for help and to make mistakes, as that is the only way to learn and grow in wisdom. I appreciate all the small things even more; calls with friends, chats with mom, walks in the garden and even meeting new people online when networking and chatting to new or potential clients. This whole experience opened my eyes to appreciating my self-worth and setting boundaries. I miss hugs and will be hugging my family, friends and those who support me often when it is safe to do so. No, I don’t want to be liked, but I want to love and be loved by the amazing people who are in my life. I was never alone this whole time as the Lord was always by my side and my faith in him has never been stronger.

Why am I sharing my story?
I am sharing this story with you, because over a year ago, I did not see outside of my circumstances and the situation. If you are going through something similar or worse or know of someone who is, then please know this:

  • You are good enough!
  • You are stronger than you think!
  • You can get out!
  • Ask for help! Speak to someone you can trust outside of the situation and get out!
  • It is okay to walk away from anything or anyone who hurts you or causes you to doubt yourself!
  • Set boundaries.
  • There are people who do and will love you for who you are.
  • Have faith!
  • Trust your gut and the red flags.

Be it a friendship, relationship, business relationship or colleague, no one should make you feel bad about yourself, make you question yourself, hurt and manipulate you or use you for their own gain. You have a right to say no, disagree or walk away from situations that harm you. Let no one discourage you or make you feel less than you are. You deserve better!


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Peace and Contentment

Peace and Contentment

At the start of each year, I like to give the year a word that will help me achieve my goals for that year. 2020 was my year of growth and finding inner peace and this year my word is abundance. With us now being right in the middle of the year, it was time to look back and remember the goals I have set for this year. In order for this to be my year of abundance, there are certain steps that I need to take to make space for that abundance. The universe responded and through a workshop my journey with The Noble Pursuit took place over a six-week period.

Over the six-week period this is what I learned and shared with you about my money mindset manifestation journey:

  1. In Journey with The Noble Pursuit, I introduce you to transformational coach Linda van der Westhuizen and her journey to helping others (myself included) transform their lives to living a life of peace and contentment.
  2. If Money was a Person was a raw and honest post about my past relationship with money.
  3. Who would have thought that Money is Energy, and here I learned how to identify the masculine and feminine aspects of money and how I can find balance between the two.
  4. As mentioned above, in my blog post, Year of Abundance I share the tools that I have taken away from this journey and that I now use on a daily basis to build a better relationship with money and find my balance.

Why did I choose to go on this journey?
Something that I have carried with me for many years is the fear of lack, the fear of not having enough. I would try to save but ended up spending because an emergency of sorts that would pop up. I watched my bank balance like a hawk, making sure that every rand was spend wisely. Instead of fearing that I would not have enough to make it to the end of the month, I wanted to be content with what I had now. I wanted to let go of the constant worrying and rather have faith and trust that all would be okay. This was my biggest challenge, because I love being in control of every little detail so that I could be prepared for anything that came my way.

Why was I not manifesting all that I wanted?
The money mindset manifestation journey runs deeper than manifesting money, it showed me that I had bought into limiting beliefs and that was stopping me from reaching my full potential. Limiting beliefs such as:
– I waited to long to achieve that dream so I will let it go.
– I do not have the right connections and education to achieve that.
– Without enough money that will not be possible.
– Look at how far my peers in my age group are in their careers, I am falling behind.

All of this triggers negative energy and creates a belief system of I am not good enough. By using the tools from this journey, practicing affirmations such as I am good enough, now is my time and I am achieving my goals and dreams has helped me to create a positive mindset and start dreaming again. Yes, there are days that are challenging, but then I remember that right now I have all that I need and I am enough!

What has changed?
– Every morning when I wake up, I give thanks and show gratitude for what I have.
– No emergencies have emerged since I started this journey.
– We have enough. I now look through eyes of gratitude instead of lack.
– My workspace is decluttered.
– Sometimes a day goes by when I have not checked my bank account.
– I have 3 savings plans for 3 different goals that I will achieve at different periods.
– I am embracing the feminine side a bit more than when the journey started.

I am now more focused and determined than I have ever been to make my dreams a reality. I believe in myself, and I practice daily affirmations to eliminate those limiting beliefs. I also take breaks, go for a walk outside or spoil myself occasionally without feeling guilty that it will break the bank balance. I would like to thank Linda van der Westhuizen from The Noble Pursuit for opening my eyes to the fact that life is full of abundance and for helping me to get back on track in achieving my dreams. I have finally reached that stage of peace and contentment, and now I am focusing on building that abundant life that I have always wanted for myself and my family.

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The CEO of my Heart

CEO of my Heart

The order of the day is as follows, breakfast in bed, a big teddy bear hug and a birthday gift! Ooh let us do French toast; you know how much we love your French toast. This was the start of most days on 16 June.

Today I cried the ugly cry…

I had the most amazing words and blog post in mind to celebrate this wonderful man and when I woke up this morning, all my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. While all I want to do is celebrate him, I have broken down into tears wishing and praying that he was here. Mom just gave me a big hug, I see the pain in her eyes. I know the pain that I am feeling, but for her I can only imagine.

I would like to introduce you to Chris Victor:
A great man with the biggest heart. He loved trains, the air force and anything about WW1 and 2, but nothing compared to his love and dedication to his family. This great man was my father and today we celebrate his birthday and the 5th birthday without him since he was called to do greater things. Leading up to today, the memories that I have with him have been frequent. I miss how he would kiss me on my forehead when leaving a cup of tea next to my bed on the weekends, or when we would pray together for the day ahead before he left for work. I miss how our cat Leo knew exactly when he was coming home from work and ran down to meet him and walk back with him.

I admire his strength!
We faced many challenges as a family, but he always made sure we were provided for. He worked hard, and even with the pain he still had in his leg from an injury he suffered many years ago, he got up and carried on. I learned kindness from my late father. Like my mother, he would try to help people in anyway that he could, even if it was just a listening ear. He had this way of being able to talk to anybody and cheer them up no matter what mood they were in. My parents taught me how to teach and share the most important language in the world…love and kindness.

The pain just won’t go away!
6 November 2021 will be a full 5 years since he left us, and the pain just won’t go away. It does not get easier to manage at all, you just carry on living with it. Life gets busy and so you don’t think of the person and memories as often, but in my heart I know that a piece of me is gone forever. One of the worst things is that my dream will never come true of my father walking me down the aisle one day. This was something I treasured and was so looking forward to. I will never have that. There are two things in life that we will never get back; time and loved ones that have passed on. The pain that I carry in my heart is the storage of love that I have for my dad, that now has no where to go.

Lessons learned:
– Love with all your heart!
– Tomorrow is not guaranteed. If you can do it today, if you can start working towards that dream, do it as soon as possible.
– Today was not great and that’s okay. Tomorrow will be better.
– Be kind. No matter what just be kind.
– You are not your circumstances.
– Know your worth and be yourself…the right people will love you for who you are.
– Keep going.
– You are enough!

To find out more about what happened to my late father, please read my blog post nothing could have prepared me for this day. Today we miss a man who was the CEO of our hearts. Today we remember fond memories and how we cherished every moment with him. Our hearts are sore, but we keep his memory alive by sharing stories about this great man. He is now our guardian angel, and he will never be forgotten. Happy Birthday Dad!

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