Know your why, follow your heart: A journey towards manifestations
Former Isidingo star Hlubi Mboya-Arnold is an intentional woman. An award-winning actress, activist and serial social entrepreneur, she’s currently in the throes of her MBA at Henley Business School Africa on a Dean’s Scholarship while raising a two-year-old and trying to maintain a consistent workout regime! Hlubi is the Executive Director of Future CEOs, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to create entrepreneurial focused educational initiatives specifically directed at those whose socio-economic circumstances exclude them from accessing top professional development opportunities. She is also the Chairperson of Africa’s first solar-powered cinema network, Sunshine Cinema, a Southern African network of youth impact facilitators who share African Films on Sunbox solar mobile cinemas and SUNCLOUD to spark conversation.
Hlubi was a Founding Member of Sisters Working In Film And Television (SWIFT), which seeks to address the crisis of patriarchy and lack of equity in the industry and Lean In Ambassador of Southern Africa for Lionesses in Africa, an organisation for entrepreneurial women in Africa. It’s her deep calling. Coming from a long line of emotionally resilient women entrepreneurs who instilled a hard work ethic in her, Hlubi maintains that once you are truly aligned with your goals, reaching them becomes less about the grind and the hustle and more about transformational servitude. She was kind enough to spare us some of her precious time to chat about why she chose Henley and what’s on the horizon for her.
Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I will always be creative and through my creativity, my path naturally flowed into social entrepreneurship, and I’ve done great things in that space for over a decade. I’ve built things with other people that I’m proud of. But my first addiction is a growth mindset, and I want to be my best and do my best for my community, my country and for the African continent. What this MBA means to me is that I enhance the credibility of both EQ and IQ. I am brilliant and I seek solid foundations of the global networks that I will attract on this journey. My voice is relevant, valid and authentic.
What made you choose Henley?
Henley came to me more than I went to Henley. Other creatives who have walked this path have been my industry peers and colleagues and we have talked about it. I’ve watched them navigate it and succeed with flying colours. I’ve seen their metamorphosis from being just a creative into becoming creative business tycoons in their fields. Their metamorphoses invigorates me. Academia did not take away their creativity, their entertainment or their artistic genius. It just added another powerful layer to already beautiful and complex humans. This stimulates me.
Most people find the MBA a hectic journey – is it like that for you?
When you’re an artist, life is tough. It prepares you for any other industry. The commitment to it, especially when you’ve been in the game as long as my peers and I have – over 25 years. It’s hard work, it’s dealing with closed doors and rejection, over and over again. It’s putting on a brave attitude, wiping your tears, and soldiering on (with plenty of Faith and Prayer). The Henley MBA is not for the faint hearted and when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I always remind myself of WHY I am doing it!
Looking back, what’s your proudest achievement professionally?
What I’m most proud of is my message to the world, my life of service, through my art, my philanthropy, my social entrepreneurship and definitely through my future businesses. I’m a social justice activist, a humanist and a visionary.
My true gift to the world is the work I do on myself; that of diligent self-mastery.
What would you say about the future of the continent?
In my areas of passion and expertise, I have unwaveringly re-imagined the African education, skill and development systems as a re-designed ecosystem that nurtures, stimulates, identifies and promotes the talents of creatives, with entrepreneurial acumen and tenacity. I would love to be at the heart of this educational experience in South Africa.
I have the grit it takes to work with others to resuscitate an already crumbling economy, worsened by a global pandemic. I am an amplifier of start-ups and believe in providing access to markets and financial resource structures. I deliberately position myself to always be in collaboration to re-develop disciplines where human capital and intellectual capital are essential to deliver sustainable competitive advantage and inclusive socio-economic development. A living, breathing strategy with its roots in Shared Value.
What advice do you have for other black women who want to have a successful career?
Queen, take care of yourself. You are a super woman, but you’re not SuperWoman. There are times when we need to push through to victory, then there are times when we need to nurture ourselves and get some rest. Let’s listen to our inner wisdom to know the difference.
#Rest #Realign #Recover #Readjust #Rejuvenate #Reflect #Relax #Retreat #Repeat
What would you say to people who struggle to make their voice heard and to be taken seriously?
There is no such thing as ‘voiceless’. Only people who are talked over, talked down to, deliberately silenced or preferably unheard. Let’s reclaim our power. Setting healthy boundaries has been a game changer to my mental and emotional wellbeing.
It is not my responsibility to make others feel responsible.
It is not my job to rescue people from their own drama. It’s ok if others get angry. It’s ok to say NO. It’s ok NOT to be ok. It’s my job to make me happy and figure out what brings me joy. It’s not my job to feel and live for others. I have the right to feel my own feelings no matter what anyone else feels about my feelings. Not everyone has to agree with me. No-one has the right to verbally abuse me and that includes my family, friends, partners and co-workers. It’s not ok to enmesh with my thoughts, emotions or other people. It’s ok to spend time alone without explaining myself. I don’t need permission to be who I am, think what I think, and to honour myself. Other people have every right not to like me or disagree with me, but they do not have the right to disrespect me. I have the right to end draining relationships and conversations.
I KNOW THAT I AM ENOUGH.
What does the future hold for you?
I believe it’s important I leave a legacy OF MY OWN that I’ve built for my kids. I feel that the MBA is catapulting that vision and the manifestation thereof.
My true gift to the world is the work I do on myself, through diligent self-mastery.
There is no such thing as ‘voiceless’. Only people who are talked over, talked down to, deliberately silenced or preferably unheard. Let’s reclaim our power.