Nthabiseng Montsho-Mngoma is on a mission to empower South Africa’s women, especially the vast number of women who have experienced, or are trying to overcome, gender-based and intimate partner violence.
Her organisation, NthabiM Coaching and Training, along with its subsidiaries, Lesedi Life Skills and My Safe Space, provide a wide range of services that aim to equip women with skills that help them to build fruitful and joy-filled lives that insulate them as much as possible from future violence.
Montsho-Mngoma, like many of the women she works with to help, is a survivor of intimate partner assault and has faced the terrifying near-death realities of gender-based violence. She has first-hand experience of the way the state, courts, police and society in general fail women in violent and vulnerable situations.
Recognising that these institutions are inadequately assisting women, her organisations seek to provide a holistic path to empowerment for those who find themselves in these situations.
The services her organisations provide include facilitation of post-traumatic healing; self-mastery skills training; exploration of personal purpose; practical skills training; entrepreneurship; financial education in partnership with Old Mutual; life skills training through Lesedi Life Skills; business start-up facilitation; and networking and social outings for morale and relationship building.
Through this extensive and all-inclusive approach to empowering women, Montsho-Mngoma hopes to not only give women physical and financial support, but also the social and emotional means to rebuild a happy and fulfilled life.
Montsho-Mngoma feels that although there is no best way to deal with gender-based violence, we need to fix the multiple broken or ineffective institutions that refuse to punish perpetrators or protect survivors.
On an individual level, she believes in bolstering women through self-defence, economic empowerment and gender equality, as well as community interventions intended to save women from dangerous situations.
One of her proudest moments has been her inclusion in the Zanele Mbeki Fellowship. This came at a time when she really needed the encouragement and opportunity to see her own value and to feel empowered again after her emergence from trauma. It allowed her to see the possibility of healing through building oneself up and goal attainment. This is a principle she is actively applying in her work.
Montsho-Mngoma’s advice to young women who may look up to her is, firstly,
“be good to yourself”.
To her, this includes nurturing, developing, being kind to, honouring, respecting and loving yourself.
Through these actions, she believes that you will attract the things you want and need while having the wherewithal to reject the things that don’t serve your progress and happiness.
Her second piece of advice is to always be conscious of yourself and your surroundings and to always trust your gut instincts. As many of us know, trusting your gut is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe.