Dzivhu Precious Tshiwalule, a Dietician and co-founder of UPower Africa is one woman who makes being a superwoman seem easy. She attributes her balance in life to knowing and understanding her life’s purpose. As a wife and professional, she refuses to be limited by just her talent but strives to break new grounds.
She is also the author of an informative book on eating right, ”Shaping your Attitude towards Healthy Eating.” Lerato Motshana, our SLA contributor had the chance to talk with this awesome and passionate woman.
Tell us about UPower Africa
UPower Africa is a youth development initiative focused on developing disadvantaged students, especially in remote rural areas. We help them gain access to basic information and education.
So far, we have branches in Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia. And in South Africa, every province has a UPower Africa manager.
How did you become a part of UPower Africa?
Co-incidentally, my husband is the founder of UPower while I am the co-founder. My husband grew up in poverty and so naturally, he feels obliged to help kids in rural areas who are going through what he had experienced first-hand.
Aside being a co-founder, what are your other roles in UPower Africa?
In addition to being a co-founder, I am also a member on the UPower Africa board. We are currently involved in a couple of projects, but I’ll mention a few. We donate computers, school shoes, online university applications and motivation to students in schools. I oversee these projects, liaise with provincial managers, and provide assistance where necessary.
UPower Africa is not a typical NPO. How were you able to achieve that?
I am inspired by the evident success and progression of those we’ve been able to help and motivate. Meanwhile, UPower Africa is just three years old but we’ve recorded successes in helping people get into universities.
Let’s talk about your book, what’s it about?
I wrote a book titled “Shaping your Attitude towards Healthy Eating”, and it extensively addresses the attendant health consequences of not eating right.
The book is significant to me because as a first-year student in 2005, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. As a Dietician and from the knowledge gathered, eating right contributes so much to good health. I never got to know the cause of the tumour but through research, I have come to believe there was a link to the kind of food I ate.
So, I decided to write a book, highlighting the importance of healthy eating and how to keep chronic health conditions like cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetics at bay.
Is healthy eating the ultimate solution to chronic health conditions?
Evidently, food plays a huge factor but there are other factors like smoking and so on.
Let’s move on to less serious stuff. What do you do for fun?
I am usually so busy and actually don’t relax much. I do a lot of seminars on purpose discovery and the like. I am also involved in a lot of church activities, indoor exercises, and travelling. Obviously, I don’t engage in a lot of what people qualify as fun.
UPower Africa, book-writing, being a Dietician, a mother, how are you inspired?
I am excited and driven by my life experiences and the need to be of help to the next person.
What would you say to an African young woman who views marriage as the ultimate life goal?
Marriage can be beautiful if you are married to the right partner. My husband and I enjoy a unity of focus and that has helped our marriage. Notwithstanding, I don’t believe marriage is the ultimate life goal. A purpose-driven life should be the goal for everyone, man or woman.
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