“Take Small Steps Towards the Bigger Goal”

Zubeida is from Cape Town, South Africa. She has a professional background in the financial services industry and has completed qualifications in banking, financial planning and more recently digital marketing. She believes in a philosophy of empowerment through education and understands that people can be empowered as much by life experiences as they could from the formal education system. Zubeida wishes to be an empowerment enabler, through helping shape the women and youth of South Africa through planting the seeds of hope that with the right mindset and an attitude of excellence in execution, anything is possible! Zubeida Allie's mentor is Angela Chester-Johnson.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story! 

A: South Africa is a relatively new democracy, having celebrated 23 years of democracy in April 2017. The country has a population that is diverse in ethnicity and culture, and is referred to as the rainbow nation. The country has 11 official languages. I am currently on sabbatical, having spent the last 16 years within the corporate world. 

I have varied interests which are centred around people, education and self- development. I am currently completing a CELTA course with the aim of spending the next few years travelling around the world while learning about new countries, cultures and people.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: We live in a time of extreme convenience enabled by technology, yet we still find our lives to be rushed. There is still too much focus on consumerism and not enough on sustainable growth and the resultant effects of depleting our natural resources.

I would say a better world is one where humans find balance within themselves, and are able to live sustainably within the greater ecosystem.

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: The country has experienced a period of economic growth in the past, but is now in a period of slow growth. Although we now have more people who are educated beyond degree level, the unemployment levels are at its highest. There are some challenges in terms of resources like electricity and water in some provinces.

Q: As a woman what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: I believe one of my biggest hurdles was discovering what I aimed to achieve in my life without taking societal pressure into account.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: I make decisions based on researching a topic and exploring various outcomes. Once a decision has been made, the delays usually come as a result of self-doubt which leads to inaction.

It is great to be able to speak to Angela about my fears and doubts, the perspective and support bring a greater level of clarity.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: Your decisions have to make sense to you and give you a feeling of fulfilment.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: "He who knows enough is enough will always have enough." - Lao Tzu

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.  

A: Angela encouraged me to act with faith in my ability when I doubted myself. She encouraged taking small steps towards the bigger goal.