Born and raised in Gweru Zimbabwe, Nicolatte Matuku explains that as a little girl she always looked out for everyone around her, which is the nature of a small society. Growing up around her family was a privilege and experience she will forever be grateful for, this was the foundation of her personality building.
Nicollate went into schools that taught her the importance of independence and building of lifelong friendships. Academically she excelled, she was an A student and top achiever, but socially she struggled with complexion stereotyping, which was very common at that time. Being light skinned, she was always deemed a snob even before knowing her personally. She spent most of her high school years trying to prove to people that she was the exact opposite.
“The effects on self- esteem are huge, because you lose yourself trying to fit in, due to things you can’t control. Low self-esteem is an issue a lot of young girls are experiencing even today because of their physical appearances or how they are perceived by other people”. However Nicollate became a little rebellious because she had to defend herself most times.
Nicollate studied at WITS University from 2010 this was a life changing experience because of different cultures and systems in general were difficult to comprehend at first but worth it. She had to acclimatise to the new environment and experiences. Nicollate was involved in a lot of University activities and her most treasured attribute was creating a network that became central and important to her professional life until today. She met some of the most amazing and influential people.
Immediately after graduating, her journey in youth marketing, development and communications started. Nicollate worked for brands and organizations that aligned with her passion and interests.
In 2018 she Co-founded the organization Walking the African Journey, an online community and platform for the African Youth to stimulate their thinking. “I saw it relevant to establish this organization after having seen how young people are struggling to break even because of lack of resources”.
Walking The African Journey creates access to opportunities. At first the biggest challenge was limited resources but as they persevered she met people who believed and understood their vision.
The organisation is working towards an Afrocentric approach and practical solutions in tackling African predicaments and believes an ideal Africa for the youth is one that thrives on Inter & intra African trade because Africa’s greatest potential lies in trading within itself. This has been a beautiful journey although like most start-ups had to self-fund most projects due to the barriers to financial support. They managed to find creative ways to partner with corporates and organizations to form mutually beneficial relationships and with that they have managed to assist hundreds of young people around the continent.
Nicollate was selected as the Vice President for the Botswana Youth Model United Nations, a post she holds dearly to her heart as this is a task that is headquartered in Botswana but beneficial to all Southern African youth.
In addition to her she is the first country director for Zimbabwe at the Association For African Future Leaders, and her duty is to ensure they produce well-seasoned youth leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs eligible to compete on a regional scale.
Lastly she sits on the board of St Marys Adi Health Community Centre, in Uganda as the Director of communication and development.
“It is very easy to give up on your dreams and doubt your capabilities. Research more on what you want and rediscover it. Start growing where you are and you will realise that all things are possible”
Lets keep Walking The Africa Journey!