Stories of Community Resilience

Episode Description

Award winning authors Daisy and Kabinga, discuss the book “C.O.N.F.R.O.N.T” Recently authored by Kabinga, the book is intended as a guide to help those to reclaim their life after experiencing trauma. Daisy and Kabinga share their experiences from the perspective of navigating this challenge as migrants, and share empowering methods to work through trauma.

Content Warning: Discussion of family abuse, emotional abuse, assault. Help is available at 1800 RESPECT and for crisis support, Lifeline phone 13 11 14. 

Transcript available here: 

Follow Daisy Wu LinkedIn 

Follow Kabinga LinkedIn


Note: This transcript is automatically generated and may contain errors.

Daisy Wu: Welcome to Stories of Community Resilience podcast by 3ZZZ. I’m Daisy Wu, interviewing Kabinga Mazaba, bestselling author, resilience coach and so much more as she will introduce. Welcome Kabinga.

Kabinga Mazaba:  Thank you so much. Thank you for having me, Daisy.

Daisy Wu: Yeah, I’m very thrilled to interview one of the amazing authors I crossed paths with last year at the Able Publishing Press Expo and Book Launch, where we both received amazing awards. So congratulations again with all the all the milestones that you’ve hit recently, hitting the top of the charts on Amazon. So I’m so thrilled to contain that in the context of this podcast themed around resilience. So do you mind starting with a brief self-introduction?

Kabinga Mazaba:  Thank you so much, Daisy. My name is Kabinga Mazaba. I’m an international speaker, transformational coach, and author of Amazon number one bestseller Confront Reclaim Your Life. I’m originally from Zambia and migrated to Australia in 2008.

Daisy Wu: Amazing. As you mentioned, the title of your best selling book, C.O.N.F.R.O.N.T. And the subtitle being Reclaim Your Life, which really intrigued me the first time I came across that. As you spoke about this on the stage launching it, could you please fill the audience in as to what these letters stand for, and how does that tie to your story and the theme of resilience?

Kabinga Mazaba: My book – C.O.N.F.R.O.N.T – Reclaim Your Life is about facing our deepest fears and breaking free from the shadows of our past. So my book was inspired by a personal battle against a family curse of trauma and secrecy, including my own. So I decided to tackle my own traumas head on. Not to only save myself, but to change the future of my children and other people who are facing similar traumas in life. And my book is all about the journey of confronting, overcoming, and turning fears into the source of strength. It’s a message of hope that by facing our challenges directly, we break free from the cycles of pain and create a new legacy of healing to generations to come.

Daisy Wu: That’s beautiful. And, I take it that now I’m more and more enlightened on the topic of trauma throughout my experience overseas as well, I’m more aware that this is part of the journey each of us have to embark on. It’s not something that needs to be stigmatized, and I totally appreciate that being part of the OBC migrants also can catalyse some of the major life changes to lead us to enlightenment and awakening. So wandering that also aligns with your story. And do you mind sharing the muse of the book in reference to your personal journey? So what made you what what made the idea hit you that one day you’re going to write this book to the world?

Kabinga Mazaba: I think when you you begin the journey of healing, there is so much resilience in it that we don’t realize that others actually don’t have that resilience, or they are looking for that healing. So me writing my book was me telling myself that as an immigrant coming from a trauma childhood life, it was me telling that I’m okay with what I went through. It wasn’t okay that I went through that, but I needed to accept that. And once you accept some challenges in life, that’s resilience, because that’s how how do I move forward now? So coming with the book, the way I wrote it was I wanted to be a guide, to somebody who’s going through similar challenges, like how do I change my past? Or how do I become comfortable with my past? So C.O.N.F.R.O.N.T Is about confronting our challenges head on directly without shying off, without feeling shy. And as an immigrant, we carry a lot of stigmas as we are coming from. So we fear, like, oh, ‘if I confront this or if people find out what I’ve been through, it was going to bring a lot of shame.’ But in in that shame, it’s like we’re also limiting ourselves of what we can become, and only if we confront certain challenges we go through in life. That’s how we move forward into life. So confront is more like a survival kit. For any individual going through those challenges.

Daisy Wu: Yeah, and so much more than which I’m sure you’ll further introduce us to and agree, before you ever beautifully said that the migrant journey is naturally a reconciliation and ongoing reconciliation of our past and future, and as we evolve and rebirth from it. And I take it that there is a framework that you introduce as you pitch your book at the launch that we’re all part of conference, not really just a single word for anyone who’s chanced upon its cover. It’s actually also integrated as part of the framework. So could you just could you please disintegrate the letters and dissect them in the limit of the podcast if possible?

