Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories

Rosemary Mupambwa

March 02, 2021 Rosemary Mupambwa Season 1 Episode 9
Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories
Rosemary Mupambwa
Show Notes Transcript

Mentioned in this Episode:
Rosemary's Website
Follow on Facebook: @roseslifecoach
Follow on Instagram: @rosemary.trish

Converge Media

We had such a pleasant time speaking with our guest on today’s episode, Rosemary Mupambwa. She is an Author of the book "Exhume or Heal: A Widow's Memoir, Getting Her Groove Back", Speaker, and Internationally Certified Life Transformational & Relationship Coach, and Retreat Leader. She has a background as a College Lecturer, Domestic Violence Counselor; extensive Mental Health working experience, and a background in Social Work and Sociology.

Rosemary is an incredibly inspiring human who has been through so much, with a goal of helping others through their struggles. We talk about her work, her journey moving to North America after her husband passed a way, and making a life in Canada. Her strength and compassion shine through in our conversation. 


Take Notice w Rosemary



[00:01 – 05:30]

Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Welcome to Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories. I am your host Allison Preisinger-Heggins. The mission of this project is to Take Notice, to listen, to hold space by amplifying Black stories, experiences and voices, conversations on family life, finding joy and interests of folks in our country who encounter racism on a daily basis. A portion of these discussions will be dedicated to holding space for guests who are comfortable sharing their personal experiences with racism. Stories help us all learn and connect; we are here to listen, to Take Notice. Thank you for being with us. Let us take a moment to recognize, to Take Notice of the voices that are so often unheard. Land acknowledgement statements are an important part of honoring those whose land we now live and work on. I have chosen to begin each episode this way to spark ideas and keep these conversations in the front of our minds, so that we may learn how to do better. I would like to acknowledge the land on which this episode was created. 

I would like to show gratitude to the traditional ancestral land of the Shoalwater Bay and Chinook tribes, now recognizing that these names are not the original names of the people of these areas. As I continue to learn how to better acknowledge native people of these lands, I will adjust the wording of the beginning of each episode. I encourage listeners to research the land on which you live and are listening right now, recognizing this is just the beginning. Welcome, thank you for being here and thank you for listening. Before I introduce our guest for today, I wanted to mention something that comes up briefly in this episode but that we will get into further in an upcoming episode. One of my recent guests pointed out a reservation that she had about the question I have been asking my guests about what would make them feel equal. I will leave the deeper discussion on this for my episode with the guests, who brought this up, Yvette Dubel, but I did change the question slightly in this episode which you will hear. 

So, I wanted to mention that before we got started. As I have said before I will adapt and change as I learn happy to hear your thoughts on these changes as they come up or any other feedback that you have, just please be in touch with any thoughts, any feedback. I would love to hear it. I had such a pleasant time speaking with our guests on today's episode, Rosemary Mupambwa, she is an author of the book ‘exhume or heal’, a widow's memoir getting her groove back. She is a speaker and an internationally certified life transformational and relationship coach, and also a retreat leader. She has a background as a college lecturer, domestic violence counselor, extensive mental health working experience, and a background in social work and sociology. Rosemary is an incredibly inspiring human who has been through so much with a goal of helping others through their struggles; her strength and compassion shine through in our conversation. 

So, please enjoy my talk with Rosemary Mupambwa. Take Notice would like to take the time to acknowledge Black-owned businesses, organizations, and artists, if you have a suggestion of which we should highlight during our episodes, please find us on social media or visit our website. Converge media is a leading producer of culturally relevant content in Seattle, and across the Pacific Northwest. They create videos, editorial and creative writing, podcasts, and local news coverage, curated specifically for an urban audience. They believe that the Black community deserves authentic representation, a focus on our community's issues, and equitable access to elected officials, leadership and governmental information. Learn more about Converge Media follow and support at whereweconverge.com. So, Rosemary, how are you today? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

I am good. How are you? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I am good. Yeah. I am way over in Washington State, in the states here. Are you in Canada? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. I am in Canada, in Calgary. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. Wonderful! Maybe to get started, maybe you can let us know a little bit about your background, where you grew up and who you were surrounded by growing up and we will go from there. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

