Veteran South African actress and businesswoman, Sophie Ndaba’s major comeback, is one for the books. The actress has experienced a series of challenges, during which she had to confront cyberbullying on various social media platforms by trolls due to her rapid weight loss. Ndaba, who shot to stardom when she portrayed the iconic character of Queen Moroka in the popular SABC1 soapie Generations, was diagnosed with diabetes a decade ago.
Ndaba also endured a deeply traumatic experience when she found herself at the center of a distressing death hoax, an ordeal that took a heavy toll on her emotional well-being. This also had profound consequences on her son, Lwandle Ndaba, who was still enrolled in high school at the time.
Despite the numerous obstacles she faced, Sophie has maintained a dignified composure, refusing to let any setbacks deter her. Plus, she strongly encourages women to strive to be as resilient as she is when facing challenges.
The mother of 3 generously invited BYY into her personal life, sharing intimate details about her widely publicized divorces, losing her assets, and her ongoing fight against diabetes. Throughout this arduous journey, Sophie has found solace and strength in her faith which has played a significant role in her healing process and enabled her to overcome hardships.
She urges women to have the courage to walk away from a toxic marriage without fear, assuring them that they have the strength to rebuild their lives. Recently, her timelines have been flooded with an abundance of breathtaking images.
What kind of mental space are you in right now?
It’s a happy place, a place of peace, joy and direction.
How have your children played a crucial role in saving your life?
They are always there for me when I really need them. It’s surprising to see how strong they are for me, even when it’s not their job. I’m thankful for everything they do.
What are the values that your parents passed on to you and that you’ve passed on to your children?
Respect and prayer. I have taught them to understand that life is not always how you want it to be. As a parent, you guide your kids. Just because they see someone driving a car, it doesn’t mean they have it all. Maybe their parents bought it for them, or they have a support system. I teach my kids to run their race and that life is not always cosy as it may look. I remind them that life is a project that must be managed as it progresses, and I teach them crisis management skills for dealing with life’s difficulties.
What would you say to someone who experiences bullying on social media?
If you’re not important no one will be bothered to bully you. If people do horrible things to you, it means you are important. There’s something that moves them when they are talking about you because you are worthy. They feel like they need to pull you down because they feel like you disturb them in their success. Bullying affects everyone, regardless of their background. Women need to realise that they are important and that’s why people will always talk about them.
How did the death hoaxes that circulated on social media affect your family?
I was in depression mode; hence, I didn’t feel it like a regular person would have. I was stressed and in my own world. It was a regular hoax and once it becomes regular it’s boring. The first time people will be shocked but the second time they no longer care. My kids, especially my son, were affected so every time he heard that his mom was gone the teachers would be worried. The social workers at school would comfort him not knowing that it’s wasn’t true. He would receive messages of condolences and at the time I was sick in bed and he would be heartbroken. It was traumatic for him, and that’s why I emphasise that as a parent please don’t let your kid go through what I went through.
In light of everything, how were you able to orchestrate such a remarkable resurgence?
You find out that there are people who are always there for you and support you from the beginning to the end. My fans would fight for me, and I am grateful for their love and support. After the false death hoaxes, I fought hard for my children to have a mother. I was praying hard. We often quote bible verses, but we don’t know their meaning and have proof about how wonderful they work, but I have proof.
When I lost my business, cars and assets, I asked God where I should go because I started building my empire when I was 17 and suddenly, I didn’t have anything. How did you rebuild when you started at 17? It was quite daunting but because of faith in God, things worked out. I think as women also we are afraid of failure. I always encourage women to run for their lives. If you can’t cope, leave that marriage, and start a new life. Yes, people will laugh at you, but your hands will work for you. You are on the brink of experiencing a complete restoration in your life and financial success is bound to follow.
I have developed a program that aims to provide immense benefits to individuals who are experiencing both stress and obesity. However, I firmly believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as I am convinced that the divine forces in my life have guided me towards this path with the purpose of transforming and positively impacting countless lives.
What are you most grateful for in life right now?
I am grateful for the gift of life. Life is so precious even today when a man asks me out, I look at them in different way. I don’t get excited and think that he is going to save me. I advise women to find comfort in their own area so that when someone comes on their doors, they already have it covered. Even when someone lures you, have experience on how to receive that and how you allow them in your space.
What do you think the world needs more of?
Love. There’s someone who said they love me, and I told them that I don’t think they understand love. A lot of women misunderstand the word love. Does it match the action? Love is without reservation and pain.
Who has helped you rebuild your life after losing your assets?
You know when they say when you plant a seed God will remember you? Planting a seed means that when somebody needs your help, you are there for them. There are a few people who helped me including my friends Winnie Ntshaba, Kabelo and Martha who are my business partners. They were always there for me when I needed their help. They helped me with my medical aid, getting a psychologist, and money. Winnie would take me for prayer sessions– she’s one of the people who reignited my fire when I started praying. When you select the right people in life they will always be in your corner.
Tell us about when you were diagnosed with diabetes?
It was hard! I had to adjust my lifestyle. Understanding that it’s a killer disease and the fact that people were not educated enough to know about it. Yes, there’s HIV and Cancer but what else? There’s diabetes also…that causes the sugar levels to be high. Those were the challenges I encountered– dealing with people who didn’t know, and they are pulling you down.
Can you provide some advice on maintaining good health?
I’m on a drive now where I will be running a competition for between 10 and 15 ladies who have been through a lot of predicaments. I am asking these questions:
Are you ready to restore your mental health? What are you eating and putting into your body. Are you prepared to take the tests you’ve been avoiding? People are terrified of HIV, high blood pressure, and diabetes, but do we want to do the tests to know if we have the diseases or not? Are you depressed? Do you check for signs that you might be depressed. Are you at risk of pre- hypertension? When last did you check? Are you willing to do the test now?
Do you suspect that you may have prediabetes? Make an appointment with a medical professional to undergo a comprehensive examination and a series of diagnostic tests to assess and evaluate your overall health and well-being.
What can we expect from you?
I will be enrolling women in a program for two months to raise awareness and support for mental health and diabetes. It encourages women to come together and join the fight against these challenges. I’m planning on making products that women can use to save their lives, from diet to weight loss products. I’ve been researching for the past year and I’m going to launch them at the end of the year. They will have the opportunity to place an order online and the products are all natural. In addition to that, I’ve been working on organising a fun-filled carnival specifically designed for the school children of Alexandra, which is scheduled to take place from the 4th to the 10th of December.
What message do you have for parents?
Take time to ask your kids how they are. Ask them who their friends are. It is important to extend an invitation to your children’s friends and acquaint yourself with their significant others, especially if they are of dating age. By doing so, you establish a connection and familiarity with their social circle. This way, if your children go missing or are difficult to locate, you’ll have a better chance of finding them.
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