Dr. Praise Matemavi : Passion & Purpose (2)

September 22, 2021 CULTURELLE Episode 20
Dr. Praise Matemavi : Passion & Purpose (2)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

PART 2.  CONTENT WARNING : The following part of this episode features an adult conversation about teenage pregnancy, surviving domestic violence and the #MeToo movement which may be triggering to some audiences. Listener discretion is advised.  To avoid this section please skip to  [17:31]  where we talk about the Rose Gift Foundation and menstrual inequity.   As always take care of yourself. Thank you.   

National Domestic Violence Hotline (US) 

National Gender Based Violence Call Centre (ZW)
Toll Free Number 575

How To Help A Victim

Dr. Praise Matemavi is a Zimbabwean born abdominal transplant surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. She is the award-winning author of Passion and Purpose: Black Female Surgeons. She is the 2020 recipient of the Lake Michigan College alumni achievement award as well as the Michigan State University young alumni award. She is a follower of Jesus, a mother and wife, beloved daughter, sister aunt and friend. She is the CEO of The Rose Gift Foundation, a non-profit that serves, empowers and elevates the rural girl child in Zimbabwe and fights to eliminate period poverty in the Delta in Mississippi. She loves life and finds beauty in everything around her as well as looks for the best in everyone that she meets. 

Website: rosegiftfoundation.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therosegiftfoundation

Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drpraisematemavi/
Rose Gift Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosegiftfoundation/
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Twitter : www.twitter.com/drmatemavi

Resources Mentioned: 

Passion and Purpose: Black Female Surgeons*
Amazon*: https://amzn.to/3MKdvAm

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CONTENT WARNING : The following part of this episode features an adult conversation about domestic violence and teenage pregnancy which may be triggering to some audiences. Listener discretion is advised.  Please check the show notes for more detailed descriptions and take care of yourself. Thank you. 

Vongai: This next part will come with a disclaimer at the beginning of the episode. So you wanted to be a cardiac thoracic surgeon, when you were four, parents were like, awesome, we're gonna get this done, let's move to the US. Moved to the US and by the time you were 18, you found yourself pregnant. Keeping in mind, y'all, she's also a PK kid, surrounded by your community of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. That was a lot and you're also a survivor of domestic violence, I feel you exhibit a lot of strength, determination and resilience. My question would be what has given you the strength to come forward and share your story so openly?

Dr. Praise: I think the biggest thing for me is that when I was going through all those challenges, I felt so alone, because nobody was talking about it. And especially in our community, it was very taboo. First of all, becoming pregnant out of wedlock, being a pastor's kid, everybody in the community was talking, there was a lot of talk not only in the community where I was staying in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but in Zimbabwe also, because, you know, it's like, my dad was a people person. And so it's like, I felt very alone. And I felt very unsupported by my community. And then when it came to, so I actually then consciously removed myself from the community. Even though I was still physically there. I consciously removed myself so that I could focus on my life, building my life and, and living it. In terms of domestic violence, it's a very, very difficult topic, topic to breach because, especially in that time, I had an older lady that I trusted that I went to talk to about what was happening. And she basically say to me, oh, my dear, and you know, she meant well. And she said, to me, “Oh my dear mwana wangu. Ndozvonoita varume (That’s just what men do.) It will get better with time, they will get more mature, and it will get better. And in terms of vamwe vasikana (other women), it's okay. You know, as long as you know, kuti (that) comes home to you at the end of the day. That's okay, you know, because we all went through it. But with time, they'll get better, and they'll get more mature. You don't want kuzviparadzira musha wako. (You don’t want to upend your home) And to me, I was like, No, I know I deserve better. [chuckles] It was such a difficult place because I had made this mistake. Yes. I had gotten pregnant. I had gotten married to the guy and in the beginning, I felt like okay, I made the bed now I have to lay in it. But then you realize that it's not about me anymore. Now I have two children who are watching my every move. I don't want my daughter to grow up and think that it's okay to be treated that way by your partner, by anybody. And I don't want my son to grow up thinking that it's ok to treat women that way. And it's so sad because I grew up in a family where my dad is such a gentleman, he was always very loving. I mean, very. My parents took very good care of each other. So I had a good example of what a husband and wife healthy relationship is. And when you're going through that, and you feel alone, you become very depressed. Your self esteem is at the very lowest, and you stop believing in yourself, you've stopped believing that you're even worthy. And I didn't want anybody else to go through that, thinking that they are alone, I wanted to bring encouragement to those who are going through difficulties, even though they may not be exactly the same situation that I was in, but to not feel like they are going through it alone. And to know that there are others who have been through it and who have managed to, to succeed and do well and still live healthy happy lives. And that all that doesn't define who you are. 