My name is Rosemary, I grew up in Zimbabwe, and I grew up among eight siblings. Two of my eldest brothers, they were my step brothers, but I only knew that they were my step brothers when I was eight years old. I had no idea that they were my step brothers. That is how close we were. My mom brought us, you know, this strong blended family to a point where I grew up not knowing that my two elder brothers were my stepbrothers and when I asked her, she said does that really matter, that is they are your step brothers, it does not change anything, you are still all my kids. So that is how close knit we were. I grew up with my dad and with my mom. My mom was a prison farmer, she used to farm at this piece of land that we had in the village. My dad used to work in the city. So, up to third grade, I was staying with my dad in the city and then after that I requested to go to stay in the village with mom, because I figured life with mom would be much easier. 

[05:31 – 10:05]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

Because with dad, you know, I was doing all the cooking, he would come to work, and then when he comes to work he would help me to cook. But, most of the times, it was just hard to live among the three men, because both my step brothers were also staying with me in the city and so after that I decided to go to the village and then when I decided to go to the village, my second step brother decided to come to the village with me to live with mom. That is when I discovered after five years that he was my step-brother but I had no idea that he was. Anyway! After that, I went to college, after I finished high school; I went to university in Zimbabwe. I started working at this private college in the midlands in Zimbabwe. I got married; I had one child, soon after my wedding, I and my husband went to the UK for university. We were in the UK for almost two and a half to three years, there about we got some qualifications, we went back to Zimbabwe, both of us were college lecturers at the same college, until he passed away in 2000, he left me three beautiful children, the youngest was five, my oldest was twelve, my son was nine years old. 

After he passed away, two years later, my dad passed away in 2003, because of the situation surrounding the death of my husband, my dad had actually moved in with me to help me look after the children. So, when he died, the situation just commanded me to leave, because I just felt, I had no shoulder to cry on, I had nobody to protect me and I left Zimbabwe for North America. I am here in Canada since 2003. I was separated from my children for six years before they joined me. In 2009, I managed to get papers for my mom to join me, but unfortunately in 2017 she passed away. Before that I had lost so many other relatives, just 2019, my youngest brother had a heart attack and he passed away. Yeah. So, now I am here in Canada with my three children, now they are grown up, they are all entrepreneurs, they are doing very well and I am really proud that you know what I managed to raise these three children that my husband left me. 

Now they are productive members of the society, so, yeah. So, I grew up around an extended family. To me, we were never alone in our house, there would be other people coming in to visit, they would visit, thinking that they would stay a week, but they will be there for a month or two months. But that you will be saying to my mom, so when are these visitors mom going to leave, and my mom would say; a visitor will never finish the food in the house, what is your problem, let them stay, if they have nowhere else to stay, let them stay here and so, we were never alone, we were always surrounded by other people from both my mother's side and my dad's side, that is yeah. So, right now when I was alone for those six years without my children, I was going nuts because I was never used to be alone. It was hard for me. Yeah and then I come to North America, the culture here is different. Here, you know, it is one man for himself and god for us all. 

But, in Africa, we live in groups, in cluster families, that, you know, if one problem hits you, it is the whole village. People are always together, they work together, they solve problems together but here is quite a different culture. So, those are the things that I had to go through again to really learn to be an individual in a world or a country full of people. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. That is quite a journey. Yeah. That would be a massive shift to come to North America, to Canada and just that it is I can imagine it is very different. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

It is very different. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah, hearing your explanation there… Yeah. Wow! Let us see here. So, you went to university, what did you go for? What did you study? 


[10:06 – 15:21]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

In the UK, I did a diploma in education, and then back in Zimbabwe I had a degree as well in human services. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

After I left the country, when I came here to North America, they do not recognize our credentials, they do not validate them right there and then. It will be almost nine months, for me to hear back from the government and you have to pay to get your credentials validated or accredited and then I was told that I needed to go back to university for two, four years, if I wanted to be a lecturer in the subjects that I wanted to teach. So, I thought, you know what going back to university for two years that is a lot of hours into college. What about my three children at home? So, I decided to go back to college online, so I did a diploma in social work, I did a diploma in business administration and then I did a diploma in criminal psychology and then after that is when I decided to move from Ontario to come here to Alberta. When I came to Alberta, I went back to university again and did a degree in sociology. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, wow! Many, many degrees, wonderful! Wow! You said you are alone in Alberta for six years with your kids, still in Zimbabwe, is that right? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah.


