Award winning women advocate, chef and mother of three, Jabu Nomzaza Mpokosa (JM) of Glenwood, born in Inanda says she is a living witness that God is alive. Nomzaza was in a very bad accident a few years ago and was on the brink of death when God gave her another chance in life. She is a woman of many careers which include being a businesswoman and a founder of Asakhane Womens Club which was started in 2006.
Recently she received an invite from the former eThekwini mayor’s wife, Mrs Nxumalo to be a guest speaker at an upcoming women empowerment programme, taking place in Lion Park, Pietermaritzburg, on 17 August.
Tabloid Newspapers (TN) had a chat with her on how she copes as a mother, a businesswoman and her life in the kitchen.
TN: You are a very busy woman, you run stokvels, you are a mother and you love the kitchen, how do you do it?
JM: I am a person who loves challenges, I enjoy tackling many things at once. I am a people person and I believe that Jehova is the one who makes everything work according to plan, in all I do.
TN: Tell us about the women’s club and what inspired you to start it?
JM: The women’s club was started in 2006. I realised that many women have difficulty in dealing with situations alone. Having a club would mean that I could get women into groups and we could share our stories and help each other come up with solutions. At the club we have one on one sessions, we go for holidays, we learn new things from each other. This helps us forget about the universe’s stress and focus on things which make us better people.
TN: You were in a very bad accident in 2013, where you were left unconscious for almost a year, tell us about that?
JM: The accident was really bad. I was in a comma from 2013 to 2014. The doctors told me I had died and come back. I thank God for my life. My arm was broken, my face was scarred, my legs were broken. I am really lucky to be alive. I have had three plastic surgeries, a plate on my head, it was really bad.
TN: Who did you get support from after the accident, how did you cope and get back on your feet?
JM: The interesting part is that I was told I was never going to work again. So after the accident I had to come up with ways to make a living. With the help of my husband, family, friends and more especially the members of my congregation I pulled through.
TN: Do you feel that the women’s club also helped speed up your recovery?
JM: Yes they did when I was in that hospital bed I realised that many women were crying and praying for my recovery, they did not know who they would share their stories with if I did not make it. Some of the women in the club actually depended on the club, the club is where they pour their hearts out. It is just like Drum Magazine’s ‘Sis Dolly’.
TN: You seem like a very spiritual person?
JM: Yes, I am a Christian mother who lives by Jehova’s rules. All I do to help others is inspired by his teachings.
TN: How do you handle being a mom and everything else you do?
JM: It is really challenging, however, I put my family first. I keep a schedule of all my day’s activities and I stick to it. My family understands and knows that I love them. On Wednesday afternoons we put all our cellphones in one basket and we sit and have family time. We pray together, worship, putting everything else aside. I really love being with my family more than anything, but having a plate of food is important too.
TN: You are a chef, you love food and you have had a number of cooking shows, tell us about that?
JM: I love cooking and my dream is to have my own cooking channel one day. I see that the dream is soon to become a reality. I have been on shows with Siba, Nigella and others. I also have my own show on 1 KZN which is still developing. I have also groomed many young chefs who are now working in the prominent hotels in Durban who look up to me as a chef.
TN: Who would like to share a kitchen with and why?
JM: Nigella Lawson, I really enjoyed cooking with her.
TN: You also like travelling, where will you be going to next and why?
JM: Definitely Dubai, I’m expecting to meet some of the top chefs there and hopefully have the opportunity to invite them to SA to be part of my own cooking show.
TN: If your passion was not with cooking and business, what would you be doing?
JM: I want to be a pioneer, serving God. All that comes with money so for now I am working hard to get the money, that will be enough for me to take early retirement so I can live just to tell the world the works of the Lord our saviour.