This article appeared on “Make it great again” magazine by Founder and NLP Life Coaching Practitioner Tabea Nong which was published in October 2020

1. Tell us about yourself and what do you do?


I am Zinzi Mdedetyana a mother of two(son and daughter) and I have written a book called Myths and Misconceptions about money from the African Sky: Tips, tricks and secrets to reaching financial wellbeing” available on Amazon both Ebook & in print. I am currently creating a personal finance digital course that will support the book, due to be released soon, because I realise that the book can only take a person to a certain spot(no end in sight to give solutions), yet a course will give you a guided step- by- step Roadmap on how to get the money mindset right to work for you. I have worked in the Banking(Retail) sector for over a decade and specialised in Relationship Sales and Marketing, so I know how to establish a one-on-one relationship with people and it is safe to say I am a good listener and I love engaging in conversations that pick someone’s brain and finding solutions. 
Besides my stint with Banking, I have worked in the education sector at Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ACCA(UK) based organisation, again building relationships with both students(to ensure that they qualify and have successful careers) and qualified members(to help assist in mentoring the students on acquiring both the qualification & on their career ladders) of the institution. I have studied Auditing, Accounting and Business Economics both in my National Diploma in Auditing, Bachelor’s Degree and in addition I also acquired a Marketing Diploma that assisted in my career ladder grooming. I bring in a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge into the personal finances space(table) that I am operating in, to assist people who are struggling in managing and minding their personal finances to reach their financial wellbeing. I also sit on Cometsa Heritage Agency Board and also serve on the Finance Committee as well. I am also a member of COMENSA(Coaches & Mentors of South Africa) Professional Body.


I love the outdoors(gardening is my way of allowing myself not only to be in touch with Mother Nature but also connecting with my inner soul/self) love reading, and I also enjoy my glass of wine with few intimate friends on sundowners which I respectfully call sunsets because they are so magical. Besides, my passion in personal finances, I like to encourage and motivate youthful minds who are looking for a direction in life.


2. With covid 19 pandemic bringing chaos and uncertainty what does being able to dream again mean to you as a financial coach?

I would like to say that I see this pandemic as a “reset button”, because it forces us to go back to basics, for far too long we have been too comfortable in thinking that everything will always be the way it is, well I have both good and bad news for you. Good news is that CHANGE is CONSTANT and if you are with it, it will never bother you, because you can always reinvent yourself no matter what is going on out THERE; Bad news on the other hand, is that people do not like change that is why when a disaster or pandemic such as this one strikes we are “caught with our pants down” so to speak and we panic, fear sets in, because we never thought that a day like this will hit us. We never saw the pandemic coming when we welcomed 2020, did we, we just thought it would be a year like any other, as usual as the other past years, decade, centuries, but no this year 2020 was totally different. 


What does it mean for me, embrace CHANGE & OPPORTUNITIES GALORE, we get to (re-define, review, rediscover, return) ourselves to our core of being human to the most basic level, those who were not noticed before are coming up, those who were unknown(underdogs) are being noticed, coming up with new songs & dances such as Jerusalema(big hit of our times bringing all nations not SA, but the whole world to a dance and song during this pandemic). Let us be honest you cannot sit and ignore that…, so it means we ALL as individuals have something to contribute to this world, not only a privileged few but individually, so get alone with yourself and find out who you are to the core and share your mess into a message, your test into a testimony. We all have an opportunity to be equal as the pandemic & the internet has levelled the plainfield. The question is What are you waiting for, no more excuses, opportunities are plenty awaiting for you to come and reclaim your place in the sun.


3.It is often easy for people to be optimistic when they have abundance, but when the opposite happens when financial circumstances change for the worst, what practical tips can you share with people who have really been battling with rising from the financial pit they are in?


It goes back to what I said previously that we usually take things for granted when abundance is in the storehouse, we tend to be careless we do not watch our monies carefully, we think we have so much that we can spend anyhow, anywhere and we never learn to conserve(save) while in abundance and we believe that it will last forever, it never does, does it? In so many times, we never think that a time such as this will come, who does while we are having fun, being able to pay for items that you never bother to check for a price tag or never bother if you can afford it, these questions never come to mind. However when things are tight or tough that is when we begin to think of saving or cutting out or loose or watching our cents like a hawk when we should have done that during the abundant times.It boggles one’s mind. 