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

What kind of… were you studying at that time or were you working at that time? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. I was working now as a program coordinator because I had finished my diploma in social work, which I also did online. Because I wanted to be working full-time, so that I can be able to support my children back home. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, sure, yeah. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

But, when I went back to college, again to do my sociology degree, it was online, again with Athabasca University, because I still wanted to maintain my full-time position, so that I could still support my children. My children were also in colleges, and high school, and they still needed a roof over their head and stuff like that. So, for me to improve my standard of living, I decided to go back to college because in Zimbabwe, we had a good life before my husband passed away. So, coming here, starting from scratch, it was not easy. So, I was really thriving to have a much better life than I had in Zimbabwe that is when I decided. You know what let me go back to university, and my kids were like mom, when are you going to stop going to school. Yeah. I went back to school and then after that I started getting much better jobs and then that is when I decided to write my book and then after that now, I am a relationship coach. I do life coaching. I run retreats. I am a speaker and I am an author. But, I also had to go through self-development courses again. So, like the learning process is not ending for me. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. Never ending… 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Never ending… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

That is pretty wonderful. I would love to hear about your book and your current work. But, before I ask you those questions, did you have a specific story or two in mind that you wanted to share? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yes. I wanted to share that when a person leaves their home country, it is a huge decision that people make, you know, we sacrifice a lot. For me, I sacrificed the life of my children, the safety of my children, my own life was when I came to north America, I was not even sure where I was going. I had a friend in the states but the friend was living in a one-bedroom apartment and she had two kids and then we moved into a big apartment, but it was two bedrooms, two bedrooms. So, I was sharing a room with her two kids. So, you can imagine, I had my own house in Zimbabwe, now I am coming to a foreign country, you know, we go through a lot, and that is emotional separation from your children, your culture, your food, your language and everything and then you come to a new country, a lot of people, they give up on themselves; they give up on their dreams. I left my country because I wanted a better life for my children, and a better life for me. 

But, most of the immigrants, when we come here, we go through a lot of discrimination. Everywhere you go, you have to prove yourself all the time beyond reasonable doubts, that you can do this job or you can perform these tasks, even in university, you know. 

[15:22 – 20:35]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

When you are talking on the phone with your college lecturer, if they do not like your voice, you are done, you are done but… and then you see even the common person on the street, they give you a hard time because they are an immigrant. But, they do not know my story; they do not know my story and if you would reverse engineer that, you come to my country and I treat you the same way you are treating me. How do you feel? This is the question that I always ask people like how would you feel, if I treat you the way, you are treating me. I am not here to get free service from the government. I had to work, three jobs, four jobs, going to college at the same time. But, people have this notion that when immigrants come into a country, they want free money from the government that is not it, that is not right, we come here and we work, we go to college, I just told you that I went to college. In the meantime I was working three jobs, imagine. 

And going to university, full time, so we go through a lot of sacrifices but it is because a lot of immigrants, they come here because we are determined to follow our dreams and most of the immigrants, they either fall through the cracks that time because they have been given so much hardship through their journey and they decide to drop their dream, and then just continue working many of jobs. So what I want to tell, anybody who is from another country coming to north America, where you are an immigrant, do not give up your dream, continue grinding, continue working, it is not everybody who is going to be giving you a hard time, creating all these barriers. One of these days, you will need somebody, who will give a good word for you or will just open a door for you; this is what happened for me. One lady heard about my story, and she started opening doors for me. So, the same to the listeners, if you are going through a lot of hardship, people are creating all these barriers for you. 