Vongai: Yeah I'd say, in our culture, a lot of focus is always put on like, how's the situation making the family feel? And then shame is put on the women and like, the women have to be accountable, but there is never usually an accountability towards the man or the son.

Dr. Praise: Yeah. Because a lot of times you even hear the same Musha Mukadzi. Yeah, you know, there were they are basically saying you as a woman are responsible for building your home. And I beg to differ it takes two. You know, if you have somebody who is who is willing to build with you, you will build an amazing legacy. But if you can't expect everything to be on the woman when she has no input from the man, you know, so I would like that to be banned from being ever talked about in our Zimbabwean community that Musha Mukadzi. And the other thing that I would like banned, I know, I'm off topic, but the other thing that I would like banned is this sense of I don't mind dowry, you know, roora is okay. Dowry is fine, I'm fine with that. But I'm totally fine with it. I have, I have four sons and one daughter, and I'm totally fine with with going and paying all these monies, you know, the, the, the roora for all my murooras (future daughter-in-laws), I'm good with that. And I'm fine with getting monies for my daughter, I'm fine with that. But what I don't like is the fact that we put all these things like damages. So when a girl becomes pregnant, before they're married, or whatever, and then they come to pay dowry, and then they are paying money for damages. I hate that term. Because for the longest time, I felt like I was damaged goods, because that's a term that I had heard multiple, multiple, multiple times. And I can't imagine somebody else who is going through that a young teenage girl or a young girl in their in her 20s or whatever who got pregnant out of wedlock, and they are hearing that they are damaged goods because that does something to your self-worth, your self-value, your self esteem that you grow up, or you advance in life, thinking that you're not good enough.

Vongai: Or you think you are going to hell. Dr. Praise: Exactly like the point thinking you have sinned this big sin that God is never gonna bless you. That's how I felt. I felt like I had committed the utmost sin and that's how it was growing up. It's like we were basically taught that's such a big No, no. And now God is never gonna bless you. And I can tell you that I am living proof that that is false. That is all fake news. God will bless you [laughter]. Vongai: Fake news y’all, I remember growing up in Zimbabwe for the portion that I did grew up in Zimbabwe, in schools, we would like watch these like educational films with all these morals or like read these books or like fictional things where it always had to do with like HIV/AIDS and getting pregnant and all of this stuff, and had the sex talk more times than I probably needed to do like at least five times plus, like my mom, my aunts, at school, three times Christian camp, like all the things I've had it so many times where I had been convinced myself getting pregnant means your life is over. Like you will never amount to anything. So I swear to you, Praise. I swear to you, I think it's only when I turned- hah- now I'm going to age myself. It was only when I turned about 24/25 I realized something, every time I would get to my birthday. I would always be like, [gasp] Oh, thank God I'm not pregnant, you know, as if it was like someone would just randomly come for me out of the woodworks trying to make sure that I was pregnant and that my life was over. And I just needed to look out for myself. Like just all the messages that I've gotten growing up, I convinced myself like, Oh my gosh, I must not like, ah;

Dr. Praise: Yah the price that was that was placed on virginity. I don't even understand how that started. Because it's just so terrible and for girls growing up and thinking that that's the one thing that they have. And then you have girls who unfortunately are raped, and then they feel like they, you know, they've lost that one thing. And I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with being a virgin until you're married. That's fine. But the way we view within the way we look at it is not right. It's destroying our young, it destroys our young girls. And I can tell you that 

Vongai:  And it’s dividing us as well as women, because then we're saying terrible things about each other by like, you know, you'd be at school gossiping, oh, I heard she and this guy. She's She's a hoe or like that. Oh, yeah. And she got pregnant. Oh, my gosh. You know, it's awful. We should be supporting and uplifting each other. Like you said,

Dr. Praise: And that's the thing, because when you're saying that you had like so much sex talk, I've had like a million sex talks with my kids, it's not in the, you're going to hell, if you have sex type talk, it's more or if you're going to have sex, this is how it should be. Because I want you to have responsible sex, because sex is gonna happen, whether we like it or not. Adults, are you listening? Whether you like it or not?

