Nothemba Mxenge

Nothemba has been coaching since 2013 through her practice Epiphany Coaching and Consulting Pty (Ltd). She graduated from the Professional Coaching Course in 2017, and a few years later began serving on the faculty at the Centre for Coaching in South Africa as a PCC Leader in Training. At the time of this interview, Nothemba was celebrating her tenth year of coaching. Her reflections below were not only a gift to our community but a way of marking this milestone. Enjoy learning more about Nothemba!

What led you to this work? What were you doing before?

I was led to this work through a series of major breakdowns in my personal and professional life that left me feeling lost and confused about the direction my life was taking. Thankfully, my mentor encouraged me to seek out an integral coach to help me make sense of my changing world. My coaching experience was an “epiphanous moment” that reshaped and redefined my life.

I sometimes describe the moment as “my soul opening up”. It truly changed my life as I came into contact with glimpses of my true and authentic self. It catalysed and unleashed spaces in me that I was scared to face, acknowledge, or even accept. I began to shed limiting beliefs and false identities that had unknowingly held me back. I saw an indication of a more powerful self and began to embrace her in a welcoming hug.

This was simply a profound transformative journey that jump-started my coaching practice. It allowed me to gently transition from a 15-year long corporate career in engineering, manufacturing and mining. I was enveloped by a nurturing and supportive community of guides, teachers, sages and healers.

What do you remember about being a student in the PCC? What was the biggest transformation you experienced?

A lasting memory or feeling has always been just how overwhelming Coaching for Development and the PCC were for me. Coming from an engineering, manufacturing and mining background, I felt as if I had been thrown into a foreign world with a weird and unfamiliar language. As jarring as that was, it was also intriguing for me and I felt deeply pulled towards understanding this new space! I was fully engaged, optimistic, excited and willing to just learn!

The biggest transformation was “breaking through my shell” and allowing others in to see me! I grew up as deep introvert – safe and happy in my cave! I didn’t like the spotlight, talking or even sharing any details about myself. So being seen (and heard) by others was an unfamiliar intimate encounter with self. It unkinked, loosened and softened me up to become more approachable, reachable and accessible. I felt more like myself!

When and how did you know that you wanted to be a teacher and a leader in this work?

I instinctively knew from the moment I embarked on my coaching journey in 2013. During my PCC certification in 2016 I reiterated this to the panel! I declared it. So I always knew! The “how” or “when” was not as clear, but I always knew!

Since starting to teach, what have you been learning from students?

The teaching of the work has re-ignited my respect for the sacredness of the work. It is like falling in love with it all over again. With every teaching moment or student encounter, I find myself marveling at the vastness of what this work makes possible. I keep learning what it means to truly be an integral coach. It allows me to keep embracing and dedicating myself to a life-long journey of learning to be an integral coach and teacher.

Through teaching I have also learnt to be courageous with my words; to be humble as I learn from the students; to be gentle, patient and kind with each student’s learning journey; to be considered in how I give feedback; to remain open and curious about human development and to trust the process of learning for myself and others. I have also learnt to allow others’ learning process to unfold and not to rush it and to truly “meet them where they are”.

It has been a privilege to connect with each student – who inevitably leave an imprint in my soul!

What do you feel you bring uniquely to this work?

My vision for this work has been about contributing to the healing of the inter-generational wounding and suffering. I want to contribute to opening up hearts to healing thereby contributing to spreading more love in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our workplaces, and countries.

Simply put this will allow me to “empower others to live consciously, purposely and meaningfully.” What I bring to the faculty is a calm, curious and observant way of being – seeing and listening deeply into the suffering of others! From that place, I bring a different voice and insightful perspective to what might be in the field.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forwarding to progressing an ideal I articulated in my PCC certification essay: “An Afrocentric Perspective to Integral Coaching” – adding and weaving African history, culture, philosophy, religion, tradition, rituals, practices, narratives, stories, languages etc. into the discipline of coaching. This will allow coaching to have a bigger and louder voice in African communities (rural villages, farm schools, homes, homesteads, churches, community halls etc.) where personal healing, growth, transformation and change extends beyond speaking to elders, priests, pastors, accessing counsel from ancestors and / or praying to God. This will serve to elevate the status of Afrocentrism (language and practice) to a celebrated, credible, meaningful, integral way of being a human being. A foreign yet familiar approach to humanity.”

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