What also helped me was prayer, pray, god will open those for you, but do not give up, do not give up on your dreams. Simply because you are facing all these roadblocks, and all these barriers, no, one day a door will open, and you will walk freely in the door. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. Having faith that you just got to keep going, can you tell us a little bit about the woman that you mentioned that opened the doors for you, opened a door at least for you? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. I was working for this agency, here in Calgary, in my previous job I was really going through a lot of hard times with the director that I was working with. She continued to promote all the juniors in my program. I would train everybody that was coming in because I was the… what can I say, the longest serving member in that program, everybody was coming, was just working for a year or two and then they would leave. But, I had been with this agency for almost eight years. So, anybody that was coming, they were sent to my office for training and stuff. But then four, five months, when they have completed their probation, they would become my boss and I am like okay. So what is going on? And then I discovered that you know what it was because of the color of my skin. So, when I confronted the managing director about it, she treated me like a kid. One time, you know, I was on the phone with one of the workers, we were trying to solve a problem, and then the other worker had not handled the situation properly. 

So, I was trying to take her through the journey and telling her what she should have done, instead of doing what she was doing. But, this colleague then went to the director and created fire for me. So, it was like, it was my fault and I was trying to justify and just clear my name that I did not do anything wrong. I was not even there. All I had was the phone call and I was trying to find information to see what was going on. But then I was told you are not the boss, why are you trying to solve a problem? And I am like well; she came to me, asking for advice, the client called me because I had worked with that client. So, the client called me because the client was in distress. How was I supposed to hold that situation? I had worked with this client before and she was comfortable talking to me and this other work I was still new. So, I was trying to help the situation but oh my goodness, it was my entire fault to a point where it even went as high as the CEO. 

[20:36 – 25:18]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

And then the CEO Secretary is the one that offered the conversation. She is the person that had doors opened for me, because she spoke to the CEO and said; no, you are being given the wrong information. Rose is not wrong. She is right what she is doing, but you are only hearing one side of the story and it was clear that because of the color of my skin, I was not supposed to be telling the other person that they were not doing their job correctly, and I was not the supervisor, you know what gave me the audacity to say so. So, this woman is the one that actually spoke to the CEO, and then the CEO, they meeting with me, and tried to apologize, you know what it is okay, we can solve this situation. But after that when stuff like that happens, you are no longer comfortable. Yeah. So, after that there was a job in an agency that we were working in conjunction with. The supervisor of that agency knew the secretary of the CEO, it was just in passing that she was talking about it and said; oh, yeah, I interviewed one of the ladies from your agency, do you know her? 

And she is like, oh Rosemary, I know her and then she started talking a lot of the things that I had done in that present agency that I was still working for and she is the lady that got me the job, because her reference, you know her called reference, actually opened the door for me for a new job and it was the month after I started in the new position that the manager for this new agency said; oh, you know what, I hired you because of the accommodation that I was given by the secretary from your previous agency and I am like what? I did not even ask her to be my reference and she said; I know she just gave me the reference without knowing that I wanted to hire you. So because of that, I hired you because she gave me a good word before she even knew that you were the last two candidates that I was deciding to hire. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, that is awesome! Yeah. You never know when that little helping hand is going to pop out. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. You never know. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. That is wonderful! Now, you are doing relationship and life coaching. Are you still working? Is that your full-time job and speaking and all that? Is that your full-time work now or are you still working for this agency that you are talking about? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. I am still working for this other agency. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Wonderful! 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

So, relationship coaching and all this… because most of the times now, we do it over zoom. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, sure. Yeah. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

You can just invite. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. It is flexible, it is yeah. That is wonderful! 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. Flexible, you can do it anyway; you can do it even in my car. I remember one time I was coming from work and this lady from… this is Italy. Yeah. She had bought my book, and she had a couple of questions, and I was talking to you all the way to my house. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, wow! Yeah. Is not that amazing? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. It is always you can do. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Yeah. I mean sometimes I gripe about it because it gives me, you know, it is hard to keep up, and it is hard to do this or that, but I mean all the positives connecting, like being able to talk to you, and I am all the way over here on the west coast. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

It is just amazing! I really appreciate it. Oh, awesome! Wonderful! So, can you… let us see, so you wrote a book, can you tell us about your book and your current work with that, and when you are able to do speaking engagements? What you do with that as well? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

So, this is my first book, ‘Exhume and heal’, here getting a group bank, so now I have also released the handbook to this book. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh, wonderful!