Vongai: This is the controversial episode! 

Dr. Praise: But I would I would like for girls to be taught about sex education, and how to be responsible, and for boys to be taught about sex education and how to be responsible, rather than saying that it's a no, no, don't do it, that’s that. Because if it does happen, they need to be protected against STDs, against whatever, and they need to understand that there is a lot, there's a big price to pay with sex. You know, it's not just a physical act. And it's not a big price if you get pregnant or if you get a disease, but just the emotional aspects of it. So it should be a comprehensive teaching about what sex is and why we say, okay, you should be having sex in the confines of a marriage. You know, why is it that we are teaching that this is why we're teaching it because I feel like I'll be more receptive to, to listening to that, and actually following that, if I have all the facts, and also knowing that, okay, but if you are going to have sex, here are some condoms, you need to be protected. If you are going to have sex, these are the things that you need to these are the things that you need to have sex safe sex, we cannot just look at it from the don't have sex. That's all I say. That's it.

Vongai: I mean, I, for the longest time, I had so many trust issues towards men towards the opposite sex. Because, you know, the education I was getting was framed as like, you know, boys will be boys guys are gonna do what they're gonna do. So women, you better protect yourself, and make sure this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this this, which is really confusing. And then there's also the culture of like, you have to serve the man and be at the liberty of the man. And so I was like, let me just take myself out of the whole dating equation because I'm confused. And I'm scared and I don't want any part of this stress.

Dr. Praise: And I think that's a big problem that we have. And it's not just us, Zimbabwean or African women. I always call it the African mom syndrome, where we love our boys, our sons so much, that we We spoil them too much. It's not even good in that they end up not being responsible adults. And I used to see it a lot. I'd be watching and you know, I love to people watch. And I will be seeing it a lot in our Zimbabwean community, whether you look at family where there's a girl and a boy child, and you’d see that the treatment is very different. And then we end up producing these very responsible, very independent girls and end up producing these very dependent boys. And why is that? Because of the way we are raising our kids. Somehow we flip the script where we are teaching our girls to be responsible because we tell our girls, you have to be independent, it's okay if you want to get married. It's okay if you want to have that. But you have to also be independent on your own and be able to stand on your own two feet. But then we are not raising our boys that way and we are expecting our boys to be married to these women that are there to serve them. Because that's what we, as moms have been doing all their life is serving them. That's something that we, as a community, I think we can do better. Vongai: We also have that larger conversation of when women and when girls do come forward about sexual assault and rape and relationship abuse and domestic violence that they're not often believed. And, you know, we don't just see it in Zimbabwean culture, we've seen it in American culture and British culture and just everywhere, it's just a thing that is just so prevalent, and it just drives me so crazy to like, when these stories come up on the internet, I have to check out and I just have to, like, talk to myself because I am highly sensitive. So when one person hurts, you know, I hurt as well. And, you know, you’ve got statistics that it's 1 in 5 women, and when the Me Too movement came out, and they were like, you know, who's ever been harassed, who's ever been this, and we basically all said it. I remember when I was like, you know, Me Too. And I had an ex boyfriend come to me and be like, wait, like, I Are you okay? Like, I had no clue. And this, this this and, and I feel like for the first time in my life, I was just like, Oh, I'm not alone. Like, I'm not just like, I guess the victim of men being garbage, as I call them. Like, it's happened to all of us. It's just so awful. I'd say what would you have to say to people who often don't believe women or want to take their side?

Dr. Praise: So that's, that's a big problem. Because oftentimes, when someone steps forward and says, You know, I was raped or I was assaulted. Oftentimes, I've heard this eve in like, the Zimbabwean community. Oh ko iwe iwe wangoboitei? What were you doing over there? Or Ah but you know nekupfekakwaunoita. As in how you normally dress wearing those short shorts, wearing those short skirts. No that is no reason to say that it's okay for that to have happened to someone because of the way they dress. Always looking for excuses as to why it happened and not being there to help and to support the person who, who has experienced this traumatic event. So I think we have a lot of work to do in that area. And in not making it a blame game where we want to blame the victim. And it's going to take a lot of restructuring in our own minds to say that it's not their fault that this happened. And there is no reason to be looking for a reason for why it happened. It's a terrible thing that happened and the person that did it needs to be responsible. There is absolutely no reason to be trying to make the victim feel shame. Vongai: What message would you have for teen moms going through it or survivors?

