She designed a life she loved.
What comes through strongly in my conversation with Dr. Ru is that she’s a beautiful blend of confidence, doesn’t shy away from what she wants, is strong enough to own it but has remained humble amidst her achievements. In between laughs and goose-bump inducing statements – I establish that Rutendo Mudzamiri, or Dr Ru as she is affectionately known, is sassy, a perfectionist and has a deep inner beauty that shines through as she speaks and affirms the position women hold in her heart. My conversation with her will not leave you unchanged. It will challenge you, force you to look deep into yourself and jolt you into action.
My vacation was good, I had so much fun; I had a Hallelujah time! I love traveling, the feeling I get when I reach my destination; seeing people, hugging them, seeing different places. Life is for living, it’s not a rehearsal. I’d rather live for today with the plan and goal of owning properties if I’m going to own them. I’m not going to starve myself and stop living simply because there’s a standard that was set for people to follow. If you know who you are, and you know yourself, you will not be conformed to the standards of this world. I choose my own path. There’s no substitute for exposure; I want to go out and see the world and when I come back I can still build based on what I would have seen and experienced.
My friends have nicknamed me Dr. Storm – they say I have two sides. I’m not afraid to be a double edged sword, you can always rely on me to tell the truth, but I always tell the truth in love. The Storm is the no nonsense part, tells the truth but never in a harmful way or in a way that breaks other people; still always being gentle, warm, loving and kind. I embrace the gentle side more though. I don’t see much of Dr. Storm in myself but I guess my friends do. The women I’ve interacted with say I’m inspiring, an encourager, a motivator. I’ve received it all and I walk in that truth.
I’m a girl who loves to dream and go for it. Passion and faith back me up.
I’m passionate and I thrive to do everything I’m involved in with a lot of love. If I’m not going to give my all to something, then I’d rather not do it.
There’s a part of me that’s cautious before I start anything new but once I take the first step, I see it to completion.
I’ve always wanted to serve women.
When I was 23, I was part of the Young Women’s African Summit in Zimbabwe which brought together 88 young women from 23 African countries. After that, I started doing some work with women but it didn’t last long because serving in that field came with a lot of pain. I was hurt, betrayed and lied to so I retreated into a shell, which was my comfortable, safe space. I tried to justify ‘neglecting’ my calling by concentrating on school, self-development and pursuing other dreams.
The desire for working with women and working for women never went away though. I don’t know what eventually took me to the place of organising a whole summit with no funding at all. This wasn’t in my own power, it was God’s graciousness; it was my purpose, my calling, manifested. I said yes to my calling and started looking at myself as the vessel to delivering a purpose manifested in me. I love working with women, I can’t see myself doing anything else.
The modern Bossbabe is a woman who’s ok tapping into her power while not losing their femininity.
I’ve spent time and had experiences with two extreme types of women. On one hand there’s the powerful married woman, with children and a woman of God. On the other hand, the professional woman, with her eye on the boardroom table. I knew what I didn’t want from these experiences and I started thinking about what my generation of women were yearning for and needing. I didn’t want to be a radical, tired, bored, angry, woman leader or a spiritual woman who didn’t know her purpose and power that comes from being a woman. So, what does a modern powerful woman look like? She’s sassy, sexy, looks after herself, takes care of herself, she loves the finer things in life; she is whole, empowered from the inside out. She’s the boss in her own right, the leader, her own powerful source of inspiration; no one tells her how to run her life, she’s the expert of her life, the CEO. She is the Bossbabe. Women, I encourage you to look inside yourselves. You’re powerful, you’re beautiful, you can get whatever you set your mind to. Being called babe keeps you in touch with your femininity. It’s absolutely ok to meet with women who can tell you about marriage and you want it, who can tell you about being in the boardroom and you want it, who can tell you that you can be powerful and you want it.
The theme for the first summit was-Win, Lead, Thrive. I needed to push others to think about winning and to start acting in ways that would make them win in their businesses, in their lives, in their thoughts, in their leadership, from the inside out.
