Pearl Shongwe is one of those rare breeds who once walked this earth armed with only a single mission; to be all that you can be and to follow whatever your heart desires. She rejected, completely, the idea of just existing. Instead, she lived, explored, and fulfilled her potential to the maximum. She did this with utmost dedication, zeal, and integrity until she reached her minute of departure. She questioned and it seems every answer led her to the next question. My suspicion is that – she always wanted to know what’s next that could light up her fire in ways that could leave an impact wherever she goes. Hers was the life of dreams and possibilities whether they looked scary, too big, or exciting.
She reminded us in her living days that being yourself is the greatest accomplishment you can ever aim for and it is, after all, the last message she left us with. “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are”, says the quote from her last Whatsapp profile picture.
Her love for people was evident to all who encountered her and in our interactions and conversations, you could tell she had a strong detest for injustice. She believed a better world is possible for everyone including the most vulnerable. It also explains why she always preferred jobs that allowed her to tell stories of people and seek solutions that could create a better world for all.
In her book, What I know For Sure, the same book I gifted her in 2016 on her birthday, Oprah Winfrey writes, “You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt.” Looking at her life is it easy to confirm that she indeed refused to recede to any shadows and she danced onto the stage of life in her own inspiring ways.
She will be dearly missed.
Chuma Kave is a Metro FM content producer.