Through her poem, Gloria speaks about the pain she felt and even though her pain was visible to others, no one supported her. She shares that she felt alone until she joined an NGO called Lovelife where she learned to speak out. Gloria started her journey with MOT in 2018, when she joined False Bay […]
MOT Youth Blogger of the Month: Anna Mloya
Hi MOT family!
My name is Anna Mloya, and this is my story 🙂
This is one of the many stories I am open to sharing with
you all in hope that it encourages someone to speak up or have the courage to
live amid all the craziness life keeps giving us.
I come from East Africa (Tanzania) and I am a second born
from a family of 4 siblings. For those who don’t know, Tanzania is one of the
many developing African countries.
As educated as most communities back at home are, many are
still subdued to the primitive belief systems. Issues such as mental illnesses
are very taboo. If the illness isn’t physical, you can’t convince them
otherwise. Understanding that mental illness such as depression and anxiety
exist, is still a huge challenge.
Travelling approximately 3 997,6 km away from home all the way to South Africa, as a young woman, was exciting and adventurous until the exposure hit me. All the excitement to make new friends and be at college vanished halfway through my first year of college.
I grew up in a family where I was very sheltered and raised
to always own my truth, stick to my morals, values, principles and break down
if you must just not in-front of an ‘outsiders’ type of environment.
Again, coming from a sheltered home, I suddenly had all this
freedom to do as I please. I had to start making choices and decisions for
myself and find out who I was as an individual. Overwhelming is an
So here I am, 19 years old in a foreign country with all this freedom, not accountable to anyone anymore and this is where peer pressure, rejection, culture shock, depression and anxiety crept in. Not knowing I was battling with all this and instead it came out in various ways such as being angry, agitated, sad, impatient and fatigued. And I always felt like everything was just out to get me and that nobody understood me. I also had no support, especially because I was never vulnerable to anyone outside of my family before. When I tried opening up myself, it would feel strange and would feel like some sort of betrayal.
It took me a while to accept my challenges because I didn’t know how to cope with the many things like academics, friends, family, self-discovery, but in the end, I did! It took me almost a year to have the courage to speak up and not beat myself up about it and it’s an ongoing journey as I still find it challenging to speak up, however, there’s a huge improvement now.
Another challenge was and still is being able to find people that understand and accept my character I spent so much time trying to blend in and finding “my type” of people until I couldn’t anymore. I had to accept that at times my personality comes across strong as I am very opinionated, competitive and blunt. Even funny at times and I realized that it’s okay. It’s who I am and what makes me unique! Realizing that has given me freedom and introduced me to amazing people who appreciate me as I am!
I remember when I was first introduced to MOT, it was the exact
time where I felt like I had no purpose and didn’t exactly fit in because I was
confused as to who I was at the time. I remember being very reluctant to let
loose at the Young MOTivators’ Education on the first day, but by the time the
camp was over I was sad to leave.
MOT helped me understand that despite everyone’s facade, every single one of us has challenges to face. I learned that it’s okay to share the load with somebody else through the backpack activity that is one of the MOT tools. I also learnt that each of our different characteristics can create some mind-blowing things!
Being selected as a Young MOTivator and being trained as one
has helped me to see my true potential and the great things I can create! And
what a great way of sharing all of this? Having the platform to share my
stories, teach and help other young adults has been incredible! I have gained
and continue to get exposure from every single person I have an encounter with,
and each MOT session leaves me excited for the next one!
If something doesn’t resonate with me I’ll have the freedom
of saying so!
I now have the courage to live and just be me!