'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure’ - Marianne Williamson
To be honest, I didn’t meet Ndivhudzannyi through SOUL jewellery directly, but rather I was introduced to her via the Cape Town yoga community. It was at the time of heightened worldwide distress sparked by George Floyd’s death and her offering of participatory conversations on racial justice landed my way. I was really inspired by her layered, thoroughly researched approach that she presented in a very clear and honest way to this tricky yet essential conversation. It was her bravery that shone through for me and I reached out to ask if she would consider being a SOUL Nomad and share her inspiring story, to which she replied noting SOUL Design’s values of 'African creativity, local artisans, story telling, donating to initiatives’ and following with 'I am aligned with this all….and would so love to participate in a shoot' We photographed Ndivhudzannyi in her favorite chosen SOUL pieces by the sea, a place she considers sacred and inline with her African spirituality (https://www.ndivhudzannyimphephu.com/).
Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself - where are you from originally, where do you live now and what do you do?Hey! My name is Ndivhudzannyi Mphephu waMasingo. I am a young woman of the VhaVenda cultural heritage. In our cultural context names reflect life purpose and Ndivhudzannyi is a name given to a child who will contribute to the restoration of wellbeing. From as early as I can remember, I have had a calling to work towards creating the conditions for everyone to thrive in wellbeing. I call myself a warrior for wellbeing in person, organisations and communities!
To contribute towards the wellbeing of persons I offer online individual and group guided yoga practices. To contribute towards organisational wellbeing I offer consulting services in diversity, equity, and inclusion competence and practice.
To contribute towards community wellbeing I offer social justice education through writing, talks, workshops, and courses. I have also founded the Critical Action People’s Movement for those seeking to engage in guided critical conscientisation and action for a just and well society.
My parents are originally from Nzhelele, Venda, Limpopo and Makwarela, Venda. As I study my ancestral lineage I am learning that according to written historical records the Vhavenda people broke away from the Rozvi Empire (1684 - 1889, revived 2019) established on the Zimbabwean Plateau and settled in Venda, although there are differing oral traditions of our history. Therefore, in terms of ancestry, I may be of the Bakalanga people from the Rozvi Empire.
I have lived in different parts of South Africa. I was born in Pretoria, Gauteng and lived in Midrand, Gauteng until my dad died when I was two years old. I then moved to Zeerust, North West at two years old, moved to Makwarela, Venda at six years old, and moved to Centurion, Gauteng at nine years old. I then moved to Claremont, Cape Town at 22 years old, four years ago .. and I moved to Randburg, Johannesburg a week ago.
What’s your most memorable adventure?Recently, I have had recurring memories of myself as a child in the waves. I have always enjoyed being in water and the feeling of the motion of the waves after a long day in the water.
How does travel feed your soul?To be honest, I have not traveled much in the past few years. I have been studying, working, and raising a now 6 year old. However, when I have travelled, being in nature, sweet moments with loved ones, and learning about different cultures and indigenous knowledge systems feeds my soul.
They say home is where the heart is. What does ‘home’ mean to you?Home is where I meet divinity. Home is quality time with loved ones. Home is when I am living on purpose. Home is in nature. Home is Africa.
What makes Africa special compared to other places you’ve been to?Africa is where my ancestry lies and I feel connected to this land spiritually. I like to call Africa Mamawethu, meaning our mother. Africa seeks to nurture and nourish all who live in it.
What are your favourite SOUL Design pieces to travel with?There are two pieces that are connected to my African roots as a Venda person. One being the elephant necklace as elephants are the totem animal of my clan, waMasingo, and the other being the cowrie ring which represents water, an important aspect of Venda culture and spirituality.