Dr. Praise: I have to say for teen moms, it's not the end of the world. Your child, your children will be your biggest and greatest blessings. I can tell you this from experience. And I mean, look at me. I am 40 years old. My kids are adults. I am living my best life.

Vongai: She meant she's 20 years old. We don't age on this show. [laughter] 

Dr. Praise: Girl! I have been waiting to be 40 for a long time. So when I turned 40 this year it was my my most exciting birthday yet. I was very excited! 

Vongai: So you were born free. You were born one year free. Dr. Praise: Born in 1981. Yep 1981 [laughter] Vongai:I love that. Okay, we have to talk about The Rose Gift Foundation before I forget. Period, poverty, something I'm just I'm so passionate about it so passionate about, you know, menstrual equity, and women's empowerment and uplifting women. I think the statistic is like women are two thirds of 796 million people in the world who are illiterate. Yeah. Which is, yeah, it's heartbreaking. This is why you then have you know, these economic disparities, because when you're not educated then you you have less access to money and understanding how that works and power and it's just such a big issue. So the fact that your foundation is giving out personal hygiene products, to girls in villages and girls in low income communities is amazing because it just makes such a huge difference to self esteem and to a girl's confidence because this is gonna get TMI for all the men listening. But you know, your menstrual cycle does not care if you're rich or poor. 

Dr. Praise: It does not care, it will show up when it wants to. 

Vongai: And it doesn't care if there's a pandemic, either. 

Dr. Praise: Nope, it does not care at all. And I think one of the biggest things is that there are things that we take for granted. You can walk into any store, Walmart, Target, whatever store and you can get a pack of sanitary pads for like $3.25. And you can go for a couple of months and not even think about sanitary pads. And there are girls and women out there who have absolutely no access, they're having to use washcloths, and wash these washcloths that they are reused multiple times, and having to cut out t shirts already, they don't have that many resources, even in terms of clothes, and they're having to cut these clothes into tiny pieces that they are using, as sanitary wear. And then some women are using leaves and cow dung, I mean, these things that you would not have even imagined. And you know, we take that for granted, because we can just walk into a store and get a pack of pads. So it's one of the things that I feel like is low hanging fruit that we all can make a difference in. And it doesn't just affect the women because we have to realize that when you uplift a woman, you are uplifting the whole community. Women are very resourceful. And when young girls are missing school, because they're on their period, because they can't go to school without when they don't when they're on their period, then that's just continuing the cycle of poverty because we know that an educated woman is going to most likely free her children and thus her community from poverty. But a lot of girls end up not going to school and missing school and then falling behind and quitting school because they don't have access to sanitary pads, something that is so easily remedied. And not let's not even start talking about child marriages in our own Zimbabwe. Something that I never even- 

Vongai: Yeah you know and child marriages and also, you know, when it comes to the differences in people's menstrual cycles and flow, like, you know, we could talk about like the average ‘normal cycle’ we could talk about people who probably are undiagnosed endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and menorhaggia and all of that stuff, you know, having to miss out on school because you have a heavy flow or you're in pain and but not having access to medicine or even just painkillers. I'm a huge lover of CBD. And that's a privilege. It's a privilege for me to be talking about CBD, when someone can't even get like a paracetamol.

Dr. Praise: Exactly. Like I can tell you that I would not have been able to accomplish a lot without painkillers. And I see a lot of young girls who are suffering, and they have no access to just even the basics. We all can make a difference. One of the things that I think people think is that, oh, I'll wait until I have a better job. Or I'll wait until I'm more established. I'll wait until I bought my house and I have bought my fancy car. And I've done this to be able to do something. But we all can make a change. We all can do something even a little bit. It goes a long way. How can people get involved with the foundation? So we always need volunteers and we always will take your money. We love donations. Vongai: [laughter] Yeah. Oh, she got Paypal, she got Venmo she got CashApp. She got a bank account. 