Kabinga Mazaba:  Oh yes. My book, the title C.O.N.F.R.O.N.T, is actually an acronym, and each letter has a meaning. And when you look at the ‘C’, it’s challenging limiting beliefs. So as a migrant, you’re looking at you come with a lot of limiting beliefs depending on how your background was. So coming from my background, I had a lot of limiting beliefs ‘oh you can’t do this, you’re not good enough at English. English is your second language, or you can’t progress even further because you have to start all over again.’ So there’s a lot of barriers that we face. But for us to move forward as immigrants and to fulfill our purpose in life or help others in return, it’s about challenging our limiting beliefs, which limit us a lot. And oh, I’m just going to go for a few because it’s quite a lot these they all which is owning your needs and wants. This comes in as, an immigrant we kind of face the crucial of maintaining our mental health and pursuing goals amidst our challenges. So owning your need is like, you have to know who you are, your values, and your your aspirations. Like, what are my values as an immigrant or I have these qualities. How do I embrace that? So I have to own those needs that they are part of me, but at the same times they shouldn’t limit me to progress further. And finding your voice was about the (letter)’F’ is finding your voice and immigrants. Sometimes we’re coming with barriers and say, oh, how can I speak up? How can I do this? I can’t speak well, I’m not good at this. So we have all those barriers. But if we overcome that, we learn. We learn to find our voice and we speak out. And in speaking out, we’re also inspiring others.

Daisy Wu: Imagine having the full spectrum of the toolkit in the come from framework. I imagine any immigrant, whether new or established, will really upgrade their journey and literally upgrading what they are willing them, which I totally resonate with. And as a recurring theme that you’ve already reiterated on this podcast, self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-empowerment are the core of anyone’s journey, not just as a migrant, but particularly within those disadvantaged communities. How do you think they can cultivate those qualities and what they can benefit their own to experience, you know, a better life and better career in those culturally and linguistically diverse environments?

Kabinga Mazaba:  Yes, when you look at, um, self-awareness and self-acceptance, they go hand in hand. When you are self-aware, you have this understanding of your thoughts, your feelings, your values, your beliefs, your actions, your culture, your strength and your thoughts. So this is where self-awareness comes in. You have to spot like, what areas am I good in, what areas I may not good at, or what’s limiting me. And you have some now to stop after you spotted the areas that you need improvement or you need to be aware of is like, how do I stop and think about this? How do I need to move forward from here? When you decided how you want to move forward is like, how do you swap them now with positive, empowering awareness in yourself? Like, ‘I need to go from there.’ And self-acceptance, on the other hand, allows individuals to embrace their own heritage and beliefs and experiences with pride without feeling the need to conform to a dominant culture. You’re really, really loving who you are. You champion the language that is your mother tongue. You champion, you inherited, you nurture inherited. So when you have self-awareness. You gain this insight into your own cultural identities and biases, and you’re more understanding to other cultures because you love your culture, you love who you are, and there’s no shame in embracing any culture where you culture you come from. When you accept who you are, there’s so much peace and so much potential that you can do and embrace that culture, because everyone can learn from that. Melbourne is very multicultural. Australia is very multicultural. So bringing your culture, accepting your teaching other parts, other people that this is who you are and you teaching them  we are coming more into more diversity culture.

Daisy Wu: That’s at the essence of the way that you introduce. You just introduce one of the (letter)’O’. Owning your own needs and wants. And it is a natural process to experience culture clash. Whichever direction that you migrate to the east or to the west. Naturally, when you integrate yourself in the process of integrating into a new environment, the difference is what we have to expect and is inevitable. Change can also be inevitable, but as you will pinpoint, it is also the need to set the boundaries and firm up our own boundaries just so that we can retain our individuality and idiosyncrasy in from a cultural perspective, but also from an individual viewpoint also. So could you give us some examples where you experienced the culture clash, but after the inner process, after sifting that through your own frame or your own guidelines, you made a decision to be more of yourself and promote that part of your values and beliefs to the to the people around you.

Kabinga Mazaba:  Oh yes. I think when you look at cultural clashes, I think the most significant part of me was, accepting who I was because I thought I wasn’t good enough at something. Especially because coming from an English being my second language, I had to learn. When you come to Australia, you have to learn English, or you have to write exams just to be part of it. And I think there was a big barrier that, and people always have this little microaggression when you come as an immigrant like, oh yeah, there’s something that somebody but I think like when I talked about self awareness and self acceptance, it’s like, if you know who you are, truly you be, you are more accepting even to learn about the other cultures. You shouldn’t be shaken along that because it’s how we grow. Change is uncomfortable, but we only grow through change. And with culture, you learn to adapt to new frameworks of the way of life of Australia, but without forgetting who you are. Because who you are is what has made you to be who you are. Yes.

