My Feature | Tumi Ndaba

For as long as I could remember I’ve always been big. I grew up the little chubby cute girl, with big eyes, big hair and dimples.

I ate like any other child does, I was active and played netball, however, I was still chubby. I was bullied a lot for this. I was not a quiet child, however, through the years I became withdrawn.  I reserved myself for people and places that I was allowed to be myself, like home. I was happiest at home with my family because there, no one reminded me how fat I was or made me feel bad about it.

The Road to Happiness/Laughter, Truly The Best Medicine

One thing I could not contain was my laughter. Laughing is second nature to me, if I got into trouble it was always as a result of my laughter. I was tormented through my high school days to the point that I insisted on taking a gap year. I wanted to stay home and just have a full year of being happy.

Of course, my parents would not hear of this, in retrospect, I thank God for that.  My mother is the reason I didn’t become a sad and bitter individual. Her love and encouragement were always there, through all the bullying and tears. I often say God speaks to me through my mom, she has answers for everything.

My Game Changer

I started my first year of varsity at the age of 17, at this point I was at the pinnacle of self-discovery.  On my first day on campus, one of the 3rd year students said to me “I love your waistline.”

Every now and again, I wish I could bump into the lady who said that to me. Simply because on the day of our encounter, I got home, stripped naked in front of the mirror and really looked at my body. For the first time, I acknowledged myself and said, “she’s right, this waistline is BOMB.” After all those years it was in varsity that I found a new relationship with my body just from one positive comment from a complete stranger.

We all need to learn that the people we come across daily may be fighting some kind of battle. A battle you might never ever get to know of.

BE KIND. Your words hold so much power and can have the best impact over someone’s next chapter.

Tumi Ndaba, Founder of The Tuku Affair and Chubby Styling

Post Author: Noluthando Nkosi

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