Welcome to Coeur et Maman, thank you for joining us today. If you had an opportunity to write your own bio, how would it read? What do you want to be known for?
Thank you so much for considering me for this. My name is Makatu Murulana and I am currently a Business Definition Mangager at one of the largest insurance firms in the UK.
The typical cliche statement of calling myself proud mom is what first popped in my head.
But honestly while I am super proud of mothering skills I feel like there is so much more to learn about myself and my daughter on this parenthood journey.
In addition to being a super mommy to a confident 2 year old, I love learning new skills from cooking to sewing. I am known for my positivity and hopefully I can keep on sharing the light to all those around me.
What is the best part about the town you live in, and why have you chosen to call it home?
What I love about the little village I live in are the people. I’ve been living here since 2018 and have managed to cultivate authentic connections with the village locals. From my neighbour with whom I have play dates with and without the babies ( for that cheeky adult wine time), to my running club of 3 who don’t judge me for constantly being at the back of the pack. My favourite is the strangers I meet on my walks with my baby who allow my little one to play with their dogs.
I honestly chose the village by default given that I was looking for a comfortable flat which is close to work and good schools. I was really lucky to find a place I am proud to call home.
What does a typical weekend day look like for you, and if you had to make it into an ideal day, what would you do?
I wake up on a typical Saturday with grand ambitions regarding completing all my house work. Go on my run with my friends who tend to push me to either run faster or further every week. The run usually kills a lot of my cleaning energy. My cleaning ambitions are now reduced to just tidying up.
I tend to either ditch my cleaning plans half way and enjoy a walk with little girl or an indoor crafts session – the last one was disastrous as now I have paint foot prints in my carpet which don’t come off.
The rest of the evening is spent either watching something on tellie with my partner or catching up on the phone with my team of warrior women who constantly inspire me
What would you say is the best advice you received when starting out or during the course of your career or business venture?
The financial industry is really small so nurture all the connections you make at all levels.
What does motherhood mean to you, and what are your thoughts on the current society’s attitude towards women’s decisions to be or not be mothers?
I have always wanted to be a mother and had the fact that I will be a mother one day factored in all my decisions; from buying property in my 20ies so that my future baby will have a home to deciding to settle in the Uk so that my little one has the best opportunities. Motherhood to me is an accumulation of many beautiful experiences but the feeling is summed up when my little girls hears a song and wants us to cuddle up and dance.
If you could choose one trailblazing woman to be your mentor, who would it be?
Again the cliche would be my mom but it is really true. If I had to choose someone who was not my family member I would say Gayle King, she has accomplished so much while being a proud mom. She has been in Oprahs shadow given that they are best friends but I think she can hold her own.
Have you taken any brave action of late?
I think running with the ladies in my village is the bravest thing I have done. It reminds that that in all aspects of life I am not racing with other people but pushing myself to get better and better each week. It also reminds me about what I can achieve when I do lean on my support networks.
Change, or our dreams, can often times feel scary, what’s your go-to approach for dealing with fear?
I have a line which I tell myself when I am thinking about change and that is: If my current situation is uncomfortable and other people think it’s the best then the best is not good enough for me. This takes away the fear of letting go of a situation which may seem ideal to others.
If you had one hope for the future, what would it be?
I am so fearful of my child getting discriminated against due to her race or gender. I really hope that the work we are all doing now on gender equality and Black Lives Matter will bear fruits in my child’s lifetime.
And lastly, what piece of advice would you give your 23 year old self?
You are beautiful, you are doing well. You can achieve more when you are confident so learn to love yourself as you are.
I have known Makatu for almost as long as she and I have been finance professionals, having started our careers together at a top consulting firm in South Africa. If there’s one thing I can attest to, it is her zest for life. Her enviable capacity for life is infectious, and from her I have learned above all else, how to live.
Makatu is one of those people that seem to have always known the secret to true happiness – living in the moment. I have watched her through the years as she’s approached each stage of her life with merriment and excitement, and with just as much enthusiasm as her plans for the future. She’s one of those rare unicorns that truly are happy with the current moment, and equally excited about aiming for more. So many of us make ourselves acutely unhappy with our current lives with constant thoughts of what we do not yet have.
Her interview responses show exactly that – a hedonist enthralled with the business of living; busy living and sucking the marrow out of life, not preoccupied with notions of what is, could or should be. Here and now; gardening with her daughter in spring or doing crafts that end up in disaster when she “quickly left the room for one second”.
The other thing I can tell you about my dear friend, is that she, more than I could ever be, is a romantic. Daily moments are celebrated and remembered with so much embellishments no one else can recall or recreate. Like the time she told a mutual acquaintance about a fine dining experience with Champagne at the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. Said acquaintance took her advice and visited the famous natural wonder only to come back with queries about a slice of cold pizza on a polystyrene plate. You see, the canteen experience, remembered and retold as a fine dining experience, really was that magical for Makatu. She made it magical.
My hope from sharing this personal relationship with you, is to show you that you can stop and tally all the little inconsequential moments filled with polystyrene plates and cups and that you can turn them into Champagne moments. Our lives are not rehearsals, we don’t get to be happy later when we have “everything we want.” This is it.
Please be happy. Oh, and care. Care about injustices even when they don’t affect you or you can’t fully appreciate them. Do something about it. Be part of the agency for change. Intolerance in one area breeds ground for intolerances everywhere. We all deserve to live in better world, so care.