Profiles & Interviews
Living Vicariously With Mrs Thembi Terry Whande
I want to live for me and be remembered for having lived every second being authentic to my true self.
Hey! Hey there! Yes you! Did you know a lion’s thunderous roar can be heard 8km away? It should come as no surprise that our interviewee today is making strides that are generating a myriad waves in all corners of the world. Thembi Terry Whande born Thembelihle Terry-Lynne Zulu hails from koNthuthu Ziyathunqa, Bulawayo. She was born 14 August 19…exaggerated gasp you should be ashamed of yourself! I would never tell a woman’s age! Thembi Terry Whande is a jack of all trades in every ramification. When she isn’t nailing it as a blogger she is dominating as a freelance writer and a publicist. Without further ado, I present to you the formidable, the quirky Mrs Thembi Terry Whande…
So how does it feel to be Mrs Whande?
Not sure yet. I’m still numb and in shock that I am actually a whole wife. I haven’t had time to stop and process it all. There’s just too many new things. A new culture, new family members and a new council which governs my life only known as, “The Elders.”
What has changed with regard to how you view relationships over the years?
My lived experiences have always influenced how I viewed relationships. With every relationship I learned something new about my values, about myself and about that person. You must adapt or die in these wild umjolo streets. One thing I’m very proud of is that I was steadfast and unrelenting about what I wanted and I got exactly that.
How are you currently juggling your career and married life?
My married life is now my career LOL. The transition is tricky. There is always something to do. As we speak, I have an overflowing laundry basket giving me nightmares. You don’t know how many clothes someone has until he marries you. Also, life hack, find out how big his Mom’s house is before you say, “I do.”
My husband is my business partner so it’s great that he lives with me now. I can ambush him anytime about business decisions and strategic planning is on steroids. We’re also both content creators so it’s exciting to be able bounce ideas off of each other in actual conversation. It wasn’t the same over the phone.
In your article “Money Matters When it Comes To Men” you said not to settle for a broke man, do you feel this applies in your current relationship?
Fun fact, I married a man who believes that men shouldn’t date broke huns. So definitely it applies, I married someone who has the same beliefs as I do. Never be unequally yoked bazalwane it only leads to crying and gnashing of teeth. My husband’s biggest flex is how we pulled off a wedding without leaving debt. That there is why I married him.
Is there a difference between Thembi Terry Zulu and Thembi Terry Whande?
Honestly, no there isn’t. I’ve been Mrs Whande for the duration of our relationship. I just wear a ring for it now. I’ve been myself and he has been himself since the jump. There wasn’t some special premium package version of us unlocked for our marriage. He knew exactly what he was getting into and so did I. No one switched up on the other just because they got a marriage license. Too many people pretend to be something that they are not to get the ring and realise that forever is too long a time to spend pretending. Many marriages fall apart because “someone changed.”
With everything that has transpired this year, save from catching the dreaded coronavirus, what would you say is your biggest fear?
The water crisis is currently one of my biggest fears. I am a mermaid in that way. I need to know that there is water in the spaces I am in. Initially, that’s why I relocated from Harare to Bulawayo. Then water problems followed me there as well. I was so grateful when the rains came because most people don’t realise how dire the situation was getting. I saw a tweet last month about how water is about to be traded like minerals and stuff. I’ve also heard that one day, countries will be fighting more over water than oil. I pray to God I never see that day. Those who have a calling to dance for rain eNjelele please do the right thing.
How would you like to be remembered? As a phenomenal blogger/vlogger? A doting wife? An exceptional daughter or the wise older sister?
I want to be remembered for being me. Not for what I was to people. It’s a horrible life to be constantly trying to be everything to everyone. I want to live for me and be remembered for having lived every second being authentic to my true self. I want them to say, “There isn’t a thing she didn’t try.” If someone gets inspired by that along the way, that’s just an added bonus.
Why was it important for you to get married on the 22nd of December, a national holiday dubbed “Unity Day” in Zimbabwe?
Unity Day is a commemoration of tribes coming together and our union was in that same vein. There wasn’t a day more perfect for it than that. Also, it was a public holiday so no one had work to go to.
If you had a superpower what would it be? Or do you think being an African goddess is the greatest blessing of them all?
Being an African goddess is an underrated flex! As my best friend Lodza’s favourite song says, “I’m not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts.” I work with what I have and that’s pretty darn special. The fact that we live in a chaotic world like Gotham without a Batman shows how we can live without superpowers. Just do what you do and do it well, that’s extraordinary enough.
What is the motivation behind Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe and for those who have no idea what we are talking about would you mind giving us a quick description?
I founded Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe in 2013. It is a social club for girls and women in Zimbabwe. I didn’t like how there were few spaces for women to come together and interact and make new friends and forge strategic partnerships. I also saw how young girls don’t have safe spaces to discuss certain issues. So Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe was basically set up to provide Big Sister services to growing girls. Mothers and daughters aren’t having the conversations that they ought to be and sisters can bridge that gap.
Blogging is a huge part of your life, how do you think blogging can make a difference in the world?
Blogging is storytelling and that’s how history, culture and traditions are preserved. Stories are a powerful way of effecting social change. When we tell our stories, we raise awareness on issues and spark meaningful debate to address issues. A problem shared is a problem solved. In my culture, female genital mutilation isn’t a thing and I wouldn’t even know that it exists if girls and women who survived it didn’t talk about it. When the stories were told about FGM we started to make progress and it has been abolished in some places. That there is why we tell stories.
In your interview on the Pink and Purple Show you mentioned a three year stalemate which some people refer to as a gap year. What advice would you give anyone who is currently facing that exact plight?
I’d like to give them the same advice I give to unemployed people, “Just because you don’t have a job it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any work to be done.” Help out around the house, do chores, clean the car, do something, anything. Isolation precedes elevation. Take that time to seek out your soul and get to know yourself. Do your inner work. That time isn’t being wasted, it’s happening for a reason. Make it worth it.
As a fellow Reign fan, what stood out the most for you on the show?
For me, it was be careful whose advice you listen to. There are many false prophets, naysayers and doomsday messengers. You’ll spend your whole life living in fear of something that may or may not happen. We are surrounded by liars but your inner guide will always lead you to the truth. Trust your instinct