by Siviwe Zibi
33-year-old Gugulethu Ngcobo Sibisi is a mother to a six-year-old boy Uyamangalisa Sibisi that resides at Meyer, South of Johannesburg. Gugulethu is married traditionally to a man she describes as loving and supportive, Sihle Mlamuli Sibisi. Above all these, she’s a philanthropist that is passionate about helping those in need. Losing her mother to HIV/AIDS at the age of 16 meant that she had to understand what death meant at a very young age. A painful experience she recalls. Soon after that her grandmother had to step in and be the mother figure. Gugulethu says that living with her grandmother who was a pensioner was very hard because the money that her grandmother was receiving was at time not enough to sustain the whole family. Gugulethu recalls how she sometimes had to collect unwanted tomatoes from the hawkers in Joburg central just they can have food to eat.
Gugulethu works as a trade officer at one of the major banks in the country. She’s also the founder of Indalo Modeling and Creative Agency, a stylist and specialises in decor in events and weddings. She says that her agency exists to assist young people who need confidence boosting. Gugulethu says she does this by motivating and giving them words of wisdom. Her agency’s logo represents infinity of dreams, creativity and opportunities. She says that her purpose is to give back to the community because she knows the pain of not having something.
“I believe in giving back to the community, I started an initiative whereby we ask for food parcels from Boxer super store and i then donate the food at Vumundzuka-bya Vana Our Children’s Future (VVOCF) an orphanage for children living with HIV/AIDS and children who lost their parents to the virus. It is based in Zonkeziwe, East Rand. I donate food parcels on a monthly basis. I’m also the orphanage’s board member of the orphanage”.
In 2018 she was Mrs Zululand finalist pageant. The pageant empowers and help the women of Zululand by enabling them to increase their cultural awareness by embracing the beauty of their respective cultures and diversities. The pageant focuses on the married, divorced and widowed women between the ages of 25 to 55 and it strives to become a beacon of hope for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
“Becoming a melting pot of women who are brave and compassionate about empowering other women. Ultimately sharing our stories of struggle and success and using them as a tool to inspire and uplift women of Zululand. It also serves as a platform to shed light on certain issues that are faced by women in their communities” said Gugu.
She was awarded with a community impact certificate by Zulu Cherries are Fabulous group because of her hard work, dedication and the change that she brings in people’s lives.
“I would like to encourage young people to believe in their dreams, When you add passion to your dreams your life circumstances will not keep you from achieving them. You are never too old, too poor, too young, or too sick to live your dreams. You might not get there the same way as others but if you start chasing your dreams now you eventually will get there”.