D.I.V.A of the Month – September 2011

D.I.V.A of the Month – September 2011

Nokupiwa Katom, the confident self starter from Stellenbosch tells us about the power of forgiveness in building self esteem.

Lelemba: Who is Noku?
Noku:  Noku is Nokuphiwa Katom, 3rd born of 8, originally from Eastern Cape in Ngcobo and now based in Cape Town-Stellenbosch. She is a woman who is passionate about self development and knowing who you are.

Lelemba: Tell us a bit about your family life and what you do for a living?
Noku:  Huhhh Lele! I am a mother, sister, and a daughter. I can not live without my family. I feel safe around them, and they motivate me to be grounded. Everthing I do, I do it for  them… “for now” or *while am still single*

Lelemba: LOL! You also run two organizations – Inspired Women in Stellenbosch and Single Parents Association in Khayelitsha – how did this come about?
Noku:  I created both of them because of my personal experiences. I have learned a lot of things the hard way. Both projects share the same goal – to build self esteem, self reliance, self acceptance and to find your purpose on earth so that you may live a purposeful life.

I started the Single Parents Organization (an NGO) because I was one of those girls who fell pregnant at a young age. I suffered from low self esteem big time! This led me not to continue with my studies and I moved to Cape Town to look for a job to provide for my child. After a long journey of trying to find who I am, I decided to forgive myself and my past (that was not easy) and I am telling you after that, God opened my eyes!

Lelemba: Its awesome that you used experiences that would otherwise be perceived as ‘bad’ to create organizations that help others get over the things you went through too. How do you manage to balance your work and the organizations with your family life especially being a single mum? 
Noku:  Without the support from my family and friends, I guess I wouldn’t manage. But my sisters are always there for me. So much that I don’t even have to ask them to look after my boy- they volunteer.  Luckily my work is not all that demanding and I run the organizations part time, over the weekends.

Lelemba: You said you suffered self esteem issues growing up –looking at you now and how confident you are and the wonderful work you do – it’s hard to believe that. How did this transformation happen?
Noku:  As much as I am a Christian, there were so many issues “in me”. I did not know who I was or what my purpose was. In 2008 whilst I was working at Robertson, I went to a Christian book store where I bought a book by T.D Jakes called “Woman thou art loosed”. I recommend that book to every woman with esteem issues. It tells you who you are, and how to forgive. My main problem was forgiveness hence in my projects I emphasize this important subject. You will never be happy if you are holding grudges in your heart, I learnt that when you forgive, you do not do it for the other person, but for  yourself. And when you forgive you may feel that you are sacrificing a lot and that it is not easy……but it is worth it! Often I hear people say: “Move on” but I say “Forgive and move on” I believe that people are holding their success by not forgiving.

Lelemba: Wow, I agree that grudges do hold us back from success. Are you in a relationship right now?
Noku:  How I wish :)…..I am so single Lele!!! But I do not panic, it will happen all in good time. I am waiting for that someone who will sing this song to me “Help me be the best man I can be”*serious face* and I am ready to make that someone happy one day.

Lelemba: 🙂What have some of the highlights of your life and/or businesses been?
Noku:  Starting the Single Parents NGO was one highlight. Being offered a slot by Radio Zibonele(community radio station in Khayelitsha) in April 2011 was another. Ohhh and how can I forget this one!  The organizations 1st annual event on Women’s Day 2011 under theme: YOU ARE A ROLE MODEL and having you Lelemba as a speaker. Being interviewed by Umhlobo wenene fm, and true fm – radio station based in Eastern Cape.

Lelemba: *smiling* And what are some of the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Noku:  Accepting who I am and where I come from. “You can not change where you come from but you can change where you are going”. I am doing just that. I don’t get intimidated anymore when people say negative things about me because I know who I am and where I am going. I do not allow anyone to look down on me. I love and respect myself and other people so I expect them to do the same.

Lelemba: Bravo!!! Who/what else inspires you?
Noku:  My bible, to be specific: Jerm 29:11 says “I have plans for you, not for disaster but for a hopeful future” when I feel like things are not going my way, I always remind myself that God still has plans for me!  People like you Lelemba.  So young and so down to earth and willing to help. We really need more people like you who are willing to share the information and knowledge they have.

Lelemba: I am humbled by your kind words. Where to from here? Can you share what some of your dreams or goals are?
Noku:  OMG! My dream is to see Single Parents Organization in all 9 of our Provinces …even international. At the moment resources and funding are the main challenges. I would also love to run a radio show someday at national level.

Lelemba: I am certain you will! Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. I am sure it will encourage a lot of people out there.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Pastor sibitane

    She is a star and true inspiration we love you Noku you are a blessing and a gud example to our ladie
    Thank and God bless you.

