Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian based Philosopher, Entrepreneur, and author of books such as;
The Art of Winning
The Little Book of Inspiration
100 Lessons Every Great Man Wants You to Know
Dinner with King Solomon
Lalibela's Wise Man
He is a regular contributor for The African Leadership Magazine, The CEO Magazine, Health Magazine, The African Union, and other internationally renowned magazines.
Matshona Dhliwayo was interviewed by Oyindamola Shoola, in collaboration with the Parousia Magazine. Parousia Magazine whose vision is to promote the gospel through Christian arts and literature is helmed by Tola Ijalusi.
From your works, I perceive that there is a difference between an individual’s being, and their titles. Yet many people fall victim of answering the question “Who am I?” as what they do, or the titles that they have acquired. How would you answer the question “Who am I?”
MATSHONA: I am Matshona Dhliwayo. A student of God, a disciple of wisdom, and a servant of humanity.
What is your purpose in life?
MATSHONA: To make the world a smarter place.
What are your aspirations?
MATSHONA: To become the best version of myself and help others do the same.
As a philosopher, an entrepreneur, and an author, what is your greatest non-material asset and why?
MATSHONA: Love. Because faith moves mountains, but love moves the world.
What is your greatest achievement and why?
MATSHONA: Staying alive. My life has been under threat since the day I was born.
Many things that you write, contain wisdom with words. What is the power of words in a person’s life?
MATSHONA: Words are powerful—they have creative power. What you say either helps or hinders you in the pursuit of your dreams.
How has your background (family, culture, nationality or any other thing you consider as background) contributed to who you are and what you do, today?
MATSHONA: A tree can never escape its own roots. I am who I am because of where I come from. Good, bad, or ugly, I am a product of my environment.
Was there ever a moment of awakening or realization about your potentials and who you have the ability to become? If yes, at what age was it? What steps did you take?
MATSHONA: Yes. The day I discovered I was born to write, and the day I discovered that God exists. Because we are created in His image and likeness, it occurred to me that we all have the potential to perform extraordinary feats.
When many people need to fix certain things in their life, they tend to focus on their doings. For example, if a person is running into debt, they are very likely to focus on working more hours and other available options that involve acting rather than thinking. Your books awakens and prioritizes human thinking. How does placing a priority on one’s thinking impacts a person’s life?
MATSHONA: Your thoughts predetermine your actions. Your actions predetermine your destiny. Your problems and obstacles in life are therefore inconsequential. It's not how high they are, it's how high your thoughts are.
Your work in improving people’s lives also focuses on introspection. Why do you think there is a need for introspection? In today’s world, what do you think hinders introspection?
MATSHONA: Introspection is important. If you don't know who you are, you won't know what you stand for. And if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
What do you think is most fundamental in our thoughts, actions, and then, our lives?
MATSHONA: To keep positive. Positivity is the wellspring of genius.
Who are your audiences, who do you hope reads your works the most and what impact do you expect your works to have on them?
MATSHONA: Anyone who wants to be inspired. I hope my works inspire people to go out and inspire others.
What is the best advice you have gotten?
MATSHONA: The best advice is:
“True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance.”
~Akhenaton, Egyptian pharaoh
What is the best advice you have given?
MATSHONA: “A lifelong learner is a lifelong winner.”
You have written that “Reading is the best cure for ignorance.” What are your favorite books?
MATSHONA: I can give you my top 3: The Prophet, The Giving Tree, and The Book of Proverbs.
What is the most significant thing that you do every day?
MATSHONA: I Pray.
What is your most productive habit? What are your suggestions for creating and practicing productive habits?
MATSHONA: Focusing on my life's purpose. To do this: pour your heart, mind, strength, and soul into whatever you were born to do.
Where, what, or from who do you get inspiration and gain wisdom?
MATSHONA: From God, and from reading books written by sages.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
MATSHONA: To be where my Creator wants me to be.
Do you have a success story that has impacted you the most?
MATSHONA: The life stories of Ray Charles and Beethoven. How a blind man, and a deaf man, revolutionized music.
What do you have to say to a person who has not read any of your works but is reading this interview and is struggling to find inspiration to pursue life and its abundance?
MATSHONA: Start with The Art of Winning. It's quick, simple, and full of affirmations.
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