Grace Anne is a young woman, a visionary and an aspiring leader who seeks to make positive change in the society she lives in and beyond. She is the eldest child of two and said that she was shy and timid growing up.
“I grew up in a calm and sound environment,” Grace told The Weight She Carries. “My parents are pastors and evangelists, and that somehow groomed me to be a quiet, timid and shy child growing up because holding the status of pastors’ child meant all eyes were on me. Also, my body size made things worse for me. I was very slim, even to date. So I felt I did not have a voice, and my self- esteem was very low.”
It was only after high school that Grace decided to turn what seemed to be her weakness into a strength. Her first step was to join public speaking, which started working so well that she made it a point to represent young people across all boards. Today, Grace is well-known for her talk show, The Grace Anne Talk Show. She spoke to TWSC about how and why she began it.
“The reason behind the talk show is the fact that I was doing live sessions on social media platforms and noticed that most people want to know [about the] lives of people who are well accomplished in different sectors. But people do not always have access to live social media platforms, so I thought a YouTube channel would work as people can view it even if it is not in real time.
I realised that most people would want to know of celebrity lifestyles, especially how the person started, which is where all the inspiration comes from. So the show has enabled me to interview individuals from around Bulawayo (the second largest city in Zimbabwe) and other areas in Zimbabwe. So I am not only interviewing celebrities but entrepreneurs or individuals who have accomplished unique successes or achieved certain unique recognition in society so we can know where they started.
What motivates you?
What motivates me in life are situations that occur daily as I believe it gives you a training ground and processes that will change you into a better person. So the different challenges I have faced molded me. For example, I have been through a lot of issues that affected my mental health such as financial [strain], emotional breakdown and depression. But I have come out stronger, for I believe [that for] gold to come out refined, it has to go through the fire.
Most of all, I am also motivated by the Word of God. God is my greatest motivation.
What do you understand by personal growth, and how have you grown over the years in your business and career?
Personal development to me is to build yourself and have the ability to pick up every broken piece and be able to grow. It is training oneself and being able to say, ‘I want to make a difference.’ It also involves investing in oneself before you change others. This way you have greater impact.
I believe leaders are readers, so it starts [with] investing in knowledge, so that is something I am very aware of. I make the most out of the mentors I have as I want to tap into the wisdom they give. I have gradually helped people to develop through Own Your Dream Foundation, which is a platform that has allowed me to train and mentor young people.
How did you start work on your show?
I have been working with a team from King Media based in Bulawayo, which comprises of media personnel. I have been using their equipment – that is cameras, lighting. I have been gradually growing and trying to invest in my own equipment. The show is [a few] months old, so we are working on producing more content. All videos are produced in local offices in Bulawayo. We started three months back with the shooting of videos, and we will continue producing more content.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
In five years, I see myself as the voice of young people who will inspire and motivate for growth.
What have been your key achievements?
My key achievements have been the fact that I have achieved lots of networks and communication with people who have inspired my life. It means a lot to communicate and link up with people who have succeeded in different sectors. I have also been awarded and recognised in different platforms for the work that I do. I was chosen to be part of an African entrepreneurship bootcamp in South Africa by an entity called The Village. It really changed my life as I was chosen to be part of 22 entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe to attend this empowering event.
I also received a recognition award from 4-H Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation under the Youth in Innovation. I also received recognition from Ignite Youth as they saw my work and saw that it is making an impact on the lives of youth in Zimbabwe. Above all is that I have been able to mentor over 200 youth in Zimbabwe physically and virtually in different areas.
My advice to young girls is be yourself, and know who you are. No one will remove you from the right path. The secret is knowing who you are and what you want.
My favourite quote is ‘You are your own project. You decide and your actions decide whether you build or break.’