Hi my name is Dr Matamela Mafune-Mulaudzi, also socially known as Dr Mela.

I am 27 years old, I am a medical doctor by profession currently working at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. I graduated with a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree (MBBCh) from the university of Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

I am also the founder of the purple sisterhood a mentorship program which I run for women between the ages of 18-35. The purple sisterhood aims to makes an impact in the lives of young women globally, providing mentorship to help them become authors of their own story. The program – based on the pillars of friendship, sisterhood and purpose – provides academic, emotional and financial support to many of the mentees. My aim is to mentor youth to believe in themselves, provide them with practical skills, and change their communities for the better. 

I was recently awarded as one of “News24 100 Young Mandela’s of the futures for 2019” for the purple sisterhood 

Before The purple sisterhood I ran another mentorship program called the big sister program (BSP) from 2016 – 2018, where I collectively mentored over 150 women from as far as The UK, The USA, Holland, Kenya, Namibia,Zambia and South Africa just to name a few. I have mentored young women through their academics and also instilled the importance of making a social impact in the world. I was featured on the TV station – one gospel for this program in particular on the show “Destiny” in 2017.

I am the founder of the Christian accessories & clothing store known as “The Abriana Store” – which aims at spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through clothing, but we also donate 10% of all profit to help a girl child in my mentorship go to school and better her life.

My SPICE4LIFE is knowing that everyday I get a chance to start over, to continue living and that with each day I can leave the world a better place. The motivation of making an impact in peoples lives encourages me each morning to wake up!

CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD

To me celebrating womanhood means learning as women to OWN OUR TRUTH, AND LIVE IT! To be able to embrace the freedom we have as women to make an impact but also remember the social responsibilities we have to those women and girls in many countries that don’t! That need us to stand up and fight on their behalf 

I believe we need to do this by breaking down the barriers associated with what women in the 21st century can do! We need to become the change we wish to see in the world, and stop waiting for the next woman to do it! It begins with each one of us!

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

This is my everyday motto and mantra! Women empowerment, so for me it’s extremely important, it’s the basis of all I do. Lifting each other up as women means learning to be kinder to one another, but also realizing that there is enough room for all of us to win! Learning the spirit of sisterhood which to me means completion over competition. We need to learn that we can do so much more if we stand united as woman than we can if we constantly see each other as competition.

For Women’s Day, celebrating equality and access for women, what is the most important message you want to send out?

 Women, Rise up! All we have is now, to get it done and get it right. You have a purpose on this earth that involves bettering someone else. I want to encourage all women reading this to take that bold step towards becoming an advocate for change! For wanting to see equality for all women in the world. Start that project you’ve been holding off, you never know, you could be the one that’s changes the world!

ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

I am a medical doctor and am completing my internship training at Charlotte maxeke academic hospital

My dream job, as a kid, was to be I’m a doctor because I always knew I wanted to help people, and medicine was the right platform for me to do that. To live a life of service to others

I define success as living in purpose! 

How hard is it to make it to the top- for me it depends on your point of view. What is the top? What is the measure of success? I believe in relativity because the world is changing as a whole and constantly redefining what success and “the top” means.

How does one create a supportive environment at home to support your ultimate professional success?

  • You learn to be honest with your friends and family about what you feel you need from them to get to where you need to go. It’s important to not just expect a conducive environment, but to teach people how to best help and support you

What are the trade-offs that I will need to make? Is it all worth it? 

 – you will have to sacrifice a lot of social time to achieve greatness. You will have to learn to prioritize. But most importantly be ok with letting go of people who are no longer aligned with where you are going in life. It’s hard. But definitely worth it

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

The best decision I have ever made was becoming comfortable in my own skin. Owning all my failures and learning to celebrate myself

The worst decision I have ever made was spending so much of my younger years concerned about other people’s opinions 

My best ‘switch off’ strategy is putting my phone on flight mode, going off social media and just reading. Alone time is important to rejuvenate 

WHAT INSPIRES ME

The leadership qualities I most admire are perseverance and determination! 

The women that inspire me are my mother, Michelle Obama and Oprah because in them I’ve seen that you can become anything you wish to become if you work hard and never give up

My life’s motto is “I’m just a girl, trying to change the world, one woman’s heart at a time” – Dr. Mela

A MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN

I think the most significant barrier to female leadership is our fear as women of failing and thinking marriage is the ultimate measurement of success in a women’s life 

The biggest challenge for the generation of women behind me will be learning to be you and that you are enough in a world that is heavily influenced by social media’s idea of beautiful 

My top three tips for women are 

  1. Focus on your dreams 
  2. Live a life of purpose
  3. Stay humble 

What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?

Competition, no one wants to see any one do better than them, the spirit of competition is causing a lot of women to live a life of depression because they are constantly comparing themselves to others

LIVING A LEGACY

My personal message to the world is live your truth 

Sisterhood is important to me because there is power in building the girl child 

I believe support/giving back to the community is important because we all have a social responsibility to help one another on this earth 

  “I’m just a girl, trying to change the world, one woman’s heart at a time” – Dr. Mela

www.thepurplesisterhood.org

Facebook: The purple sisterhood 

Instagram: purple_sisterhood

Instagram: dr.mela_md

Instagram: the_abriana_store

Article (100 young Mandela’s of the future): https://mandela100.news24.com

If you were to visit my city /and or /country, I would personally recommend that you visit/see/do – definitely go to Soweto and Cape Town (Robben Island), it is rich in our history as a country and a true reflection of how far we’ve come as a rainbow nation 

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