Dr. Praise: Everything. So when you go to the foundation website, there are different places where you can donate. And you can if you want specifically to donate to the different causes that we have. We have four different areas that we focus on education, period poverty, incarcerated women and their daughters and child marriages. So you can go into one specific one, and you can donate there or you can just donate to the general fund. And we will use we can use all the donations we can get because I can tell you that so far with the foundation, I'd say probably 99% of the funds I've just been funding personally. So I can use help.

Vongai: And I'm pretty sure if you go on the website, or if you reach out by email about more information about where the money goes and where things and cotton are being sought sourced, that Dr. Praise would happily, you know, have someone send you that information as well.

Dr. Praise: You know, I have one of my friends who said, you know, my mom loves to sew. And once you found out that you’re providing sanitary pads, she said she's going to sew some pads for your organization. I'm like, really? Like, how many pads are we talking here. She's like, Oh, she said, she would just keep working, she’ll just keep sewing 2000/3000 pads, I'm like, man, I think I need to just buy a sewing machine, and she can teach me how to sew. If you can sew we will take your services, there are so many ways that you can help. If you can be a mentor, we will hook you up with young women to mentor. So it doesn't all have to be monitored. If you cannot provide, you know, if you cannot donate, there are other services that you can provide to just help our mission continue.

Vongai: That is absolutely wonderful. What advice do you have for someone interested in the medical field? And are there any resources that you would personally recommend that people should check out

Dr. Praise: when it comes to medicine because you know, I'm unique in the sense that I wanted to be a doctor since I was four years old. But I came to realize that a lot of people have wanted their kids to be doctors, my parents never actually wanted me to be a doctor, they just say do you have to find something that you're passionate about, because you're going to have to be working forever, like something that you can be 70 years old and still enjoying. And I want to encourage, especially our people, because I know how it is where we say, where we tried to push our kids to be doctors or lawyers or engineers, I want to just encourage that, you have to find something that you truly are passionate about that you enjoy, because in terms of being a doctor is you have to be okay with delayed gratification, because it takes a damn long time. 

Vongai: What is date night, when you're a doctor, I don't know. 

Dr. Praise: Honestly, in America, it's four years of medical school after your undergraduate training. And then to do general surgery training, what I did is 5 to 7 years, depending on if you do research and other factors I did seven years, and then to become even super specialized in transplant surgery. It was another two years of fellowship on top of that, and you have to keep in mind that yes, you get a salary when you become a resident, but compared to your peers, and how much you work, it's not that much. Because you're working 80 hours a week as a resident. And when you become a fellow, like my fellowship, didn't have work hour restrictions, there are some weeks that I was working 120 hours a week. And so yes, I was comfortable. Because you know, you look at the salary and you're like, oh, but you know, but you're making $60,000 a year or your by the time I was a fellow making, what, $70,000 a year. But also, if you consider the amount of time that you're working, right, if I had been working as a nurse, those kinds of hours, you'd be making, like over $150,000 a year, you know what I mean? So it's like when you when you look at those factors, money should not be the driving force of what you choose to do with your life. You have to be okay with putting in the work and working hard to get there. And you have to love it and be passionate about it. So if you're thinking about being a doctor think of. I tell my residents and students this all the time when they are thinking about what specialties to go into in medicine. I say don't say oh, I want to be an interventional radiologist so that I can make a lot of money. Or I want to be a gastroenterologist, I can make a lot of money and buy and drive a Mercedes Benz, you know, look at something that you are okay doing at three o'clock in the morning. When you're the most tired, you haven't slept sometimes for like, two days, you are the most tired, you are the most hungry, where is it that you want to be if you have to be at work, what is it that makes you happy. And I can tell you that three o'clock in the morning doing a transplant I am perfectly happy and perfectly fine doing that. So for those who want to be doctors, make sure that that is your passion and that's your love. And you cannot imagine yourself doing anything else. Because it's a huge sacrifice. Not only in terms of time, but also you are not your own person when you're a doctor. You know when you're on call if you get that I'm calling you out to dinner with your family. You gotta go, you know. And so it's like there's so many sacrifices along the way that you have to sacrifice. And that's why you have to absolutely can't imagine yourself doing anything else. And you'll be fine. The Doors will open for you. And you will get where you need to get to. Just work hard, put your head down, study, study, study, do the best that you can. Because you're not studying for a grade you're studying to be the best doctor that you can be to your patients.

