Jayshree Nariansamy, 56, is the founder of and a coach at Love and Hope Rising, a nongovernmental organisation in the south of Johannesburg. She was raised on a farm in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal, until the age of nine, when her family was forced to move to Chatsworth when the Group Areas Act was implemented.
A deeply religious woman who believes that she can’t trust anyone except her maker, she derives no greater pleasure than teaching, training, equipping and empowering others to achieve personal development, growth and knowledge. Her training as a life coach and skills trainer at the Academy of York, and as a member of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa, has greatly assisted her in this task and created awareness of what human rights can mean in a country that often eschews them.
Jayshree is a single mother who left a home of physical and mental abuse. She has faced difficulties that nearly claimed her life on many occasions. This life coach and pastor brings hope to not only the small community of Lenasia South, but to those who languish in prison cells, who have been locked away and had their voices taken. Out of her own pocket, and with the help of small donations and sponsors, she provides meals and puts together grocery hampers when she is able to. Her work in helping abused women and children is particularly important in a country where gender-based violence is among the highest in the world.
Jayshree has touched and changed the lives of many souls.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
To honour your word, practice discipline and righteous living daily and be right with God and to not wait for a male partner to be your provider.
Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?
Personal bad experiences, brokenness, abuse, domestic violence, losses, lack of financial support and much heartache has taught me how to empower myself by getting up, dusting myself off, taking a good look into the mirror and seeing a superhero going through changes by the power of God’s transformation in myself.
Realising my high value potential, my self-worth and my personal values are all tools and ammunition that empowers me to empower other downtrodden women and men, adding value to their lives, with hope not to give up. I read self-development books, watch videos and listen to CDs, attend studies and programmes, and stay connected to my mentors that I look up to on an ongoing basis. As iron sharpens iron so are good friends to each other, so I stay connected to my iron sharpening friends too.
If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?
To bring about the possibility of us having a female president leading our beautiful nation of South Africa, because women are builders of homes and the nation, nurturing, wise and exceptional leaders who can multitask on various levels. I would like to educate our young adult male children and our more mature men about their role as leaders on the home front and in all areas.