Meet Babalwa Fatyi the South African Environmental Scientist who is a wife, mother, poet, author. She is also the managing director for Myezo Environmental Management Services Consulting company, Myezo growth and development institute, and co-owner of the ZenQ fashion line.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution towards the development of the economy, Babalwa has been awarded various accolades.
She won the Standard Bank 2016 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, and in 2016, she won the Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award.
What factors have helped you achieve as much as you have?
The biggest factor that has contributed towards my success is not contradicting who I am. I aim to produce outputs that are authentic. My outputs should be aligned with my inner being and bring me peace.
To ensure this, I’ve made sure that I understand my purpose and that I align my goals with that purpose. That way when I’m faced with challenges, I am strengthened by focusing on my purpose which God revealed to me. Therefore, when I feel out of tune with what I need to do, I talk to friends and to God. They remind me of purpose and keep me on track.
Secondly, I am driven by serving others. I see my gifts and talents as a means to achieve greatness.
You wear many hats, tell us your secret ingredient for achieving it all.
The things that I do revolve around my core and serve my purpose. My responsibility revolves around showing gratitude and taking care of the environment that has been entrusted unto us. Poetry allows me to respect and feed my soul, by nourishing it.
My ZenQ clothing line in an expression of my artistic creativity through clothes. I believe clothes can reflect the essence of who we are. They can show how we feel as well as how we wish to be viewed.
All these different things are just a tangible expression of who I am. My gifts and talents, which are given to me, to fulfill my role as an environmental ambassador and a steward. So I do not wear many hats but I wear one hat: I wear me.
What led you publishing your poetry book “Greetings from My Core”?
Poetry to me is an expression of who I am and a conduit through which I could find my voice and reach out to others and request them to engage with me on some of the matters that affect our society.
Through poetry, I could share my authenticity, experiences and love my surroundings, including its beautiful diverse people I encounter, who inspire me or bring life to those experiences.
This enables me to be more conscious and is also an opportunity for me to give reverence to God.
What can you tell us about your company – Myezo Environmental Management Services consulting?
At Myezo, we seek to serve the environment, communities, and developers through guidance on how to best take care of the land we have. We help developers with regulations and assessing the impact of developments on both the land and the communities.
Through our work, we learn’t that our solutions must be tested by our clients who are our partners. As respect, empathy and listening to others are key in what we do, we must incorporate all the diverse views we face.
How has Myezo developed in terms of creating jobs?
Our greatest strength is our heart for youth and solidarity to the challenges our country face in terms of unemployment and poverty alleviation. We aim to bring to life the National Development Plan goals by playing a role within our areas of influence and capacity.
Through providing a platform, we’ve helped youth penetrate into the job market and therefore provided them with the needed resources to improve their lives and their families.
The youth were not only exposed to scientific knowledge but also to self-awareness, project management, and organizational skills among others.
What does the Myezo Growth and Development Institute do?
At this institute, we do coaching and mentoring through our collaborations with some universities. We contribute to ensuring that there are no wide gaps between what is taught at schools and what industries expect from graduates.
Our other collaborations with other organizations include projects such as the Princess D Menstrual Cup. Through this, we hope to put girls back to school and not miss out on learning due to natural biological processes.
This is aligned with our environmental stewardship role as this cup reduces the sanitary pads that go to the landfill or medical waste disposal sites.
Finally, together with the Tsogang Re Direng Youth Foundation, we empower girls with career selection decisions and also help connect them to skills development opportunities. These include skills such as events management of vintage recycling where they learn practical environment-friendly skills that generate income.
What do you do to relax?
I’m a very outdoor kind of person. So for fun, I take walks at the nature reserves around my neighborhood. This helps me find peace and tranquility in just giving my self-time to be alone at times and just recharge.
I also believe in being spiritually fed and therefore fellowship with other believers. Other than this, I spend time with my husband, family, friends. Listening to the sound of my kid’s laughter and running around brings joy to my life.