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. So, when a person finishes reading this one, they can buy the workbook, and go through it to make sure that they have understood, because there is a lot of healing therapies and exercises in the first book and then I have also published this one, it is called a triumph and snapback, reset in your life and this one is mainly to reignite your groove, after you have gone through with widow, divorce or a heartbreak, how to get back into the dating thing, and start afresh. 

[25:19 – 30:22]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

So, what I do with my book, for the conferences that I have been as a speaker, after I published my book in 2019, in December. In January, I received a call to go and talk about my book in Oslo in Norway, that was my first time I flew to Norway, I would never been to Norway, so, yeah. So, it was a women's conference, and I was talking about grief, the truth about grief, what grief is all about, what it means to be going through grief, and also how you can pick up the pieces after you have gone through grief. A lot of people only thought that grief is when you have lost a husband or you have lost a dad or you have lost a mother. But, grief is anything that causes you pain. So, when I was talking about that, a lot of people were like oh, okay, we did not realize that grief can be anything. So, I was going through the speech, talking about my journey as a widow, that when you lose the husbands, there is a lot of things that you go through. 

You change all these statuses, you know, to begin with I was his girlfriend, I became his fiancée, I became his wife, when I got married I became mother of his children, when he was sick I was his caregiver. But, at the same time I was still his wife and then when he passed away, I became a widow overnight and overnight as well I became a single parent. These are the things that I had never planned. For nobody trains you to be a widow and nobody even trains you to be a D for C, you know. When your status changes like that, society will change as well. But, it will change on the negative side. The society is never with you when you are a widow. As widows, you are treated differently, even a divorcee. The friends that you used to be with when you are still coupled, they will divide themselves. Some will come with you or some will go with your ex-husband. When your husband passes away, everybody will run away, there is only a few people that will stay with you, and those will be your closest friends, they were a lot of ladies in there that had lost their husbands a while back, and I spoke about the things that I see at your husband's funeral, for example a person who come and say; wow! We are so young to be a widow, so now what are you going to do. 

Those questions to them, they are so innocent, but are the way that they are going to make the widow feel, like okay, so what I did not choose to be a widow, this status was just thrown at me and then you are asking me what I am going to do. I just buried my husband two days ago. I do not even have a plan or if you have been going back to my house. I do not even know how I am going to go there. What am I going to do? I have no idea, but people ask me all those questions or they will say; wow! He left you this brand new car, was it paid in full or it was still a car not. Okay, so now I am supposed to put my laundry in the open, everything that you know what this car was not paid cash. But, to them, you know, they are concerned in a way, but they do not know how those questions make the widow feel. They do not know because most of them have never been in your shoes. They do not know how you feel. They ask you all these questions. 

So, now did he leave you enough money to look after the kids? Well, if he knew that he was going to die, I am sure he you would have left me a million dollars. But death comes without notice, it comes without notice. Even when you are divorced, most of the times it is a surprise to a woman that wow! You are divorcing me, oh yeah; I am divorcing you because I am going to be living with so and so… they will leave you for somebody else and it is most of those things that you are never ready for, you are never ready for. But, I guess, because most of the people, they have not walked in your shoes, they just do not know how to behave or how to support you. What I have always told people is, you know when you visit a widow or when you go to visit your friends, we have just been given divorce papers to find, do not say anything. Ask the person who is affected, how can I help you? Because sometimes when you start offering unnecessary help, it is going to be annoying to the person who is going through the situation. 

[30:23 – 35:21]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

Because sometimes, all we need is just your presence and your silence, it is comfort enough. But because a lot of people, they try to help, but they do not know how and they just failed to ask how can I help you, that is the question that people just need to ask, how can I help you? How can I be of health? How can I be of service to you in this situation? And the person who is in the situation will know what they want or will tell you, you know what for the time being, I just want to be alone, that is all, I just want some peace to process, some stuff and people should respect that, if she says; she wants to be alone, okay let it be. Yeah.


