Dr. Boyce Spotlight: Meet the Reigning Mrs. Botswana

Being a wife and mother is already a full-time job and likely the most important job that any person can ever hold in life.  But Nomalanga Mhlaui-Moses has never been one to be average.  In addition to being there for her young family, Mrs. Mhlaui-Moses is an Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and founder of an organization that provides, among other things, life strategies for success for Black Women and College students.

Oh, by the way, she is also the reigning Mrs. Botswana for 2011 and preparing to compete in the Mrs. World pageant in just a few months.   It is due to her enduring commitment to excellence, intelligence and empowerment of those around her that Nomalanga Mhlaui-Moses is today’s Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on Your Black World.

 

1) What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses. I am a Life Strategist for Black Women and College students. I am an Assistant Professor of Professional Studies at a local college and I am the founder and CEO of NOMA UNlimited (www.nomalanga.com) which offers success programs that focus on achieving individual goals through Personal Development. The programs I offer come in the form of keynotes, audio programs, workshops and seminars and also individual life coaching programs.

2) You were recently named Mrs. Botswana. Was it difficult to win this crown and how has it changed your life?

Being awarded the Mrs. Botswana crown was not difficult but it was a long process. The two issues that I had to deal with were that I live mostly in the United States and that makes it challenging to enter a pageant in my country of birth, Botswana. The other issue was that no Botswana organizations were willing to host the event so the crown was awarded through an intense interview process. Being Mrs. Botswana has enriched my life in that it has given me a platform to do meaningful work. I am currently in the process of setting up a Foundation (Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses MOSETSANA* Foundation) through which I will focus on programs that help to prevent teenage pregnancy for high school girls and also give scholarships to these young women to finish their high school education, buy uniforms, books and supplies. *The word “Mosetsana” means girl or young woman in Setswana.

3) How do you balance between being a wife, a mother and a career woman?
I believe that balance is something that any woman who has a family as well as a career is always working at improving. There are two things that make it work:

1. Prioritizing-When our lives get busy; it is possible to get pulled in many different directions so prioritizing is very important. I start every day with a list of objectives/goals and anything else that comes up, unless it is an emergency, has to wait. My objectives vary from work tasks such as grading papers or home life events such as taking my baby girl, who is four years old, to see a movie like “Rio” that we went to see a few weeks ago.

2. Getting help-I believe that one thing that black women have in common is that we believe ourselves to be strong and independent but sometimes that translates to us not asking for help when we need it. I have a husband and we are raising our children and building our lives together as a team; it does not all fall on either one of us to do any one thing. I get help with housecleaning, babysitting, administrative task-basically anything that I don’t necessarily have to do myself, even if I have to pay a small monetary fee for the help.  The way that we lose balance in our lives is by believing that we can do everything and be all things to all
people, which is not realistic.

 

4) Tell us about your family background and how you ended up where you are
today.
In the 1930s, when South Africa was still under Apartheid, my grandfather fled to Botswana and consequently married a Motswana woman.  My Father was born and raised in Botswana and so was I. While we love our beautiful Botswana, we still identify ourselves as Xhosas who originate from the former Transkei in South Africa.  I originally came to the United States in my very late teens to attend college and after college I married a wonderful man (American) and we now have three beautiful children, one of which is my step daughter.  My husband, who was born and raised in Miami Florida, has had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting Africa as we travel to Botswana at least once a year to visit our family members who still live there.

5) What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to take a more active role in advocating for young black women, both here in the US, as well as across the world. I am currently developing a college course (Learning Community Seminar) that I will teach at my college of employment which is designed to explore the issues of minority women today. My desire is to contribute to positively shifting the image of black women which, unfortunately, has been grossly misinterpreted and attacked.

Since the birth of my son, two years ago, I have also become more invested in doing what I can make sure that young black men (and women) are afforded the same opportunities, respect and honor as their counterparts from other races and cultural backgrounds. I am aware that it is a little selfish, but I believe that, as parents, we are responsible for creating a future in our communities that our children can thrive in.

6) Is it difficult preparing for the Mrs. World pageant?

I personally have not perceived that preparing for the Mrs. World pageant is difficult. My intention is to just be the best of who I am, which is how I live my life anyway. The only challenge that I have is not knowing exactly when the pageant will be because it was postponed due to a travel ban to the original host country. I’m excited to represent both the beautiful married women of Botswana and the United States.

7) Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Your Black World
audience?

The one lesson that I have learned and am constantly reminded of is that fear is a part of our nature but it is not an excuse to play it small. We all have a unique set of gifts and talents and we have an obligation to ourselves and the world to show up, speak up and do what we can to contribute to positive change.

