You turn the BIG 40 this November! How are you feeling going into it?
I’m over the moon. And I’m so thankful. I truly understand what they mean by ‘Life begins at 40’. There’s just something about turning 40. You fully become yourself and you don’t live for anyone anymore. You can confidently say ‘You know what, this is it. Take it or leave it.” I’m comfortable in my own skin now. And I’m so proud of myself and the woman I have become. There are a lot of things I wasn’t sure about earlier in my life, some of the decisions I made, but when I look back now, I realise that everything was falling into place and I need to trust myself more. Everything turned out alright hey. If anything, it’s getting better and better.
What have some of the biggest highlights and achievements been?
You know what, I feel I haven’t really arrived yet to be honest. I have had great experiences yes, but my highlights are still to come. I have a lot of things to celebrate but I honestly can’t pick out one. 40 is my new beginning. This is my highlight. This is where it’s all going to happen because I’m now certain of what it is that I actually do want. What I’m about to do now is the real Plaxedes. The things people never saw coming. The businesses I never started. The tattoo which I was afraid to get which I finally got! The white hair which I now have. Talking of past highlights feels like moving backwards for me. What’s happening now and what’s about to happen is way bigger than the world is even expecting. A lot is coming!
We have to ask, what’s the tattoo of?
It’s a butterfly. My last album was called ‘Metamorphosis’ because I was morphing into who I am now. I knew then that I was in a phase, I was in a cocoon and it looked ugly, going through the divorce and all of it, but now I have emerged, I’m out and I’m the real deal. This is me. This is Plaxedes. I see the metamorphosis, and this is it, the beautiful creature that I have become.
What have some of your biggest lessons been?
To never lose your own voice conforming to society’s norms that conflict with your own truth. To be brave enough to pursue the happiness you deserve. To be your own hero.
And what’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
To live your life on your own terms.
If you were to pick one defining moment on your journey to now, what would it be?
Owning and living out my thoughts, feelings and opinions first before anyone else’s. Trusting my gut.
What are the things that matter most to you?
My peace of mind, my happiness, my friends and family.
Oprah suggests everyone’s biggest pursuit in life should be to find what their purpose is and then to spend every waking moment making sure they live to fulfil it. What is your purpose? Have you figured it out yet?
I believe l was created to inspire others positively through music, speaking and just being me. I have realized that these things have made other women…AND men… bolder to live their best lives.
What do you love most about the woman you have become?
I am my true self, l am my happiest; I AM wiser, kinder, more empathetic and bolder.
And what do you know for sure?
That kindness is the most powerful tool to change the world. People may come off as rude or proud; most times they are dealing with a lot behind closed doors. Don’t be quick to judge.
What does the future look like? What do you still want to get done?
I want to be wealthy, l want to write a book and to be an inspirational speaker.
Can we get a sneak peek into this book? What would it be about?
My life story and the things I’ve learnt on my journey. I believe by sharing I could make some other woman or person understand their value and understand that they matter. I want to share the highs and the lows because with our society, especially with social media, we tend to only show the beautiful sides of life. Our society, unfortunately for us, is also very patriarchal, and women tend to get the brunt of the burden and we are told ‘Shinga’ for things that don’t even make sense. From as early as when we’re little girls, we’re ‘supposed’ to do this and to do that, but from what I’ve seen, and with overcoming my own fears, I believe we are becoming women who own themselves and we all wish when we were younger, or when we were going through whatever we were going through, someone had told us it was going to be ok. I want us to empower our own children to see who we are as individuals, that “I’m not just ‘mhamha’. I’m Plaxedes. I’m an individual. I fail, I rise…” And especially to just encourage people that you can start again, whether it’s in business or in love, or at anything really. You can still pursue whatever it is and be happy and fulfilled. To live a life where you really go to bed happy. People underestimate the power of happiness, to be at peace with your soul. So, when I do write the book, a lot of it is going to be based on that. On wholeness. And not conforming. Because for me now, I find myself in this space where with religion, I don’t conform to what I grew up being told about God and religion. God is bigger than what we’ve been told. God is love. And everyone has their own personal experience with Him. No-one has a monopoly on the knowledge of God or how to experience Him. God doesn’t have a select few that He loves. He loves each and everyone of us, as messed up and as broken as we are, at our highest and at our lowest. I feel that at times, because of religion, people can’t really express themselves, or they feel shy to do so openly, and that’s how we end up having these divisions as women, of the ones who are upright and holy and the ones that aren’t. But we are all really just doing the best we can with the situations that we’ve been dealt. We are not in a position to fully understand what another woman is going through or the pressures she’s under. For example, when you get married, there’s so much pressure to not be friends with single women anymore and all these conspiracy theories about how they will break up your family or steal your husband from you, and so it becomes this huge thing instead of us just celebrating that someone has started on a new journey and we can still all be benefit and learn from it.
If you were to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
I wish I had listened to my voice more. I think in trying to win, I’m by nature someone who likes learning, and I absorbed so much from people, but I didn’t take enough time at the end of the day to analyse and see what worked for ME. What my own true voice was, in all of it. To put value to my own instincts about my life experiences. And that’s the one thing I’m trying to raise my kids to have. To trust their own voices and to just go for whatever it is they want to do. When we are younger, we follow our instincts more, and it usually turns out right, and I often wonder at which point we lose this and start living other people’s experiences. Being told what to do and how to do it by someone who has never walked that particular road before. But I’m glad that as time has gone by I have eventually found my voice. I know how to say “This isn’t me, this isn’t working. I’d rather do A, B, C instead.” And also, this thing of having to be apologetic simply because you are a woman. I don’t know how this happens to us. If it’s submission that is ingrained in us where if you say too much, then you’re being too strong. Or how it’s an unattractive quality in a woman. What a lie! You can be strong and soft where you need to be and how you choose to be. It’s not a prescribed thing. We are all different individuals. We can’t prescribe to the same existence. There is no one formula.
What are the plans for the big 4-0 celebrations? How are you turning up?
Oh my God, I haven’t decided yet but I know it’s gonna be nice. I’ve been so busy with the business and I just had a recent cancer scare so I haven’t really had time to plan it out yet, but I know it’s gonna be nice. I like having a good time so a good time is going to be had. Definitely. That’s what I know. On a side note, the cancer scare made me realise I need to do more advocacy work because it was really frustrating for me , that while people are busy doing pink ribbons and looking pretty, do we all really understand that this thing is real? It was so expensive for me to get the operation, and Zim is already hard, I actually had to get some help from friends and family, and I couldn’t help thinking, “So what is happening to the average woman?” It really got me thinking how many people, outside of wearing the pink t-shirts at work, are actually putting their money where their mouth is. What are we really doing about these campaigns that we are so quick to jump on, on social media?
How would you like to be remembered when all is said and done? What story do you want to be told about you?
That I was an inspiration, a wonderful human being that lived life to the fullest, who was fun to be around and wise. That Plaxedes loved and was loved by her children, family and friends.