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely, it makes me wonder if the struggle with people knowing what to say or not also comes from the hesitation of our culture or different cultures in society to even talk about divorce or death in an open way. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

People are just feeling lost, when they have not run into it, and they are in the presence of it, so, yeah. Yeah, just sitting with people and just being there and asking how you can help that just really simplify what to do. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

It does. Yeah and most of the times, the widows even the differences, they are going through a lot of shame because there is this thing that when you are divorced, you no longer belong to a certain society or a certain culture of people and most of these differences, that is what they struggle with. They are so ashamed that you know what they could not make the marriage work. But, most of the times, if you talk to the woman, she would have done everything she could, she might have bent backwards to make the marriage work, but if the guy, he has checked out of the relationship, there is nothing you can do and sometimes even the circumstances will force you to leave the marriage. But, a lot of people, they hide because of what society would treat them after that. I remember when I got widowed; I went through a lot of shame, a lot of fear because people started treating me differently. People started treating me differently. 

You walk into a supermarket and people know that oh, she is the widow, just the looks from people, it is like, I have people repelling syndrome on me, like I am just a human being just like you. I am just going through grief and I did not ask for this grief and then when they address you is oh, Rosemary, oh you mean that widow, okay. Widow is not my title in this last name. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Alright. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. They call me Rosemary, oh you mean the widow, really? Yeah. What they will say; oh, you mean the divorcee. Wow! Seriously, is that how you treat other people when they are in a predicament like that? So, it is all these labels that you get. Why is it that when I am married with my husband, when somebody asks me, oh you mean Rosemary or the married one? No, they do not say that, it is when you are divorced or we do not or heartbroken. Oh, you mean that one that was dumped by so and so… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. Anything that they can point out that is negative or… 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

You do not want to… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Put you in some category. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Putting me in categories, like okay, why people of my nation, why? But people do it and most of the time, they do not even think about it, it just comes out. Like okay society, we need to learn not to give people statuses because of their predicaments. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Absolutely, wow! One of the questions that I ask everybody is what brings fun or joy into your life? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

What brings me fun is to be around the people that build me up and lift me up, around positive people. My children they bring me fun. I like to be around people that are motivated to improve their lives. I say so because I was in this pity party mindset for a long time and I never thought I would be able to be happy again. But, you know what, your mindset everything starts in the mind. The way you talk to yourself, these private mind chatters that we have. These are the ones that can either build you or break you. 

[35:22 – 40:23]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

So what I want to tell people is listen to what you are telling yourself, what it that you are telling yourself every day is. Are you telling yourself that you are a loser? Are you telling yourself that you know what I wish I had done this? You wish you had done this, okay. Now that is yesterday, what are you doing today? Because your future, your tomorrow starts right now… what are you doing right now? Crying about the past is not going to change the past, the past is gone, it is gone, you need to flip the page to the next page, so that you can start afresh, start today, stop looking at yesterday and always, when you wake up in the morning, what are you looking forward to; this is what makes me happy. When I wake up in the morning, I look around; I am like I am thankful that I am alive. I jumped out of bed; I am alive although as you get older, it gets difficult to get out of bed. But, I am thankful I am alive. 

I am thankful that I have my life. I am also thankful that you know what, since I started writing, it has brought me so much joy, just writing is brought me so much joy, because I know what I am writing, and what I am talking about in conferences is helping other women, working with women, especially that have gone through the road that I worked with those divorcee had broken, I have been widowed, right? And I have been divorced from my culture and from the people that used to be around me as my husband, as Mrs. Zumbamba, I am still called to Mrs. Zumbamba. But my husband is no longer there, right? So that unity that I had with my husband, he is no longer there, so I am divorced from that unity. Now, I am a single mom, right? So, a lot of the women, when they have lost their husbands, they go through a lot of… what I call, what will people say syndrome. So, when they come to me, they are coming to me with all these notions that people are telling me, I should not start dating, people are telling me because I am past this age and my husband passed away, I should not even think of having a relationship. 