  2. Patricia Blackpearl Maliwa

    Wow Noku ths is powerful sisi,nt many women in our tym turn negative past to positive future bt u did,keep it tp,we learning from u

  3. Ntombekhaya Pindo

    I love you soo much Noku,you really inspired me today with Words of Wisdom,Encouraging and Faith.

    Fly High gal,the sky is the limit and with God everything is possible!!

  4. Khanyisa Tyoda

    Mhhhhh…. I’m Inspired

  5. Enoch Hohlo

    my dearest
    i am very happy that you came through, i have all the hope that you will make me and everyone else who needs you very proud.
    its not going to be easy, but i know you have the strength.

  6. Johnny Chabalala


    i know Lelemba personally, she is an amazing woman.


  7. Yolisa Sogayise

    Wow.. Dreams can come through if you know the vision and the mission but don’t forget the values. It is Single parents Organisation. Your dream will come through if you are grounded as you are saying you are Noku.

    Be a villager helped you a lot because you know how to fetch water from the river that somehow helps you to get the discipline you have.

    The sky is the limit. people’s lives need to be changed.

    MAN: it’s not easy to bring man in workshop like this although they are single parents as well. It’s a challenge not a problem.

    I love loving you.

  8. putter-putter

    you are such an inspiration noku!

  9. Sabelwesihle Ngcobo

    Katom is the reason I believe that winners are born and only they can hinder the attainment of their success.
    I see Oprah Winfrey in Katom. She is who she is in public and in private and WOW the respect I have for such.
    Shine on Ntombemhlophe!!!!! “Its breacause of the brightness of your future that I wear glasses”

  10. Lakhe Ngxokela

    Wow, this is a great story. it’s always good to see young people taking all the stones that have been thrown by life’s challenges on them and build a bridge that would lead them to their calling. I believe that the experiences we go through in our lives have everything to do with our calling. Am so inspired Noku, I wish I could see many young people looking at the positive side of their painful experiences. Last Sunday my father said ‘A wounded lion is more dangerous than a lion that has never been wounded’…..with the scars that u bear u are a threat to the devil…. Go Noku, u are a role model….. Thanx Lele for sharing the story with us 😉

  11. Fano

    I love you. I thank u-Thanda Ndaba for introducing me to you. Everything you see and touch turns silver/gold, woman with multiple talents. May all your wishes and dreams come through.

    Thank God for knowing you.


  12. Lady L

    Words fail me when it comes to this Noku, HUMBLE, LOVING creation, u r a VISIONARY that does the HARD WORK 2 achieve those visions always with a smile…NO LAUGHTER(lol). A MOVER & SHAKER. Her secret weapon GOD.
    U my friend keep me focus & motivated that is why I love u.

    Now u r counted as those who make things happen CONTINUE, don’t loose heart : ).

    Ooh can’t wait for that book u will publish hey ; ).

  13. Nathan

    Noku is truly an inspiration!

  14. Mpesh

    Wow! You are a true inspiration gal, this country need more people like you. Keep it up and God bless you.

  15. Nokuphiwa Katom

    Appreiation in abundance good people

    Massive Love

  16. Yavela

    WOW!!! Noks my dear friend I’m so proud of you keep up the good work… you’re such an inspiration

  17. ZIMASA

    WOW my beautiful intelligent friend, you such a diva girl. and guess what am reading that book now by TD JAKES just bought it lastweek. keep it up gal am so proud of you. GOD BLESS YOU!

  18. khethani

    WOOW, there are very few great people i have met in my life so far who influenced who i am today but i believe that if i met you earlier in life i would have been an even greater person now.

    words can’t fully express my deepest appreciation for your presence in my life.

  19. Lola Coutts

    Morning Noku

    It would be a pleasure to meet with you. My rooms are in Somerset West, just give me a day and time that would suit you and we could arrange a meeting.

    Kind regards

  20. Olwethu Nqevu

    I am newly inspired. Thank you my lady for being who you are. You are motivating us to learn a whole lot about ourselves and gain on the challenges if we see them as opportunities to grow. My next step is to find that book by TD Jakes. Keep smiling 🙂

  21. Lulama Thole

    Whoow Noku dreams do come through.

  22. Nonkosi Kwintshi

    Am proud of you tsala, we need more Noku’s in this world. You are an inspirationto all women out there, as a single parent to a handsome guy and a beautiful girl I know its a struggle!!! We keep going because of people like you!!! Am proud of you my friens Xesibe!!! God bless…..

  23. Nomonde Ntlekeni

    Ntinga ntakandini!!!!

Comments are closed.