03 September, 2010
What Oprah-fitness and Nelspruit have in common
Jenny labels herself "a fitness freak"
picture by-Sihle RAZ Mthembu
With a reputation for being confrontational and intelligent, Jenny Mathebula is certainly not running low on confidence. Born in Nelspruit in 1990, Jenny was raised in a large home where she lived with seven other people.
“I often spent my time in my room when I was growing up”, she says describing her childhood as less then ideal. Jenny instead found her resolve in the rhythms of books and novels and often occupied herself with the stories.
Today she cites To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart as two of her best friends. “I liked books they kept me company and made me understand a lot of things” she says in a tone that is quite hard to box in, a mixture of xiTsonga and siSwati.
Today Jenny is a college student currently studying towards a degree in journalism. She is inspired by women who are strong and are talking action in their lives, Particularly because she never had these types of people in her life while she was growing up. “when I was a child I was surrounded by women who were very submissive, she says and it’s very encouraging for me to see women who are making things happen.
One such women she looks up to is Oprah and her get real and take action motto is something that has clearly had an impact on Jenny’s life and lifestyle choices. She recently started putting herself on a fitness program because of a history of diabetes in her family. “I don’t want to blame anyone in my family for my failing health ”, she says with a very determined tone that has become almost second nature to her.