And I am sitting there, I am telling them you know what, I am almost 60, I will be 60 this September, I am dating. Why are you stopping to make yourself happy? Simply because they are still worried about what will people say. So, when I sit with them, we do what I call a personal inventory, what makes you happy? Most of them, they have no idea anymore what makes them happy because they have spent their whole life looking after other people, they have been looking after husband, the husband passed away, they were looking after their family, their children, and they forgot who they are. So, when I work with a woman like that and help them to regain their identity, pick up the pieces and gain their growth back, reignite themselves, find themselves, reset their life and start their life afresh, give them tools to go back into the dating scene, if they want to. But, if they decide to be single that is fine, we will work with you to make sure that you regain your confidence, to empower you, to be an independent woman that is not going to be dependent on other people. 

And to work on your mindset and remove the poor me mindset, that is keeping a lot of people stuck in their pain, regret as well and lots of people, they regret, oh, I wish I had not wasted so much time in this relationship. I should have done this. I should have done that. But, you know what, it is gone, it is gone. So, when I speak with them to change their mindset after a session or two sessions and then they call me, they are like, wow! Rose, I never looked at life that way, the way you put it now, I can see why I was so stuck in my yesterday. So, that brings me joy. Like right now, I was working with a lady in south Africa, now she has met this rich, this rich guy, and yet all this time, she was like, I do not think, I even qualify to be going out with anybody because I am like this, I grew up like that and I am like, you know what, you are putting labels on yourself, you are the one that is your own enemy, this is what I call self-destructive behavior, stop looking down on yourself, and love yourself. 

So, I went on a mindset, we went through all these self-confidence and self-esteem exercises. Now, when you see her, she is a brand new person, as confident as ever, she might be getting married at the end of this day, if the pandemic is over and I am invited to the wedding. 

[40:24 – 45:12]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

So, all those things, they really make me happy, they really do. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I can imagine how joyful that work must be. That is wonderful! Oh, thanks for sharing that, you shared a story about your some racism in your work life and one of the questions that I have asked each guest has to do with that in a way, my original question has recently been pointed out that I need to clarify it a little bit, so I do not know which one you got in your email. But, I have shifted it a little bit and the question is what would make you feel seen as genuinely equal? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Just to be treated equally, not to be treated differently. One time I was in the dollar store, there were some Caucasian people, behind me, and this lady in the dollar store said; do you want a plastic bag or the recyclables? And I said; no, I do not want that bag because all the time I pay for it, I forget it in my car, but there is no need for me to buy the expensive one, give me the plastic one, that if I forget it, it is okay and then this woman said; do not you care about the environment? And I am like, the lady that was, it was in front of me, she asked for a plastic bag, and you did not preach to you about the environment, why are you preaching to me about the environment. I just told you, I do not want that other bag because I will forget it in my car and she went on and on, unprecedented about the climate, do not you know that in… And I am standing there, I am like you know what if I continue arguing with you because I am a Black woman, then they will start talking to me about the angry Black woman. 

So, what I did was, I just folded my hands, and I looked at it, and she continued to talking until the lady was the third one in the room, she was white and she came and she said; what is going on here? What is wrong with this woman? If she said; she does not want that bed, why are you forcing it? So, until that woman interjected, I was this close to working out and living everything that I wanted because of that and sometimes you get powerless because if you try to stress your point, then people will think because they are Black, you are now violent and then the next thing you see police coming and then when the police come, they always go on the other side and then it will take them time unless if another white person comes in to help me out. I will be the one at fault. So, all we ask for is you know what treat me just like everybody else. If I am wrong I am wrong, but if I am right, give me the respect to be right. 

But, most of the times, it is like you have to prove yourself. One time, we had gone to BC, I wanted to ask at this hotel, so that I would start planning a retreat for the end of this year and this receptionist pretended like she could not understand what I was asking for and she kept on saying do not that they say pandemic and I said I know there is a pandemic. I said at the end of the year, which year are you talking about, like okay, which year are we talking about. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh my goodness! 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

I just told you, I wanted to find out at the end of the year. If there is a possibility for us to run a retreat and if so, what are the costs? What does your hotel, what does it offer? That is all I wanted, that is all the information I wanted. Unfortunately I had my white boyfriend with me, he is the one that came to my rescue, and said; are you telling me that you cannot understand, what she is saying? And then because she saw him coming to my aid, she is like no, I did not say it that way, I just wanted to get more details, more details about what. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh goodness! 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Some of those things it is like, yeah, you sit there or you stand there, and you are like, oh my god! Shall I scream what can I do? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right and it can be super subtle or it can be super blatant. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

You never know what you are going to run into. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah and then when you try to raise your voice to sense the point, oh she is violent, when the police are there, okay, if I was white, I am sure they would not do that you know and as soon as we came and tried to find out what was going on, she is like no, I just wanted more details, okay, more details about what, I was trying to explain to you. 

