At the age of 24, Nonhlanhla Mnisi is already a force to be reckoned with. She is living proof that you are never to young to be used by God! Nonhlanhla obtained her undergraduate degree in B Com Banking & Honours in Business Management and has already written and published four books. She is also the chairperson of Amazing Grace Children’s Home, a motivational speaker, editor-in-chief for a Swaziland Magazine “Innovators Journal" and she is also the producer of Mbokodo on Soweto TV. She is also part of the Leadership2020 seminars hosted by DJ Sbu. She uses her gifts to live out her God given purpose and to inspire us to do the same. She is living proof that God is more than able and He can do abundantly for us. Here is our inspiring and encouraging interview with her.
Inside Woman: Please share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: It was in 2001 when I had just buried my mom that I came to know Christ as my Lord and Saviour in April. My aunt and I went to attend a crusade and I remember the sermon was on Jeremiah 51v50: “You, who have escaped the sword, do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off and let Jerusalem come to your mind”. I immediately had a self-reflection on my life and found myself at the altar. I was 12 years old.
Inside Woman: How has this relationship with Jesus changed your life?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: It has completely transformed me; I’ve broken new grounds and have experienced strange increase. I’ve been blessed enough to have being exposed to Churches that have elevated my life. At varsity I was in Truevine and here in Joburg I’m with House of Destiny Family Church – which is a real family to me. I believe it is when we ground ourselves to doing what the Word says without compromise that our spiritual relationship with God gets elevated. We have often been taught about the God of Abraham; and I believe that when we have an intimate relationship with God we get to experience His deeper love of in our lives and not something we read about only.
Inside Woman: What is God teaching you about love for self and love for your neighbour?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: The Bible says God is love, so when we die to self and allow Him to take over and reign in our hearts, we get to understand what the book of 1 Corinthians 13 say to us about love. 1 Corinthians carries words that have deep meaning and often we recite them and not act on them. If I love my neighbour like I love myself I’m able to put myself in their shoes and go an extra mile if need be. In so doing I get to embrace the next person with their weaknesses because we are all work in progress.
Inside Woman: How can we live together in the same society when we have such different convictions?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Every piece in the puzzle has its own unique place. And when we bring our differences together on the table with an aim of moving each other forward and not competing, we get to know and understand that God is not a respecter of persons. My pastor (Musa Motloung) always says: “He won’t take my blessings and give it to someone else”. Our paths are different and so is our destinies.
Inside Woman: Why do you think God allows bad things to happen?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Bad things have to happen in order for us to appreciate the good things when they come. I’ve been taught that what I don’t appreciate will depreciate. I also believe that there are ways in which one can deal with tragedy. For some people it is what shaped their lives for the better. I always say perhaps I wouldn’t have known humility had I not gone through what I went through in life.
Inside Woman: And you have had your share of bad things. Tell us about it?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: My journey of pain began after losing my mom. I struggled to come to terms with the loss. I believe what kept me strong was the story of Jacob in Genesis 32 where he wrestled with the angel till morning. The Bible tells us that Jacob limped for the rest of his life. And that’s how I viewed my situation that this too is just a limp which I will learn to live with. I moved to a deeper understanding that although wounds go through a healing process we can never remove the scars. My eyes were also opened to see the Hand of God with a recent car accident when the car rolled and got thrown into a bush. I had to hold and trust deeply that God’s plans are to prosper me and not harm me.
Inside Woman: Many people get knocked out of life when such things happen. How are you managing to live through it?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Honestly my faith in God is what has kept me going. I have learned that the things of God are not taught but caught in spirit. Challenges unleash in us things we never thought we are capable of. And of course there’s always a lesson to learn with each tragedy and until that is done, the challenge won’t go away. This is why I like the book by Paula White which says: “You cannot conquer what you won’t confront”.
Inside Woman: We all have bad days. How do you deal with them?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I try to think of the outcome. I’m result driven and if I must go through the fire to reach the promise land, I will. I believe that everything comes at a price because the price determines the quality.
Inside Woman: Was writing part of your healing?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Yeah. J. Moss once said if I was a singer I would use my voice, if I was a writer I would use my pencil but since I’m a believer I use everything. So the answer is yes, however, that is not the only way to heal. It has worked for me especially in my first and second books where I got to let it all out. I touch on things that often when we go through them, we don’t want to talk about them and yet it’s therapeutic to ink down the thoughts – so my laptop is my friend too.
Inside Woman: What can women do to allow the Holy Spirit to empower them, to set them free from the burdens that are placed on them by society?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I believe they need to allow the Holy Spirit to operate freely in their lives and not limit Him according to the circumstances and situations they face. The Bible clearly teaches us that the Holy Spirit is our Helper, which simply means on our own we cannot make it, no one can survive on the strength of the flesh. Society always applies logic and has pushed a lot of people to succumb to what they interpret as normal; yet faith in God works extra-ordinarily because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
Inside Woman: If you could only preach one message to women, what would it be?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Restoration is very important. Many people die wearing masks. The world we live in today has transformed people to be who they are not. In Joel 2v25 the Bible assures us that He will restore unto us all the years that the swarming locust has eaten, crawling locust, consuming locust and chewing locust. I’d like to believe that all these different kinds of locust have penetrated certain areas in our lives in various forms. So one might be going through a season where the consuming locust has entered and they need to deal with that. God never said we won’t have to face sufferings but He did guarantee that we will not suffer alone.