Vongai: Yes, thank you. Yes, you can't be in the operating room with your needle sewing someone up and say, oops, I hit an artery. Okay, are you ready for our lightning round? 

Dr. Praise: I am ready. 

Vongai: First question, what is your zodiac sign? 

Dr. Praise: Cancer. 

Vongai: Love that. That is the cardinal opposite of my son a Capricorn. My dad is the same sign as as you, very nurturing sign. What was the last book you read?

Dr.Praise: So I read all the time. I can read sometimes like maybe one, two books a week because I'm a very fast reader. So the last one I read…full, completed. Could I come back to that one? 

Vongai: Yeah, no worries. Um, if you could have any superpower, what would it be? 

Dr. Praise: Would just be to eradicate poverty. That would be my superpower.

Vongai: Favorite Bible verse. This? This is a special question for you. Favorite Bible verse.

Dr. Praise: Think probably. Joshua 1:9 . Be strong and courageous. That’s my favourite

Vongai: Love that. My mom, my mom would say that to me when she would drop me off for school. I just remembered this. 

Dr. Praise: Oh my god. 

Vongai: Oh, she she would you know, grab my hands. And she'd pray over me when she's dropping me for the school bus. And then she would say that verse. And then I would go to school. So it became this thing that whenever I had exams, because I don't test well. So I get super anxious. That like, I just needed her to like pray for me. And get it done. 

Dr. Praise: I love that. So so much. That's that's so amazing. You know, interestingly, when I moved here, one of my, she's a very good friend of mine now. She was the nurse practitioner that I was working with on our transplant unit. One day walk into my office. It was it had been such a rough week. You know, you're just a brand new attending. And there was this like stone and a card in there. And the stone was that verse, My favorite verse and she didn't know like she didn't know me like that. So I was just like, God speaks to us in so many different ways.

Vongai: Just beautiful. That is true. That is true. Favorite Zimbabwean musician. 

Dr. Praise: Probably Thomas Mapfumo. Vongai: Favorite Zimbabwean childhood snack. 

Dr. Praise: Thingz. Vongai: It's time for the most controversial question of them all. Mazoe orange vs Mazoe green. Dr. Praise: Cream soda all the way. 

Vongai: The next one is a power statement. It goes I am Zim excellence because blank. 

Dr. Praise: It's very simple I am Zim excellence because I am a child of Zimbabwe plain and simple. 

Vongai: Love it. If you could nominate someone for the award of ZimExcellence, who would it be? 

Dr. Praise: This may be controversial but growing up [laughter]

Vongai: [gasp] I’m not ready! 

Dr. Praise: So growing up until I was like Grade five. I really really looked up to our First Lady Sally Mugabe. And I actually was privileged enough to go to her funeral. I don't even know how it happened. But I told my dad, I want to go to her funeral. And it happened that I went to I went I happened to go to a funeral. But when I found out that she had died from kidney disease, I was like, and she had gotten a kidney transplant prior. I just find that to be very interesting because I was I was sort of obsessed with that woman. And now I'm a transplant surgeon. But yeah, 

Vongai: Oh wow. I wonder, if she is like one of your guides. 

Dr. Praise:  I wonder but for me yes, I really I really admired her. Yeah. And she wasn't even Zimbabwean born.

Vongai: Hmm. If you can nominate someone to come on this show called ZimExcellence, who would it be?

Dr. Praise: It will actually be my co-founder for The Rose Gift Foundation and her name is Patience Tarumbwa. She is an amazing and phenomenal woman. And she is the one person that I would nominate. She's in Zim. She's ZimExcellence in Zimbabwe.

Vongai: Love that. Sally Mugabe, you have officially been nominated for the Award of Excellence and Patience Tarumbwa you've been nominated, to come on this show ZimExcellence. Dr. Praise, it was a pleasure to finally virtually meet you, an honor and a privilege to be in your midst to laugh, to love, to talk about all the much needed things that we need to talk about in our community. As we wrap up, I would love it if you could share a message with our listeners, as well as letting them know where they can continue to follow your journey on the interwebs.

