I grew up in a middle-class upbringing and had most of my basic needs met. However, over the years I experienced loss of loved ones, a home, employment and a stable income, my innocence, my sense of self-confidence and self-belief and at one point, my faith and hope for anything good. I have a lot of emotional, physical and financial scars but each of these life experiences taught me a lot of valuable lessons.
BUT GOD! I now know who I am! I have learnt to love and value myself without feeling the guilt that often confuses self-love with arrogance and vanity. Despite the many different experiences that I have had, I am still the same kind, considerate, passionate, faithful, committed, caring, diligent, confident and humble person that I have always been. I have allowed myself to be released of the pressures of being a people pleaser and shifted that focus to being a fully-fledged pleaser of God.
I am a deep thinker, a deeper believer in the Christian faith, a patient, sensitive, decisive, intuitive and loving woman. I am a great listener, a nurturer and always choose to see the good in people. I can be very headstrong, stubborn and reserved in certain situations. I love to give and give and give my time, advice, motivation, inspiration, material things and a lending hand.
The things that make me tick would be anything and everything that deeply stimulate the mind and the senses. In a day I can read up to three books (including the Books of the Bible and related biblical texts) and numerous articles on spirituality, emotions, leadership, business, technology, law, health, fashion, food, travel, inspiration, personal development, branding, marketing, etc.
I love to smell beautiful aromas, fresh scents and raindrops on sand. These things bring out a sense of peace and tranquillity that keeps me motivated to work on every task with vigour and tenacity. I also love listening to different genres of music particularly the kind that has inspiring, motivational and uplifting lyrical content.
I am Edith Utete.
My name is Michelle Gapara, and I am an Entrepreneur, Inspirational Speaker, Guest Relations Manager, and consider myself an agent for change.
As an only child, I spent a lot of time in solitude. I would constantly speak to myself and observe my surroundings with keen interest. I loved to read and would get lost in imaginary worlds where I could assume any role or character. I was often labelled reserved and shy only exposing the real me to my inner circle. As an adult, I realize that who I am today is strongly as a result of my upbringing.
I have faced many challenges in my life and have overcome them through an unrelenting determination to get to the place where I live and not just survive. These fighter characteristics passed onto me by my late mother. From Faith, I learnt to be resilient and to listen to my inner voice and the voice of God.
I am an agent for change, thriving on development. It gives me great satisfaction when I inspire people to live their dreams and to work at becoming the best versions of themselves. This passion brought me to forming BellaBright Enterprises.
BellaBright represents beauty, bright personalities, hard work, focus, resilience and an insatiable thirst for better. The mission at BellaBright is “To inspire all whom we come into contact with to aim towards becoming the best versions of themselves” and the vision is “To play a major role in the development of communities and organizations by providing quality mentorship & leadership programmes”. This represents my soul, the reason that I am on this earth. The core services are Motivational & Inspirational speaking, Event Management and Training.
I am a single mother to two wonderful boys who are a big part of my inspiration.
Passionate about all the things that tickle our aesthetic interests as women, I look forward to sharing some musings from my BellaBright journey, tips on fashion, beauty and feminine self-love with all our Quintessential Females out there. So be sure to join me for #QFFierceFridays with Michelle – there’s a lot I’d like to talk to y’all aboutJ
In the meantime, to learn more about my passion, please visit my website on www.bellabright.com. You can also catch me across social media on Twitter and LinkedIn @michelle_gapara and Facebook on www.facebook.com/bellabright2 / @bellabright2
I’m a lawyer with over ten years of experience in general corporate and commercial law practice in South Africa and Zimbabwe, having graduated from the University of Cape Town.
I gained extensive experience at two respected law firms in Johannesburg, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, due diligence investigations, competition law and commercial litigation. Upon my return to Zimbabwe, I joined one of the leading commercial law firms in Zimbabwe, where I represent a range of corporate clients in both the public and private sector.
I’m passionate about the empowerment of women and disadvantaged children and am a trustee on the Touching Lives Africa Foundation (TLAF) which seeks to extend a helping hand to vulnerable communities across the African continent through sustainable self-help projects.
I’m delighted to be a part of the Quintessential F family, having joined the movement in 2016. I look forward to, through sharing my knowledge from the legal fraternity as the #QFLaw resident columnist, and snippets from my life’s experiences, to impacting the lives of women visiting this platform, and touching on socio-political issues relevant to Zimbabwe and the diaspora.
Growing up in a high density suburb in Zimbabwe, I was so convinced that the most fulfilling job anyone could take up was being a doctor, a lawyer or a pilot. I imagined how marvelous a life it would be, owning a surgery and being known as that lady in white that all children dream of becoming. It was a dream and at some point I worked towards it, attained good grades in my separate sciences at IGCSE 'O' level.
But then I discovered a totally different path, that seemed quite glimmering and somehow interesting. Daringly, I decided to take up Travel and Tourism and Commercials for my 'A' levels and this was the beginning of what has come to be and what will be. This "golden path" as I like to call it, led me to a world of adventures, new things both known and soon to be discovered.
My daily routine and interests changed, as I shifted from documentaries about health and surgeries; to cook books, cooking shows, travel documentaries and everything I could find about food. I started cooking at home for my family, particularly my parents and my brothers. I experimented with all ingredients I could find and when I saw a picture of succulent plated food, I tried to re-create it with my own ingredients and bring out the same thing, plated the same way! "This is so satisfying and interesting", I thought and I knew I was made for this. I realized that I am destined for greatness and designed to manifest it in the culinary field. And that marked the beginning of a beautiful, life changing and fulfilling journey for me as a chef.
“Passion illimité et créativité authentique - Limitless passion and authentic creativity”
I look forward to sharing my passion for the culinary world with you all as the new resident columnist on all things food.
Join me on this epic journey of Quintessential F proportions, as we navigate the world of sumptuous treats and enticing flavours!