Returning is a major theme in the first book that life coach Nokubonga Mbanga and beloved DJ Zinhle Jiyane (simply known as Zinhle), have co-written. In Meeting Your Power: Returning Home To Yourself, the idea is that, all too often, people seek external validation, love and power.
But everything they search for is already inside, already in them, already home. The task is to learn how to return there and this book offers practical tips and anecdotes that can be used as a road map.
Another place that returns show up in, is the real lives of these women.
They first met when they had to work together on SABC 1’s reality show, It Takes A Village, which saw them help girls from Zinhle’s hometown, Dannhauser, to tackle the social ills facing the community. But they returned to each other less than a year later.
“Did you want to write a book also?” Zinhle asks Mbanga as she picks food off Mbanga’s plate. It’s as though the question never occurred to her before they started writing together.
Mbanga responds: “I was encouraged by a client before.”
“Oh, at least you were not forced to write this one,” Zinhle smiles mischievously.
The book is dedicated to the daughters of the authors, their mothers and to the daughters of the world. I ask them why there is such an emphasis on the feminine energy. “We are women - our experiences are from a woman’s perspective,” Zinhle says.
Meeting Your Power: Returning Home To Yourself is unpacked through chapters on the comparison trap, the faces of inspiration, gratitude and self-worth. Zinhle mostly writes from her point of view and from her experiences as a child. She takes us through negative recollections like her family calling her lazy, and positive ones which include how her family reinforced the love for music through mini spring-cleaning playlists on Saturdays.
Mbanga always follows those chapters with her own anecdotes from her childhood, and early womanhood in the corporate space. What is especially intriguing is how her life-coaching background allows her to give bullet-point tips that encourage readers to engage with the writing. This is why it was important to the both of them to have space for readers to pen notes after each chapter.
On this style, Mbanga tells me: “The only thing that came from our publisher, Tracey McDonald, is that they want to keep our individual voices so that people can hear the authenticity from each author.”
Zinhle adds: “We sat before each chapter to align our specific thoughts on a subject, and then we had key points that we went home to write about. There was nothing that we disagreed about, and we made sure we were on the same page about the themes.”
There were chapters that resonated with the authors. For Zinhle, it was the second-to-last chapter, Adversity.
“It’s something I’ve gone through, and it was recent,” she tells me. “Even after my experience, I see a lot of women go through what I went through and wish they could do some of the things I’ve done. And I’m not saying what I’ve done is tried and tested, but it worked for me.”
“The funny thing is Pearl (Thusi) and I were talking about heartbreak the other day, and we were saying, at 24 years old, you can get your heart broken, it’s understandable. But when you’re 30-something it’s like, where were you when you got your heart broken? Where did you leave it,” she laughs. “So, Adversity resonated the most.”
Mbanga says the chapters on self worth and managing fear were the ones closest to her heart.
The pair have been on a countrywide book tour and plan to continue to carve out a space in the motivational and inspiration realms.
The next step is “a journal that relies on you as the reader to do exercises,” says Zinhle. “Motivation runs out. It’s like eating food. The sad thing about motivation is that it’s like food, in the sense that you could eat the wrong food. There are so many messages out there, and you could consume positive and negative messages.
“You need to make sure your mind is constantly aligned to where you want to go. Euphonik always says what have you done today to make sure you’re closer to who you want to be?”
Mbanga says: “I think the point is: read the book and decide for yourself what belief you want to form for yourself. To Zinhle’s point about this being like food, you have to choose for yourself what you are going to consume. You can’t do what Zinhle did verbatim, because her context is her own.”
Meeting Your Power: Returning Home To Yourself is available at physical and digital book stores now.