If you have a nagging feeling that you’re not fulfilling your purpose but are afraid it’s too late to turn around, our woman making HerStory is exactly the inspiration you need to make today Day 1 of your journey to finding your true purpose and then fearlessly and unrelentingly pursuing it! From radio and advertising to being the founder and owner of Pineapple Creative Studio, this fearless daredreamer has shown the world that living the life of your dreams often takes taking a huge leap of faith. For her, that meant breaking the mould, resigning from a secure job in advertising and embarking on an uncertain entrepreneurial journey to building Pineapple Creative Studio. A wife, mother, businesswoman, choreographer and group fitness instructor, this Diva has always raised the bar high. She is a certified fitness instructor and in 2019 was the first and only Zimbabwean Choreographer to be featured on BBC Africa. She was also part of the first I AM Women’s Conference, where she shared the stage with other female heavyweights the likes of Basetsana Khumalo and Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa..
With her outstanding talent and a character that can only be described as “sweet as a Pineapple”, this trailblazer not only motivates us to stay fit, but also inspires us to reach for the stars. Overcoming all obstacles and expressing creativity through dance, she shows us that there are simply “No Excuses” when it comes to pursuing your dreams.
Allow us to introduce the fearless GoGetter and DareDreamer, Chengetayi Nosikhumbuzo Mnisi Samoyo. We watch the space as this beautiful, daring creative takes the fitness world by storm.This is her story and her journey to “Becoming Chengetayi Mnisi”.
You as a young girl. How would the people close to you describe you then?
They would probably say I was a quiet child, also a cry baby. I remember the smallest things would get the water works going.
What were the BIG dreams and aspirations?
I really wanted to be a vet, I had so much love for animals, I was convinced that’s what I would be.Then I was convinced I would be a Member of Parliament at some point in High School. But then as I grew up all I wanted to be was a choreographer and I’m grateful that that’s my current reality..
What and who influenced some of those dreams?
No one really influenced them, I grew up in homes where we always had pets, so all the times we’d take the dogs to the vet, it really fascinated me and I wanted to be a vet and get to spend my time with lots of different animals. I was in Junior Parliament in High School so at that point I thought I would continue that route, thank God the UZ didn’t accept my application to study politics.Dance is the itch in my brain that could only be scratched by pursuing it.
What are some of the memories from your childhood that vividly stand out?
This one is pretty sad; I went to boarding school when I was 10, I remember crying as I watched my granny drive away in the truck leaving a trail of dust behind her. My young mind didn’t understand why I had to stay in this strange place, I just wanted to go home. I also remember my Aunt teaching me the dance to Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira and Beyoncé when I was done with my grade 7; she was in High School and much cooler, obviously. I then went on to Form 1 and taught my hostel-mates and thus began my journey as a “dancer”.
How does a day in your life today look like?
I wake up and go to either the gym or my studio to instruct my group fitness classes. Come back home, rest and get on with my chores and errands for the day. Motherhood, which is a 24/7 shift is also at play. I’m also constantly making content for my social media sites and when I have my 21 Day “No Excuses” workout challenge, I will be filming and editing content as well as keeping in comms with my clients. And at the back of my mind as I’m going through my day and listening to music, I’m coming up with choreography for my different clients that I have throughout the week.
How did you get here? How did this dream and this life come to be?
I took a leap of faith…after doing everything by the normal blueprint. I finished school, took a gap year, studied for my Journalism and Mass Communication Diploma, even got 2 formal jobs in Radio and Advertising. But that’s not the life I saw for myself, I didn’t like how I felt when I woke up in the morning and went about my days knowing I was not living in my purpose. So in 2018 I resigned from my job in Advertising and started working towards Pineapple Creative Studio. I was so fortunate at the time to have a very understanding mother, she really helped influence my decision and assured me that even if it didn’t work out for me, jobs will always be there. And my husband has also been so supportive, from the moment I told him of my plans, he has been my biggest cheerleader and always encourages me to pursue even more. He is very hands on with our daughter as well, we are so blessed.
Why do you get up every morning to do what you do? What motivates you?
I just want to be happy, and dance makes me happy. It makes me a better person, for my family and my community. I just want to see how far I can go and inspire a generation of women who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams. Even if their dreams don’t seem serious or big enough, there is space for all of us and we should wake up and take it up!
And what’s the most fulfilling part/s of doing it all for you?
The faces of my clients when we’re done with a session, giving people hope and confidence in themselves and in their bodies. The satisfaction that comes with knowing that they did something they didn’t think they could do. That, to me, is priceless. And walking into my studio is still so surreal, it’s been a couple of months now but it feels like the first time every time I go and instruct my classes in my space. I’m so proud of myself.
What are some of the challenges or the things you want to change, or wish were different?
I really wish our economy was solid, so that the service I provide is seen as more than a luxury but an essential part of one’s day to day life as it touches on your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
I wish it were easier for creatives to start businesses, the processes are so disheartening and time consuming.
And what’s the next big thing for you? What new projects or prospects are cooking up in the pipeline?
Now that I have my own studio, I’m definitely looking forward to making the space my own and giving it my personal touch. I’m studying towards becoming an ACE Group Fitness Instructor, it’s an internationally recognized qualification and I’m so excited to be able to add value to myself and what I do.
Our Conversation with Chenge continues in Reflections.