Thrive was about focusing and putting energy into the one thing your mind was set on. This is what the first summit was all about. This planted a seed and liberated the mindset of a lot of women who are winning through a shift in their mindsets.
Theme: She evolved
We’re not stagnant, we are moving towards something, and we’re going somewhere by taking a deep look into ourselves.
You can never address something you can’t confront so we’re going to take a deep look into ourselves, confront what we need to confront so that we can evolve.
When Bossbabe was launched, we had about 250 people who signed up. When the pandemic hit, I wanted to keep all the women connected so we started a Bossbabe Conversations Facebook Group. My hope was to have an avenue to connect with the 250 people who were part of the first summit but the group evolved and grew to a strong 12,000 in a year! I don’t take this lightly; I don’t take it for granted. It shows me how much we’ve evolved, not only in numbers but in our mindsets. We are not wallowing in self-pity; we are asking ourselves, how do we move forward in a pandemic in order to continue to thrive? What are we doing to continue to thrive? I’ve seen intentional networking within women in that group who have continued to thrive. I look at that and think, we are achieving our purpose but there’s still so much more we can do. I’ve also evolved – in the way I look at my life and other people’s lives. When the lockdown started, I was convinced I would continue teaching at the University I taught during the summer in the States but then the pandemic hit and everything changed drastically; my mindset had to evolve. I started looking at ways I could start giving with what I have – I’m a leadership coach, I’m a strategist, what could I do differently? As a person of faith, I had to go back to God and ask Him what He wants from me. I needed His direction, His voice. It was so hard to even think about doing the second summit and I asked myself – So am I not going to have a 2nd summit because there’s a challenge or a pandemic?
Your setbacks should never be the challenges that you feed, your set backs are growth opportunities.
I started looking at the second summit as an opportunity for growth. So, how are we going to grow? We’re definitely going to reach out to more people, we’re going to find more platforms where we send the message of the Bossbabe and the vision of the Bossbabe to more people and tap into territories I wasn’t comfortable to tap into. I reflected back on what had originally inspired me to launch the first summit. Now I’m working backwards, using lessons from the launch year to make this second one even more mind blowing.
…I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…
There’s something special that I was given when I was created. The mandate that I was given before I was created can only be achieved by me. There can be so many other people doing exactly what I do but there are certain things that are women oriented that can only be achieved through me. That is what sets me and everyone else apart from each other. Knowing this truth gives me so much confidence. I wake up in the morning knowing that even if there are 5 million people doing what I’m doing I still do it with a lot of passion, confidence and zeal knowing that this specific mandate, this calling was given to me. I also want to be an extension of God’s hand; I start and end with him.
I believe that I operate from a place of love and deep passion in everything that I do – and of course, I work hard. Above everything else, I don’t give up; I never give up; I can’t give up – that’s never an option. I don’t love and leave, I stay.
It’s a combination of a lot of things.
Success at a young age, failure and pain, knowing my strength and tapping into it.
My faith in God; had it not been for Him and His hand that has stayed on me, I don’t know where else I would be.
The society that I lived in, the people, the culture, the way I was raised. My mother, she is a person of great faith, vane hunhu. She had a firm, strong yet gentle hand which moulded me into who I am today.
She has always said – know who you are, know where you’re coming from. Ziva kwawakabva, know who you are, even when no one is watching, know what you’re all about.
I’m the youngest in a family of three. For a while, people treated me with velvet gloves because I was the youngest. I had a really healthy childhood until I turned 17, that’s when life started happening, and not in a good way! My dad died when I was 2 and my mum did everything she could to make sure we had everything we wanted.
Life hit me hard when I received my O’level results. I had failed. I lived in a dark room for days. I didn’t know how to face myself and others. I felt I had disappointed people who had been good to me. I was in a very dark place and I didn’t know what to do. I had disappointed myself.
