Brenda Ndlovu, also known as MaBrrr because of her positive and energetic vibes on radio, is a warm-hearted, bubbly, self-driven woman who desires to see other women unlock their potential and exceed limitations. Brenda was born and raised in Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe.
“I grew up in a middle-class home,” Brenda told The Weight She Carries. “We had the basics. My parents tried their best to do the best for us.”
Brenda was 18 years old when she became a mother, and gave birth via C-section. Being a teenage mom was difficult. While her age-mates were applying for university, she had to put her studies aside to raise her child. But she found joy in her baby boy.
“There were days when my heart would sink when I saw girls my age still going to school, but I had to face the reality that I was now a mom and a soon-to-be wife,” she said.
“At first, the father of my baby was there, young as he was. When I found out I was pregnant, he gave me the support and ensured the baby had all its needs by the time of delivery. I was extremely anxious at first and thinking, ‘Oh my word. What will my family say?’
“They were disappointed and upset at first but later accepted the situation. I was in love with my baby’s father and was always positive that we would build a happy family. Little did I know that it was puppy love and things would not go as expected.
“My parents and siblings were my support system, especially my mother. She was there every step of the way.
“After the birth of my son, things were slightly different because I was now dependent on the father of the child to care for us. Traditional marriage arrangements were discussed between both families, and we ended up living together. We had a second child but I soon discovered that I was not ready for marriage.
What led to my separation
After the second child, things went sour when he became unemployed. I had to start hustling to try and cover all gaps, thinking it was short-term. Little did I know that the situation would be like that for the next eight-plus years.
He would always say, ‘There are no jobs,’ and I was the one burdened with fending for the family, which is against our beliefs. A man has to work and fend. He stayed home for eight years and did nothing.
At one point, I was a tomato farmer and a cross-border trader. I even tried to venture into mining just to try and fend for the children. I was a hustler, and I had a positive and determined mindset. I knew I was destined for something better than just being an uneducated hustler.
I made the decision to separate. We were only customarily married as I had cancelled three wedding dates before and later discovered God made it that way for a reason. I had always believed I was destined for greatness, and my voice was meant to be heard and change lives.
Lessons learnt from my experience
- Never ever get married to anyone before you know who you really are. Discover your identity as an individual first and discover your God-given purpose before you settle down or get married to anyone.
- In the midst of those challenges, I learnt to be a hard worker and to think outside the box in order to try to make ends meet. Since I was uneducated at that time, I had to be on my toes to make it work. I knew that if I did not sell anything, the children would not eat, rent would not be paid, and school fees would be in arrears. I also learnt to be resilient.
- Try and do everything right the first time. Avoid second chances at all costs.
- Never ever try to please everyone, especially a partner. Always make yourself happy. Your happiness counts. Be content and be happy with yourself first before you go out there to do stuff, be it marriage, jobs, businesses, etc.
- Have patience because good things come to those who wait.
Do I have any regrets?
I definitely do not regret having my kids. They are indeed a blessing, and I love them to bits. There were regrets of getting married customarily while I was still young because I was still a baby myself. The father of the children was also young then, so it was young kids trying to build a home and a marriage, and it does not work well.
I went back to school after the two children, and I believe I have excelled and am doing well so far. The decision to leave that union was not easy, but I had to be bold enough to make me happy; to do what I have always wanted to do; to achieve the dreams I had when I was still young; to go back to that place which God originally set for me. Going back to school was not easy, but I found the strength and courage to fight for what I truly wanted.
What are my key achievements?
Going back to O-level after the two children. Today I’m an international relations and diplomacy graduate. I’m an independent radio producer, and I have my radio show hosted by Skyz Metro FM. Skyz Metro FM is a commercial radio station based in the metropolitan province of Bulawayo. The program is called I RISE with Brenda and comes from my story. I believe that anyone can rise up and still fulfil their dreams.
Other accomplishments include:
- Director of ceremonies/host
- Founder of Profilerate Investments (company specializes in corporate wear, gifts and branding and corporate events management)
- Brenda Blessings Trust (ministering the resounding Word of God to young people from the ages of 10–25 years old)
- Entrepreneur – I am running primary school tuck shops and a boutique.
- I sit on various boards of companies in the city of Bulawayo.