• Dawn Faith


Growing up as a little girl in Kwa-Mashu there were only ever 4 people that influenced and shaped my life; God, my grandmother, Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey. I have always believed that if I just stayed in the shadow of these folks that I would be alright.

All four helped me to desire more out of life and to genuinely believe that not only was it my right to demand more, but that if I was determined and worked for it, life would give me more. I am so pleased that though my relationship with God has been tested over the years, we've continued to be home boys/girls. As for my grandmother, she gave me all she could and then passed away sooner than I would have liked. The biggest tragedy was that she never got to see me become (and becoming) all the things she'd dreamt for me and worked so hard to avail. So all I had left was Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey...

At the age of 26, the not-profit-organisation I co-founded got to work with Nelson Mandela's 46664, and though I never got a chance to meet him personally, it was still my greatest privilege to be directly in partnership with his mission through his organisation. I broke into tears when I was shown THE ORIGINAL notebook where he wrote his bestseller 'Long Walk to Freedom'. Along with this notebook, I saw his very first passport and letters he wrote to his then wife Mrs. Winnie Madikizela Mandela. And that was enough for me, it was as if I had met the man himself.

Only one more person left, Miss Oprah Winfrey.

As God would have it (cause I don't believe in coincidences), I was invited to speak at a conference held at her school in South Africa, the winter of 2012. Oh boy was I giddy or what?!!! It was such a big deal for me that my mother drove over 800km just to see me for herself. I left the school feeling so fuelled by her life, her kindness and her generosity. Her commitment to humanity and purpose, left me speechless, which is VERY rare for me:) Not that I needed it, but her life began to validate mine and my dreams in a way I had never imagined before. It reminded me of the very first time I bought the O Magazine. I spend money FAST! But when it came to holding the next O Magazine in my hand, I would rather starve, because I wanted to be reminded that a young black girl, raised by her grandmother under strenuous circumstances really could rise above those circumstances and reclaim as well as redefine her life. Oprah's story is soooo similar to my own, it's a bit weird really....

Anyway, last night when I saw her in Melbourne, I couldn't even scream. I took in the wisdom, I soaked in the fire and I thanked God for her. That He would make her my mirror... I can, cause she did and for that she is my SHERO!

Love you Miss O!


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