I Am Woman Show Experience


Look who cried on national TV

Few months ago I got an email from I Am Woman show producer, Antoinette; a part of me was excited.  On the other hand, I was thinking “Oh my goodness!”……

According to her they got to know about me from the Mail and Guardian Book of Women 2012.  I knew I had a story to tell but I wasn’t really sure if I was ready to share it.  My story was something that I have kept to myself for a few years.  I’m embarrassed to say this but I ignored that email and hoped she would forget about it…..

Antoinette was so persistent; she sent a message to my facebook page.  I spoke to a couple of friends, my sister, my mom and asked for their advice…

My mom said…”Don’t you think you have a story? Why don’t you do it?”

I had several other things to consider.  First of all, I was in the process of moving into my own place, my stuff was at a storage unit and at that particular time I was sharing a tiny living space with a friend.  If I was gonna have a show featuring me and my life I wanted it to happen at my place.

To cut the story short, it took me a few days to figure out whether I wanted to do it or not (the thought of being on TV and talk about the darkest period in my life made me very nervous), eventually I replied back and agreed to be part of the show.   I told them about my living situation and asked to be given a month to move into my new place and unpack my stuff.  That’s exactly what happened….

Looking back, I’m glad I got to share the story…I feel relieved and light….I was very reluctant to do it at first but I thought what if someone else is going through a similar situation.  I also thought of all those rural kids back in the homelands….they need to know that anything is possible.   One’s background does not determine their future.  I come from a very humble background….mud house, pit toilet (or not toilet at all), water from the dam, living on umphokoqo for breakfast, lunch and supper etc….All those things do not determine one’s fate.

Sometimes in life we get setbacks but with God on our side and with the support of our friends and family one can get through any circumstance.

That situation also taught me to appreciate the little things in life (e.g. just being alive, breathing…) to forgive myself, the people that wronged me, to move forward, have more faith in God, rely more on the people that love me and stop wanting to be superwoman all the time.

I mentioned a bible verse my mom used to make us cite every morning (from a Xhosa bible).  I always remember this verse especially when facing challenges life throws at us.  Romans 5: 1- 5

5:1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance; 5:4 and endurance, character; and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Plexus Films team.  You guys are amazing!  It has been a wonderful pleasure working with you and having you at my place.  A lot of my friends(even the one’s I’ve never met on facebook) have asked me to tell you they are BIG fans of your show.  I also got to meet the YouTube cooking sensation, Sarah.  I’ll be sharing her Latkes recipe tomorrow.

One of my friends apparently took pictures of the TV screen while I was crying (I didn’t know I looked cute when crying, LOL!) and sent me the pics with an encouraging message which included this verse:  2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

A special Thank You to everyone that watched the show yesterday and for the wonderful emails and messages.  If you missed yesterday’s episode watch the repeat tonight at 23:30 on SABC 3.  OR watch it on the link below.

I Am Woman Episode 6 Thuli Gogela


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 6 )

  • Flee

    You are Woman….. You are Amazing… Wow!! May you grow and see every view and stop that will nourish your life to be better than you ever hope for… A true inspiration to those who grew up in rural communities, who can improve themselves and who can make big in this world.. Truly a great story and as always love your blog….

    • Hi my dearest Flee,

      Thank you for your kind words, and your support. And for always leaving a comment so that I know you visited!!! I really appreciate that more than you know. People don’t know but it keeps a blogger going. I hope you have a great and productive day ahead. Much love, Thuli

      • Flee

        Thuli Its my pleasure, thanks to yourself and other bloggers who selflessly give of their time, and experiences to help people like me feed and please my Man, as well as a good few friends… Many a blog has saved me from the mundane bolognaise every second night LOL.

        Have a stupendous day and always keep well~ Mwah Flee

        • You are welcome Flee. Your husband is one lucky man! You are also an intelligent woman….hope he knows it! xoxo!

  • Rebecca


    I was browsing the internet, and happened to stumble upon this video. Your message, your story, and the way you courageously persevered when faced with adversity, has touched my heart. I do not believe it by coincidence that I found it.

    You see, today I faced a major setback in the pursuit of my dream, that crushed my spirit and left me dejected. Today as well, with your help, I have found the strength and determination to lift myself up and carry on.

    What a beautiful soul you are my friend! It is an honor to share this Earth with you. I send my love your way, along with the wish that you and your dreams continue to shine through, even in the darkest of times.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Hope you are well. Thank you for your kind message. I also believe nothing is a coincidence. My story had to be out there for you to find inspiration from it today. I’m sorry for your setback but I believe we have the ability to turn setbacks into positive learning experiences. So be kind and patient with yourself my sister and try to pick yourself up again. If I could pick myself up again then so can you! Please do not be a strange! You can even drop me a line on my email. xoxo!

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