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Congratulations Habib Noorbhai on being a key player in MR South Africa 2016
Habib is a Lecturer/Researcher in Sports Science at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He is also a Biokineticist, Humanitarian and Speaker. He completed a BA in Sport Psychology (UJ), Honours in Biokinetics (UKZN), MPhil in Biokinetics (UCT) and is currently completing his PhD on cricket batting at UCT.
Habib has had the pleasure of working with international sports teams (Yorkshire CCC (2012), South Australian Redbacks cricket team (2010)) and currently volunteers as an Expert on Health24 (2012 – present).
In 2013, he was lauded among South Africa’s top 100 brightest young minds and in 2015, he was nominated among Mail and Guardians top 200 young South Africans. Habib is currently a Mr South Africa 2016 finalist and is among the Top 14. One of the challenges on the Mr SA competition was to do 30 days of random acts of kindness (RAK). Habib enjoyed giving back to the community so much that he actually went on and did 100 days of RAK. Habib has always had a passion for change making and for the community in the last 10 years. As such, he founded The Humanitarians (NPO) 3 years ago in which a number of community initiatives and programmes are conducted and measured through research (these entail: sport, health, education, sustainability and innovation; www.humanitarians.org.za).
Habib’s passion and goal in life is to continue in academia making impactful implications in sports sciences, healthcare, education and community engagement as well as making a difference in varied spheres of society. www.habibnoorbhai.com
About Your Journey to Mr South Africa
What would it mean to you to win Mr SA?
I have always been a firm believer that it’s never about the outcome and/or destination, but the journey. Along any journey is where you truly grow, learn and develop. And so, for me, winning is not the penultimate, it’s a cherry on the top. However, in a competition like this, there are SO much of doors that open and that is why the Mr South Africa brand is the perfect platform to inspire, inculcate change, make a difference and educate. If I had to win Mr South Africa, it will certainly be one of the highlights of my life and career. Finally, it will also provide me with a large flame to ignite a spark wherever I go, in which I was searching for a very long time but was limited over the years due to various constraints.
When did you know you wanted to be a …?
My objective of entering Mr South Africa was to leverage our community engagement work and social responsibility. Many have the perception that it is solely a pageant and about modeling. When I saw that the theme was a “model male” and not a “male model”; that’s when I knew I could use the platform for so many beneficial reasons. To find out more why I joined Mr South Africa, please see the following video: https://youtu.be/a6WZnDuKRvw
What do you love most about your job?
My current job as a lecturer and researcher allows one to give back to the students and the field that one loves. There is so much of fulfillment and change making that one can do through teaching. By night, I volunteer as the Director of our NPO called The Humanitarians. There is truly nothing better than education and community engagement / outreach activities J I’m so passionate about my daily activities that I cant even call it work!
What was your first job and how did it help you get to where you are now?
A Personal Trainer and Cricket Coach while I was studying towards a BA Sport Psychology at the University of Johannesburg (2008 – 2010). It taught me patience, planning, person-skills, perseverance, resilience and proactivity. It also helped me network and maintain relationships with most of the people that I am still in contact with today. It accentuated my passion for helping people, a zest for life, keeping active and teaching/mentoring.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes. There have been a few throughout my career. The one that stands out the most for me
Is my career mentor and PhD supervisor, Prof Timothy Noakes.
What three things/people/ROLES have contributed most to your success?
Growing up in Johannesburg, as we know in South Africa it’s called the rat-race 🙂 One is cultivated into the sense of always being on time, organised, diligent and enthusiastic. My father is neither an educated nor a wealthy man but he taught me three important basic values that I still use today: punctuality, organisation (till today I keep a diary) and humility.
More so, I always wear my PDP (passionate, driven and proactive) cap wherever I go or do.
What one thing have you learned that has served you well over the years?
Credibility and integrity are everything. Maintaining relationships with people is key.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I ask myself 3 questions before I sleep at night: 1) What did you do today? 2) How were you productive? 3) What did you do for someone else/the community?
How would you describe your leadership style?
Authoritative: engage and liaise with team individuals. Be pragmatic and listen. If they are not on track, educate and mentor them. If they are, motivate and praise them. Autocratic and authoritarian (dictating) leadership can do more harm than good, depending on the context.
What leadership qualities do you most admire?
Diplomacy, people-orientated, heartfelt and empathetic, integrity, understanding, listen to talk ratio (3:1), practice to preach ratio (3:1) and humility.
What community projects mean something to you and are you involved in any?
I have been involved in community and outreach work since 2007. For the last 10 years, I have developed a passion for people. While working with people, I have identified a gap in our South African society: sustainability. Community projects which are sustainable and not toxic (ie: handouts) mean everything to me. Our programmes and projects on The Humanitarians (which I founded in 2013) speaks to such sustainable impacts through education, health, innovation, sport and research (www.humanitarians.org.za).
More so, cancer prevention awareness, anti-bullying and eradicating the poverty crisis in South Africa are close to my heart.
If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Make non-fatal mistakes but don’t repeat them, learn from it and improvise. Meet and speak to as many people as possible and learn from each other. Spend a majority of your time out of your comfort zone, that’s where you become stronger, where the magic happens and that’s the platform to soar. Hardship is designed to make you stronger, not weaker; easy is designed to make you weaker, not stronger. There will always be people who will criticise and underestimate your potential, but it is your job to prove them wrong and show what you are truly capable of.
How do you get balance in your life?
By knowing who you are and what you want. When you do things that are not part of who you are or trying to be something / someone that you are not, you fall out of balance. Stay true and sincere to who you are and to those around you. Most of all: live, laugh, love, work smart and make a difference = balance.
What three things could you not live without?
Who is your inspiration when it comes to what you do?
Nelson Mandela: he has taught us to forgive and forget, lead with diplomacy and that you can bring people together through education and sport.
Mahatma Ghandi: “be the change you want to see in the world.”
Bruce Lee: “If you place limits in everything you do, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits, there are only plateaus, you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
Professor Tim Noakes: He has taught me to challenge beliefs based on truth and science. Above all, his humility and kindness is exemplary and for me, that is what separates him from all scientists, not just his intellect.
What are your other passions, besides being fabulous?
The 5 C’s that passionately make me tick J : Coffee, Cricket, Community work, Comedy and intellectual Conversations.
What is Number One Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
To attain my Doctorate and leverage our community and outreach work on a larger scale through scientific research and practical implications for society.
Motivation for Others
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?
Facebook Page (Habib Noorbhai – main one)
Facebook Page (Habib Noorbhai Mr SA Finalist)
Become a Humanitarian with us: www.humanitarians.org.za
ADVICE & STUFF
Words to live by?
“Correct action starts with correct thinking and correct thinking is derived from a positive mindset. Lets take action!“
“An ink of a scholar and heart of a humanitarian is holier than the blood of a martyr.”
Words of advice for people aspiring to be where you are?
Passion, drive and proactivity (PDP) is key. Always wear your PDP cap J
Always ask yourself before you go to sleep: “what did I do today?”
What is the “thing” that (could, should, we need) empowers community?
Time…If we dedicate at least 5% of our day (which is only 1 hour 12 minutes) to the community and people in need, our country and the world can become a better place. Selfless acts of bravery are key to change making.