Inside Woman: When you close your eyes and see and empowered woman in Christ, what do you see?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I see someone who’s not moved by what is happening around her. Her praise is not circumstantial, this is someone who truly lives the Book of Nehemiah 8v10, wherein the Bible encourages us to not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is our strength. This is someone who understands that happiness doesn’t come through what they have but is something they experience with or without material things. This is a woman who has inner joy within herself.
Inside Woman: Over the years who has helped you to keep the faith and to stay the course?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: My friends, my Church, the people I associate with have rubbed of some positivity in my life each time I felt like I was heading for an emotional downfall. It really is important to have a strong hold in life. And when all else doesn’t make sense His Word always prevails.
Inside Woman: Please share with our readers some of the beautiful qualities that you have learned from the women that have made you the woman that you are today?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I believe in unconditional sister/daughter love; you know when someone accepts you for who you are and not what you have; the genuine kindness and not fake smiles. I have learned to be true to people and to love them in spite of their differences and weaknesses as I’m also not a perfect person. Gary Chapman once wrote a book which was shared with me some years back: “5 languages of love” which speaks of love in a true sense – words of affirmation, quality time, etc. I believe it is through their demonstration and not just preaching of these qualities that I became a better, caring person.
Inside Woman: Why do you think it’s important to have spiritual “mothers” in your life?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Everyone needs someone who will help guide them from time to time because we all face days where we have questions, times where our reality isn’t showing us a glimpse of a brighter future. My lady pastor, Zama Motloung, is quite good at reminding us as a Church about reality when we get absorbed in fantasies and think Salvation is champagne and roses.
Inside Woman: What do you say to women who feel they don’t measure up in life?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: If they believe and understand what the Bible means when it says they were made in God’s image, they would start to act and speak according to that. Identity in Christ is very crucial as it protects us from insecurities and God is not a man to lie. My Pastor Musa Motloung likes to say: “what is too big for your mind will be too big for your hand” therefore what you don’t desire, you don’t expect. It is important for a person to have goals in life and use their vision which carries an indefinite measurement!
Inside Woman: Our call as Christians is to show people how much God loves them. What do you say to a woman who is broken, hurt and in pain right now, who has questions about her life and wondering if God loves her?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Broken things can be mended. This is why we come to the Potters’ house for there is joy, peace and deliverance there. In the book of Lamentations we are taught that God doesn’t rejoice in our pain. He may allow the pain but He still has mercy over our lives.
Inside Woman: At the age of 24 you have written four books. How did you discover your passion?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I think it’s safe to say it’s over 5 years, as I started back then when I used to write letters to my friends and school teachers. After the tragedy I began to write more about the HIV/AIDS disease – pieces that I’d go out and share on different platforms at varsity scrutinize campaigns, Church, etc. As a child I grew up reading a lot of books from Sweet Valley High to Danielle Steele’s books.
Inside Woman: Where do you find your inspiration?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: In the God whose promises are Yes and Amen. And this is why I like it when David says: “I was young and now I’m old and I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging for bread" - Psalm 37v25. When I was growing up we used to have a saying: “when you wake up in the morning, you have 2 choices – either you go back to bed and dream or you wake up and go chase that dream”. Our Father who never sleeps nor slumbers give us a reason to wake up and chase that dream.
Inside Woman: There is a notion that black don’t read. Do you think it’s true and how do we change that?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: It is true. One of my great friends Dumisile Gwala who reviewed my first book at the launch said that if people were to buy it a lot they might just create an opportunity for the book to be available in audio because of the demand of it in the market.
Nonetheless, I believe we’ve come a long way in South Africa. I have had the privilege to get many local authors on Jozi FM for book reviews, which is a sign that literature is slowly getting into our system.
Inside Woman: How did finding your true passion change your life?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: When Yvonne Kgame asked me what I would do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it – my answer was speaking and writing. And that’s how the journey began.
Inside Woman: If someone wants to start writing books like you, what is your advice to them?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Writing is not something someone gets forced into doing, it honestly comes naturally and when it gets you, you won’t escape its sword. I have days where I stay up from 22h00 through to 07h00 burning the midnight oil and inking down all the thoughts. I’m a night owl and it works for me as I flow best in the early hours.
Inside Woman: What is the motto that you live by?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: Since I was 14 years, I declared over and over that: “I won’t rest till my bad become better and my better becomes best”.
Inside Woman: You are handling success well. What is your secret?
Nonhlanhla Mnisi: I believe in maintaining the right attitude, allowing people to advice you and doing the best you know. I have been taught that faithfulness is doing what you need to do and keeping at it because one day it will pay off. So daily I do my best with what I have and most importantly I rely on God who is my Source and not the resources that He supplies.
You can contact Nonhlanhla Mnisi via:
Facebook: Nonhlahla Mnisi
If you want to buy any of her books you can send her an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org