Invading my soul – A personal narrative by Mpho Mpofu
I was once told that in life there are no coincidences. Life presents carefully planned and God crafted experiences that present situations or people that are there to impart knowledge, skill and support. For the longest time I never paid much attention to this insight but the older I get, the more I understand it to be true. In August 2015, at a Professional’s Speakers Association’s “Food for thought’ themed Women’s event, I met Angelique Du Toit who touched my heart. She pierced into a place inside of me in a profound and significant way. I found myself wondering, how can a stranger have the ability to invade your heart and soul in this way? In this encounter, Angelique shook the very foundations of my being and helped me understand the journey of purpose. She helped me understand how to look at purpose in a new way. What is my God given purpose?
One day after a tea with Angelique we parted ways and was left with uncontrollable sobs overwhelmed by emotion. It was most bizarre as again I thought, who is this woman who invades my soul in this way?
I had had this dream of using my profession to give back to township communities. I had developed a product called Market Research Solutions for Small Business. The purpose was to empower small business in townships with skills and understanding of the importance of market insights in giving a business a competitive edge. Having grown in a township business myself, I watched my family’s legacy crumble as they lacked the market knowledge to evolve with an ever changing consumer and market landscape. I had further watched more and more township businesses shut down as they failed to navigate a new world, a world of choices, empowered consumers and innovation. In observing all this, I realised I was uniquely positioned to make a difference.
I had this barrier in my mind that made me believe that I needed sponsorship to pursue this vision and as a result, the dream remained just that – A dream. After meeting Angelique and delving through a process of personal interrogation, I took a leap of faith and launched a roadshow across townships in Gauteng. I committed what I had and entrusted the rest to God. Here I am in September 2016, having pursued the vision and converted the dream into a lived experience – A reality.
Today I am a beneficiary of a seed planted that has impacted many in township communities. I am blessed with phone calls of small business thanking me for changing their lives and the way they do business and see themselves in a competitive landscape. As I write this, I have made a commitment to take it a step further and reach into communities outside Gauteng and South Africa and no, it really does not matter where the money will come from, all I know is that it will be done.
So Angelique, as your name subtly hints, continue to be an angel to many because in your giving you unleash a power in others that make them instruments of change in other people’s lives as well.
Thank you for invading my soul.
– Written by Mpho Mpofu the founder and Director of Masutane Consulting a Market Research agency and Professional Speaker – Consumer Insight Specialist.