  • The first lesson starts right there where you are at, that during the times of plenty(abundance), let us be grateful for our lives and start to plan for our lives & finances when times are good
  • Revisit our finances, I know you will hate me for saying this and sounding like a broken record, but it is true, we only look at budgeting or savings when times are tough, correct, but when times are looking great we never bother, so let us go back to planning our lives and not live our lives on accidents or co-incidences(those do not exists). it is is only incidences like this that define us and that get us into these troubles in the first place, so we need to do our BUDGET(I call it a Roadmap that takes you from A-Z on your finances, because it shows in black and white where you are at, where you are going and how you can get there). When you remove the emotions out of it(feeling sorry for yourself- pity party will not help resolve the issue). It is a helpful tool that will direct you on your next step, even if things are tough right now, it will give a picture of your life, but this time represented as your finances(numbers do not lie).
  • Revisit your debt, see where you are right now, we all know things are tight, list all your debt together with all the interest rates alongside that, list with your payment arrangements(amounts) and then see if you cannot renegotiate with your creditors(all the people you owe money), meaning ask them to either extend the period or reduce payment. Keep to the “new arrangement” if you can’t, go back to them again, do not be scared to ask for help they are there to listen and help you out, they are also in distress just like you. 
  • Save on unnecessary expenses that you can do without, start buying food that you can cook at home rather than eat out or take aways(I know it is fashionable, easy and convenient, but it comes at a cost that you cannot afford right now, and you can do something about it, you can control it because it is within your reach) because in the long term it is money that you could have saved as an “emergency funding” that you could be using right now during this pandemic without panicking(being fearful).
  • In some extreme cases where things are too tight and have turned out for the worst, you can check to see what you have in your household that you can sell(dispose off some assets) in order to “raise funds” to survive for now until you get over this difficult patch
  • It is also time for those who have lost their jobs to hone in on their hobby(existing or find new skill sets) and maybe seriously consider turning those hobbies into a side hustle that will bring in the extra cash while you are trying to figure out the next step. It would not be a bad idea to ask your family or friends to help figure this out.

4. Do I need  a lot to be able to dream or can I make a little of what I have, work for me. How?


An interesting question indeed and there are no right or wrong answers, each individual(each one to himself or herself) will have to consider what their current circumstances are, especially their families, stage & age, values, passion and willingness to bounce back amongst others as a starting point. We all know that when a disaster strikes at worst you feel helpless, hopeless and no desire to continue to live, but one thing I can tell you is this, humans all have an inborn desire to “never to give up” a fight or battle without giving our last ounce of strength even if it does not make any sense, even if we are down and out. Look at boxing fights even when the opponent is losing a fight or someone is battling with cancer, you have heard stories over and over again of people fighting on until the last round or last breath, so it is with life, especially when there are other dependents in the picture. We all fall down but we do have the capacity & capability to get up!

  • Start with where you are at and do not have high or unmanageable expectations(start slow and build on to a stable foundation this time). Be honest with your situation, do not compare yourself with others
  • Create a plan of how you want to live your life to look like, brainstorm with your beloved if you never thought of it that way. Aim for the stars but if you hit the roof, at least you have tried(die trying rather than not trying at all)
  • I believe in creating a Journal(it is great sometimes to sit alone and entertain your own thoughts about your current challenges, gratitude, actions and things you need to do to change this picture). 
  • Write down at least 3 goals of things you want to achieve at the end of this year that you will be proud of in your life, example say You want to be healthy, take action on what it means to be healthy(healthy mind translates to a healthy body & spirit) perhaps start walking, then jogging and then running local marathons and making sure that you eat the right foods. I am a believer that when you download your ideas (about what you want from your life) from your head to paper, amazing things begin to happen in your life. Stick to it(have the staying power, nothing worthwhile in life comes easy there has to be a sacrifice).
  • Keep your budget up close, watch every cent like a hawk and enlist the help of your partner, your kids, your extended family, you will be surprised what a tribe or community can do, when you ask for help
  • Ask for professional help when you do not know where to start, you must never feel that you are alone, help is available 24/7 there have been many people who have experienced(walked this road) before you and they got up. You must fight for your life as if it is the last(I do not believe that we were born to go to school, study further, get a job and die). There is more to life than that.

5. What has covid 19 taught you about handling money/finances that you want to share with others?


This pandemic has taught me to be humble, to reconnect with the Creator(strengthen & deepen my faith), get together with Mother Nature and that she is reliable if we treat her right & with care, to reconnect with other fellow human beings here on Earth and never to take anything for granted; that Today is the only certainty we have, Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow is not guaranteed, therefore we must do what we can Today, at this moment because that is all we have. 
This disaster has also shown us that it is an equalizer(it does not matter whether you are rich or poor, you have a lot of money or so little money or whether you live in an upmarket suburb or a township) and we should ALL see each other as equals, treat each other with respect and that we have abundant seamless overflowing opportunities because we live in an abundant planet; we just need to seize these moments and opportunities and turn them into wealth that can transcends generations to come(live our best life while we are at it).That is what this pandemic is here to teach us. 
Finally, know how to play this game of money, how to create it, how to spend it, how to save it, how to invest it and finally it is not so important how much you make that counts, it is how much you get to keep that will make you wealthy.


6. Last remarks…Money is energy in motion, it flows all the time and it flows to those who knows how to make it, how to use it and how to make it work for them, so I would urge you all to find ways of making money other than depend on an employment, we have seen how devastating it is to depend on one stream of income, so the next step is to find new skills sets, learn how to make internet(offers various ways of generating income in the comfort of your home) your friend that generates money for you even in your sleep and then how to make it work for you and find investments that generates wealth for you and your next generations to come.


Well done to Tabea Nong once again on your “Make me great again” magazine, I am so proud of you and may it grow in leaps and bounds and transcend your wildest dreams, my dear sister!