02 August 2021 | Story Dr Cindé Greyling | Photo Supplied
A woman of impact, quality and care - Dr Lentsu Nchabeleng.

Dr Lentsu Nchabeleng currently serves as the Deputy Director in the Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Office within the Unit for Institutional Change and Social Justice at the University of the Free State (UFS). She manages the functions of the office to deliver high-quality services that advance gender equality and anti-discrimination based on human-rights principles.

What is the best thing about your job?
To bring about positive change by using collective individualism to make a collective impact on the university community. This includes recognising diverse views that fall outside the norm to solve issues relating to gender inequality. Thus, every engagement and response that takes place can help create change.

What is the best and worst decision you have ever made?
The best decision I have ever made was to listen to my inner voice and tuning into the wisdom of my body. The worst decision I have ever made was to negotiate my worth and value, which at that particular moment I thought were synonymous.

What was/is the biggest challenge of your career?
There are so many challenges. I don’t know where to begin.

What does the word woman mean to you?
Being a woman, to me, means a lot of things. It means being a force to be reckoned with. The embodiment of resilience, courage, and love.

Which woman inspires you, and why?
My mother inspires me. She’s an inadvertent feminist. I feel connected to more women through her because of her ability to visibilise the presence of women in all spheres of life. She carries her identities – mom, sister, wife, teacher, friend, grandmother, gardener, leader, listener – with so much ease and I admire her for that.

What advice would you give to the 15-year-old you?
Other people’s perception of you ain’t none of your business.

What is the one self-care thing that you do? 
Watering my roses helps me relax and recharge. I have recently learned the importance of silence and it’s benefits to the mind and body. I usually take 15 minutes every day to sit in stillness and self-reflect. This helps me to delve deeper into my value system and needs, which helps activate myself and social awareness.

What makes you a woman of quality, impact, and care?
I would say that my ability to be vulnerable, to accept my weaknesses, my strong sense of independence and speaking my truth, makes me a woman of quality, impact, and care.

I cannot live without … my family.
My secret weapon is … it will not be a secret weapon if I reveal it …
I always have … a bottle of water.
I will never … take my life for granted. 
I hope … to see the end of the gender pay gap.

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