Daisy Wu: That’s really reliable, just drawing upon language variation example, which is really something I am passionate about as a thought leader to re-educate people on. As you said, there was a period where you’re so self aware of how what made you different by the sound and also the look of you and those conceived microaggressions and potential discriminations. For me, I had really similar pathways where there was once upon a time when I just was so fearful of people hearing me because they said we will naturally expose to them how fresh I was in this country, and exactly which part of the world and which part of Asia I would have come from, which they might see as people naturally not have not having high English proficiency at that time. Adapting was truly the strategy, as you said, that I later on embrace it didn’t mean overhauling. It also didn’t mean not being not being really who you are not. So in the example of language I, my understanding is to arrive at a sweet spot where you can just use that perfectly imperfect, non-native English to build the connections across cultures goes far beyond communicating English, as we all agree. Yeah. Outside the language barrier. What are the other beliefs that you once held about yourself? If you don’t mind giving us one more example. For example, establishing yourself as a thought leader and book author, and as you expand your influence, what were the limiting beliefs? Once upon a time stopped stopping you from doing more of that.

Kabinga Mazaba: I grew up with this limiting belief because I was told that I’m not good enough or I’m not smart enough. And when you grow up with the belief I’m not smart enough. You internalize that belief and you grow up with it. And beliefs, when you believe it becomes into action and you start living, it’s like I’m not good enough. And so you learn now to avoid a lot of things and you tend to run away. Well, I can’t do this. I can’t write a book. I’m not smart enough. So that belief held me for a very, very long time just to come out of my shell. It’s like I only wanted to do something I was comfortable with, anything I was not comfortable with. No. But as we learn about ourselves, and because of the trauma I went through, the only way to move forward was for me to change. And changing was also changing my beliefs that I am good enough. How do I find out I’m good enough? You try new things that you find are very uncomfortable and you find like, oh my God, I’m actually good at this. I can do this. And you want to try even more challenging things. And coming from English being my second language, I wrote a book one day. I just said, I’m just going to challenge myself. I’m going to write a book. And I sat down to write a book.

Daisy Wu: Out of curiosity, was there a specific individual who gave you that significant push?

Kabinga Mazaba: Yes, I think there was a big moment because when I spoke about, the trauma in my family from the beginning and the secrets that was going through because I went through childhood abuse, emotional neglect. When I lost my father at the age of 11. My father’s family never wanted anything to do with me, so I grew up with a single mother who also had her own way of dealing with trauma, which was not in a healthy way. So now, coming to how do I deal with this? I wanted to end generational trauma in my family. I knew somebody had to end it because my parents died early in their 40s. My dad was like 40. My mom was like 43, and I was also going towards 40s. And it hit me really bad. Like, if I don’t change my attitude, I’m going to carry this trauma to my kids and their kids. How about I change? The level of generation and say healing moves forward. There’s no secrecy. You have to talk about your emotions. You have to heal. So it started with me. I needed to end that trauma moving forward so my kids don’t carry it. Neither do my great, great grandkids carry it.

Daisy Wu:  I highly appreciate a book as one one of your other child. I like to identify it as it is a containment of your voice. It is containment of your wisdom, your experience, and everything valuable that you can share to the rest of the world. And I do believe it does hold you accountable. Onwards and continuously on the journey of healing, as you have to lead by example as you already have. So I’m wondering only your voice and expanding your voice to the world. What have been you? What have you been up to in the past few months? Further to the release of your book officially, have you done any other engagements?

Kabinga Mazaba:  Oh yes, I’ve been quite busy. I think the moment the book came out I got an invite to go and speak in Dubai. So where I spoke about world leaders in terms of overcoming stress and anxiety in business. So that was a huge thing because it gave me that allowance to say, oh, stress and anxiety is a big thing. And as a leader, no one understands. What you’re going through, because there are statistics saying that 60% of leaders experience high levels of stress. So you can imagine they just put out this facade. And yet behind they’re really struggling with feelings of inadequacy. So it’s about healing. And the other thing is I’ve also been speaking in community programs, partnering with other ladies in terms of healing, trauma or forgiveness. And also social media campaigns have been doing that. So collaboration has been the huge thing where I’ve been collaborating with others. Just to have workshops. And I also had a webinar last week where I talked about it was more about leadership as well, from challenge to opportunity. So it was really significant that I’m loving this space, and I’ll continue to do that and looking forward to more collaborations. Yeah.

Daisy Wu: That’s incredible. With the book and also all the good work that you’ve left the book to do already in the background. I’m sure that they will all pave the way to more exciting opportunities crossing your way and amplify your impact. And we also hope that this podcast on Stories of Community Resilience is going to reach our multicultural and multilingual community. For more people who need to meet you, know more of you, and get inspired and benefit from you. Thank you so much Kabinga.

Kabinga Mazaba: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.

3ZZZ Stories of Community Resilience is proudly supported by the Community Broadcasting Foundation.

To share a story of resilience, contact Rebecca at [email protected] or fill in the Expression of Interest form below. We will be sharing more stories in 2024, and would love to hear from you!