Two things that stand out about Audrey are her love and the peace she seems to carry about her. It is easy to forget that she is a devoted wife and mother of four as well as a sought after individual. Fulfilling a long standing intention, we spoke to Audrey over cups of Norwegian herbal tea (a break away from coffee) and dug into the wisdom she would share with her younger self.
What would you say you do for purpose, passion and paying the bills?
I am a musical storyteller and I consult and educate end users, corporates and implementation consultants in the Oracle Financials space.
To set the scene what were things like ten years ago, what were you doing and what headspace were you in?
I was 33 and my son had just died. I was in an interesting space because my heart was numb but my head was full of dreams. I was also busy writing my musical – The Signs.
Time travel seems like it would be ideal considering the circumstances. So if you met your younger self what would you say to her?
1. You are unique
Despite the similarities and differences you see in other people to yourself you are still the only one who can do what you do. Right down from making apple crumble to singing your latest song. No one makes apple crumble like you do. That does not say it is the best apple crumble in the world it just says this is Audrey’s apple crumble. When you are young you do not realize it is not about being better or being the same, it is just about being you.
2. You are different
You are different and that is okay. I used to wonder why I had so many dreams and plans and my friends did not seem to have the same number. They seemed more focused, with one passion or one dream each. I would want less because I thought I was abnormal but different is okay.
3. Time is ticking but it is never too late to start
We all have time, the same amount of hours in a day. Sometimes when we realize we are older than the age we had hoped to be when we wanted to start living our dream. We get paralyzed by that fact that we are not the age we dreamed and just shelve the dream or the passion. Time is passing but it is never too late to start living your dream. Above all God is not surprised by how long it has taken you to get there. Frankly the timing always becomes perfect. I remember meeting Hugh Masekela (internationally acclaimed South African musician) and he had been given my second cd first. He said to me, “If I had received your CD 2 years ago I would probably never have listened to it but I was given your CD at the time I needed to hear this music and I love the sound you made.”
4. Live your life to the full I emphasize your life
My youngest son is often surprised when I say that I have wanted to sing ever since I was 5. That is what I wanted for my life and I am living that now, 40 odd years later. Question is what do you want for your life? Live that.
5. Save more
Money is important and the more you save and spend less frivolously the more you will have for the things that are really important to you. You don’t need to match your friends spending habits.
6. Have courage
There is very little that you will have to do that comes easy. You need to encourage yourself. You need to surround yourself with people who are courageous. And in the same breath I would say “fear not because God is with you”.
7. You are not too young or inexperienced
When you are passionate about something your age or lack of experience should never be a hinderance. I was once asked to direct a play and because I thought I was inexperienced I turned it down. Only to find the experienced individual that was appointed did not portray what I felt should have been portrayed. If it is your passion you are never too young or inexperienced to take the reins. Every time you do something you learn more and grow but shying away from something because of your age or your experience…not a good idea.
8. Study and train
It is important to continually educate yourself in your passion. For me it has been singing. Get a coach and continually train in your art or gift or passion. You can never learn too much. There is always room to grow.
9. Be humble and Teachable
Seriously, you do not know everything. No matter how good you are at something you do not know it all. There are times when you get to stand in front. There are times you get to stand behind and support. Each role is equally important. When in front lead with humility and when behind support with “teachability”. You get leaders who want things done a particular way and if you are supporting a leader who does things different you need to support them with what they need rather than think they are doing it wrong and not support and follow.
10. Love completely
Do everything with love. Whether it is serving tea, watching children, ministering a song or directing a production. Love completely and love people completely.
If you live in Johannesburg or Cape Town do not miss the opportunity to see Audrey live, see image above for details. Find her albums on iTunes and see her website for more details on her next performance.
Have you pushed away an opportunity because you thought you were too young or too old? In hindsight do you still feel the same way?
About Audrey Mbuyazi
This singer-songwriter, author has been writing and performing for many years and released her debut album in 2008 followed quickly by another in 2009 and 2012. Her music is centred on a Christian theme and as she points out it offers something for everyone, with a pleasing blend of R&B, soul, jazz and even disco. Audrey’s albums feature songs of love, praise and worship, as well as friendship, encouragement and even the thorny issue of abortion. Music for the heart and soul.
Performances have taken her not only around South Africa but abroad, New York, Nashville, Indianapolis in the US, Stavanger in Norway where she ministered with the Stavanger Gospel Company and London.
Thank you Jolly for making one reflect on the things that make you tick.