 

If you or someone you know would be a good subject for a Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight, please send your information in by clicking here. In addition, please email us at info@yourblackworld.com to let us know that you’ve submitted your information.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

    This beautiful sister would send a more powerful message to all black women, by taking that european hair off her head..We need to have black women respect what mother nature, father time gave to them and not walk around with that dog hair on their heads..This is why we are having issues in our communities, because we identify with the europeans too much..The minute sisters stop altering their hair, they will be able to think clearly and help to overthrow this system of racism/white supremacy…

  • Diana

    Thank you Shakka well said. It like some sistas are so ashamed of their natural. I won’t lie I too used to chemicals to straighten my hair out but all it did is make my hair more dry & thinner. Of course that was when I was in kid back in the late 70s & 80s when black woman especiall had to adapt their hairdos to fit European society. I’m proud to say that I have been chemical free for the past 15 years and I would not change it for the world

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

      Well said sister..We need to pass the word on to there sisters and some of these brothers (Snoop Dogg) who are walking around with permed hair and effeminate hairstyles…

  • http://twitter.com/MzMaboo Dineo Maboe

    The state of hair does not make the person within. It is as simple as that. If you feel and only see that to be African you have to be natural, then you need to study the history of the continent a bit more. There are groups of people like the Himba people of Namibia who lengthen their hair with earth. Now you are going to say that earth is natural but you are not questioning them. I will add too the Ancient Egyptians who wore wigs because of the problem of lice ie they were bald. Does this make them unAfrican? And what of braids and cornrows and if your hair doesn’t grow long enough for it to happen naturally? Why should one be denied of this form of self expression?
    It is easy to blame hair and make it the whipping boy for the problems of Africans and Africaness and to leave out things such as broken families and poverty and disease which cause more damage to our people than any hair style could. 
    Can I tell you that in Nigeria, locks and natural hair are frowned upon for women because you do not look dressed? Men must have their hair short! A Nigerian barber will even refuse to cut your hair as a woman, you may even lose out on a job opportunity BECAUSE of your natural hair. This feels to me, an African woman, as further enslavement because it is not physical – it is mental and made to thumb us down even more. I will not even mention Eritrea where if your hair is not braided and left loose, everyone will have something to say about your dignity as a woman.
    What you do with your hair is your choice and business. I keep my hair short because for me, it looks better that way. It grows both straight, wavy and curly and is not manageable in any other way (I don’t have the patience to braid and locks take too long to lock etc etc to all the other styles I have tried since I was a child). To have it grow out, people always ask me if I am African or not. How can my hair define whether or not I am African or African enough? Can I refer you to Former President Thabo Mkebi’s speech ‘I am An African’ to assist you further?
    As it is said in the US, everything ain’t for everybody. I think it is time to start tackling real issues and leave the weaves, waves and afros out of this. I used to think like this but I have moved on because whatever my hair looks like, I still have pride and wear it tattooed on my right bicep. How you carry yourself is far more important and the world is more interested in what you can bring to the table then if you wear a doek or relaxer. 
    And as for Ntate Shakka Zulu, I hope you wear only a bheshu and not pants because id you want to take it there, that would be also be a European thing to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shakka-Zulu/1379420279 Shakka Zulu

      Whatever your hair looks like gives the first outward message as to your philosophical outlook on issues as they pertain to yourself as an Afrikan person..Black people in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Liberia are very white identified..Some of these people have european names, are strong advocates of the christian, and islamic fate and are dying and killing themselves over a religion that does not benefit them, but the europeans..These same people are using bleaching creams, colored contacts, altering their hair by using a product with the main ingredient name lye..How amusing, you telling a lie to yourselves by using lye on you head..Black hair grows with water and natural oils..I have relatives whose hair would only grew to a certain length with perms, after removing those perms and going natural, their hair is down their backs..You can wearing natural hair in corporate amerika, so telling this bogus crap about appearances is just that, bogus..We have got to let other people respect us for ourselves and not carbon copies of them..We have hair being stolen from beauty shops across amerika, and sold on the street so black women can continue this lie to themselves, while white people look at you and see the self hate, and fraud you’re perpetrating to yourselves…Indigenous peoples around the globe have always used things found in nature from animal hair, mud, beads, even hair shaved off the heads of females within their groups, to add to their own, enhancing themselves..Since this woman is talking to young women, mostly of color, about self issues them she needs to exhibit the same self love for herself by not looking like a european negro…

  • http://twitter.com/MzMaboo Dineo Maboe

    And since you mentioned Snoop and his compadres, watch Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ documentary and here why he has his hair the way he does.