[45:13 – 50:39]

Rosemary Mupambwa 

But, sometimes you are treated like an idiot, if no queen is like, okay come on, I have five senses just like, you all I want is information, that is all. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

And the attitude completely shifts as he came around. I am sure. Yeah. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

It is completely shifted and then after that I said; you know what, on second thought, I do not think I will come back to run a retreat at this hotel, no, not but this no. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Oh goodness! Yeah. Oh, well thank you for sharing your thoughts on that. Oh, yeah. We ran into my husband and I ran into something similar to that at the department of licensing the other day. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

He was in there, trying to get tabs I think and she was giving him a hard time and he said; as soon as I came up with my checkbook and like asking questions, as soon as I came back with my checkbook. She shifted completely. No, I had no idea because that is how she was when I got there, it was totally fine.


Rosemary Mupambwa 

It was day and night, it is like, wow! Are you the same person I was talking to just two minutes ago? 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Right. Oh, thank you so much for joining me and chatting with me. Can you let us know where we can find your information and anybody that you would like to highlight? We would love to hear that as well so… 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. I would like to highlight my children for the moral support that they gave me; they are always there for me, Rainbow, a lot of people known as Natasha, and then Ronnie, my son and my youngest rapper. You know what these guys have been there for me. These guys have so much faith in me and I am so happy that I have supportive children. My siblings as well, my sisters, they are all over the world. I thank them a lot for everything that they are doing and not forgetting. God himself, he has kept me going when I thought I had nothing else left, god was there, and there are people that I pray with in my church, they are always there for me. Yeah. They were actually here this morning, on zoom praying with me, which is really a huge support, because we are all going through so much in the world and if you do not have people that support you, like these guys do. A lot of people are really going through a hard time. 

And I also want to thank the ladies that I work with in the women's conferences that I go, they are always there supporting me. There is also a lady called Annette, here in Calgary, she is one of my mentors, she is about 75 years old, and every time I call her, even when I am doing seminars, when I call her, she is there to give me advice, free advice. Most people judge me; she is there to teach me. Two weeks ago, I lost my auntie to COVID in Zimbabwe… 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

I am sorry. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

And she said; oh, I have not heard from you for almost a week or two weeks because every week she always sends me a message and I said; you know what, I was just going through a hard time, I lost my auntie and since then she is calling me every other day, sending me a message, and this other day, I was at work, I was just going through a hard time and from nowhere she calls me. I was just thinking of you Rose, I was praying for you and I just got this feeling that I need to talk to you and I said; wow! You are such a godsend. I am just going through a rough time today. So, all those are the people that I really want to call out for and think. So, where people can get me, on my website, it is called roseslifecoaching.com, roseslivecoaching.com and my email address is the same [email protected] 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Wonderful! 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Facebook, I am on rose life coaching as well. Yeah. So that is where they can get me but if they go to my website, they will be able to connect with me anyway. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

All the information is there? 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

All the information is there. Yeah. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Okay. We will be sure to put that in the episode notes and on our website, so people can find you, once they hear this episode, for sure. Thank you again Rosemary, I really appreciate you being a part of Take Notice, and spending your time with me this afternoon. 


Rosemary Mupambwa 

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me, I really enjoyed the conversation. 


Allison Preisinger-Heggins 

Me too! Yes, thank you. I appreciate that. Thank you for joining us for Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories. Please subscribe, and follow us on social media, we are at Take Notice podcast; it would really help us out, if you could take a couple of minutes to review our podcast. Thank you for your support. Take Notice: Amplifying Black Stories is produced, hosted and edited by Allison Preisinger-Heggins, co-produced by Amanda Rae, music by Version Big Fi featuring Darius Heggins. Thank you for being with us and thank you for taking notice.