Dr. Praise: Well, thank you so much. It has been such a pleasure. And going back to your question of the last book I read, I actually don't remember because I'm always reading multiple books at the same time. But I am like this morning I told my husband when he's taking me to the airport, we got to stop by Barnes and Noble because a lot of books I read on the on, you know on Kindle, but I do love just having a book in my hand. Yes. And so I told him I want to stop by and get the book is it I will probably butcher it. But it's I am girl Africa or I am.

Vongai: I Am a Girl from Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro. See, I'm just like, freaking out that's on my list as well to read. I need to read the book. And then I'm going to reach out to her to come on the show.

Dr. Praise: That's a book that I am going to, that I'm picking up on my way to the airport, because I'm going to read that on my flight. I'll be done with it by tomorrow. Oh that reminds me the last book I read was last weekend was Ilhan Omar's memoir. 

Vongai: Oh, ok, I should check that out. Yeah. 

Dr. Praise: It's good. It's very good. And it's like, you know, cuz you see, you can see yourself in a lot of what she talks about being, you know, an immigrant. he moved to America when she was about the same age that I was. And yeah, I found that to be very to be very interesting, because I found out that there's a girl that I talked to that's like, I think she's just such a phenomenal woman. And she does a lot of community health. And she's now in Kenya. And I recently found out that they are sisters, actually. And so I was like, Oh, let me find this book and read it. And that's when I was like, Oh, this makes total sense. And it's like, just amazing. So yes, I recommend that book to you, too.

Vongai: Oh that’s wonderful I'm adding it to my list. 

Dr. Praise: Now to answer your question. Finally.

Vongai: There we go your message. Just to reiterate, if people are lost, it is her message that she's sharing with our listeners, as well as letting them know where they can continue to follow her journey.

Dr. Praise: So my message to our listeners is that, you know, in life, there will be a lot of challenges, you have to have sort of like a compass, you have to always, always keep your eye on the prize. It doesn't matter what left and right is saying what anybody is saying to you or what it might even look like things can look like they are dead, but things are not dead. You can, you can achieve so much of your dreams. If you have a dream and you have a plan. I was just my kids laugh at the sayings that I say because I was like, you know, there was a time when people thought they had buried me because you know, things just look like nothing good was ever gonna come out of my life. But I was just like little seeds. And all I needed was just some watering, some sunshine and some fresh air. And then I started blooming into little seeds, seedlings and then I started blooming into a flower and now I'm a whole plant. A whole plant. So when things are tough, things are difficult. Just see yourself as a seed. All you need is a little water, a little sunshine and you'll be just fine. So just to encourage you that things are not always as they seem. You will be okay. There is a better life for you if you're going through some challenges, and you can find me on Instagram @drpraisematemavi. You can find us on our non-profit The Rose, it’s actually rosegiftfoundation.org. You can find me on Twitter, Dr. Praise Matemavi on Facebook, Praise Matemavi. And we have two seasons of Living Life With Passion and Purpose podcast. And it's basically just me having conversations with women. I'm very nosy. So I want to know how other people do life.

Vongai: Same I do it under the pretense of ZimExcellence, but I secretly just want to know all the things. 

Dr. Praise: Exactly and so you can you can listen to podcasts. These are just ordinary women, like you and me doing extraordinary things. And no, it is not the quality of ZimExcellence. This is more like me running to my computer saying I have two hours. Let's record this session. So yes, but you can still enjoy some episodes. 

Vongai: Sweet! Thank you so much, Dr. Praise all the best with your flight. Continue to stay safe in this pandemic. And again, thank you for sharing your time with us and being so honest about what your journey has been thus far. Thank you so much.

Outro : Mazvita. Tatenda. Siyabonga. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode of ZimExcellence.  If you found value from this episode please share it with a friend and go ahead and subscribe, rate and review.
If you send me a screenshot of your review I’ll make sure to give you a shoutout on future episodes. Feel free to tag us on Instagram. @zimexcellencepodcast
And if you identify as Zimbabwean I want to hear your story so go ahead and email zimexcellencepodcast@gmail.com. Til then have the best week and stay ZimExcellent! 

Content Warning
Life As A Teen Mom and Survivor of Domestic Violence
Gender Expectations in Zimbabwean Culture
Dr. Praise message to survivors
Rose Gift Foundation
Pursuing A Medical Career
Words of Encouragement