It was at this point though that I started asking myself – who are you? Who do you want to be? What do you want out of life?
At that time, I had a small Bible. I remember it clearly, it was green and had blank pages on both the front and the back. I started writing everything I wanted for myself and you know what, I’m living in most of it right now! It’s funny when I think about it now but one of the goals I set out for myself was that I was going to be addressed as Dr. in future; this coming from someone who had just failed her O’ Level results! Even though I was in a dark place, I kept telling myself I was not a failure and failure was not an option. My journey wasn’t easy; I wrote O’ Levels 3 times before I eventually passed. Failure was not an option for me.Those dark moments were my welcome to real life.
I have no regrets because what I went through has shaped my life immensely. I can never judge people for their pain or for their failures. I grieve with those people that struggle and lend an encouraging hand to those who are yet to see the other side of victory. The empathetic Rutendo is built from these experiences, this is why I genuinely love people. I understand pain, failure, not having something that you want, not having enough people to hold you when all you need is an embrace. I choose to be that person who holds people’s hands and says it’s ok, you’re going to get through this, let’s do this together, we can go through it together.
I’ve stopped being rigid, I’ve become very flexible with what I set out to achieve. I’ve started walking deliberately in the idea of evolving. Even though I’ve seen a lot of things I wrote all those years ago in my Bible coming to life, I’m very open to the new and great possibilities ahead, I know something great is on the other side and I don’t want to limit my expectations, I have to evolve. Where achieving some goals was very important, I didn’t realise my potential until I started living in my truth. I’m now very open to the idea of truly evolving and seeing what’s on the other side without my limiting beliefs. There are still so many things I know I can be, so many pieces to still put together, some offices I still need to occupy, so many roles I still need to play in my life, I haven’t gotten to that place yet but I desire it and I see it. My ambition, hard work and consistency will take me there.
Coaching is my calling, that’s what I do, that’s what I love, that’s who I am. I also have an 8-4 job where I work for a mortgage company. I have Bossbabe Conversations. I’m a sister, a very active friend, a daughter, a potential significant other. I wear so many hats, like most women and each of them is an element of my hustle. I guess the differentiation of what I do and my personal life is how I view Rutendo and Dr. Ru – those two are nothing alike!
Dr. Ru vs Rutendo
Rutendo is the backbone of Dr. Ru but these two are completely different and each serves a different purpose. I wake up to Rutendo every day but then I show up as Dr. Ru. Dr. Ru is the storm, the coach, the strategist, the inspirational person, the Bossbabe. If I want to be inspired, empowered, I tap into her; if I want to be in touch with my emotions, my faith, the most authentic place in me I go to Rutendo. Dr. Ru exists because Rutendo is strong.
Coming up with solutions to how I can serve women better keeps me up at night. I want to know how I can help improve lives, how I can be more helpful.
I envision a society where women empowerment and development is priority. I want to serve women with every breath in me, I want to develop leaders through coaching and personal development.
I don’t want anyone to fail because I know what it is to fail. I want to smash goals in my serving capacity and go to bed knowing that I’ve achieved what I had set out to achieve and start all over again with a new set of goals the very next day.
At the end of the day, I want to be the change that I want to see in the world!
Dr. Ru is like a beautiful prism you behold in wonder. Her passion for women empowerment shines through without a shadow of doubt, her confidence in her calling comes across in how she powerfully addresses issues that are close to her heart. She has a rare and beautiful touch of humility and warmth that makes you feel like you are chatting with an old friend.
I can officially say that I’m now one of many looking forward to the 2nd Bossbabe Summit –She Evolved because I know it’s going to be a life altering experience. If you want to be empowered, gain tools to achieve your goals and be inspired to change the world through your purpose, then this is the summit for you.
The 2nd Bossbabe Summit – She Evolved runs from the 27th to the 28th of March on the Bossbabe Conversations Facebook Page…
By: Emmagness Ruzvidzo