February 2023

Mentle is sat outside with greenery behind her. She is resting her hand on her chin and is wearing a watch.

Mentle Ncube

BSc Psychology 2019

1. Tell us about yourself.
I am Executive Director of Khanya-Be the Light, an organisation that was founded in 2018, and has since impacted over 100 women in the Nkayi rural district in Zimbabwe. Its aim is to alleviate poverty through girl-child empowerment; offering more opportunities for rural women to thrive and improve their socio-economic status. My main duties include acting as Programme Director, social media marketing, event planning, administrative duties and counselling and mentoring our beneficiaries - it's my favourite job and incredibly fulfilling.

I would describe myself as someone who is ambitious, self-driven, and always excited to break societal limits. I have a strong passion for mental health awareness especially in the rural communities where I work with disadvantaged girls. I also have a passion to help women who come from poverty-stricken backgrounds and who are often abused. I’m always compelled to fight for their rights and their overall wellness. 
2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory will always be the day I met my sisters from the African continent. These are relationships I’ll value forever! 
3. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?
I would describe ARU as the ‘foundation of future leaders’.
4. How did your time at ARU help you?
 I was often amazed at how much empathy and grace some of the lecturers had for each student's needs. These traits significantly improved my own social skills and also gave me a broader perspective of dealing with people's lives.
5. What did you love about your chosen course?
 My degree was the best decision I ever made! During my first year, I struggled with grasping the concept of statistics and I thought the best option was to change courses, but I’m grateful that my plans failed because this degree has served a great purpose in my career and in helping me to find my purpose!

6. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Make sure to get into a sector that you’re most passionate about and don’t settle for a job offer because of the money as you’ll never find fulfilment. Instead, pursue a career that’ll impact those around you and look for opportunities to improve systems, don’t just tell yourself that ‘I found this here…’  
7. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
I wish I had understood that seasons change and nothing stays the same. As an international student, we suffered so much financial hardship throughout the duration of the degree. Sometimes the economy would crash unexpectedly and we’d be forced to work longer hours, which felt so discouraging at that time and I was eager to finish the degree and go back home, but I’m learning now to endure hardships that shape your character. Such opportunities of growth propel you further into the right path.
8. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
 My high school headmaster was my biggest influence on choosing psychology. I suffered depressive symptoms during my teenage years and was often worried that I would never find help. He took on the role of being my therapist and was very practical in his approach. Once I discovered that it was a hormonal/chemical imbalance, I soon learnt that there was a world of people like me, who were misunderstood, and I wanted to bring that change to them that proved to be effective in my own life. 
9. What advice would you give your younger self?
Growing up I wish I could have learnt the lessons of not comparing myself with my peers. Comparison is the thief that steals your joy. 
10. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I have a passion for helping women who are expectant mothers. Before I chose psychology, I was set on pursuing a career in gynaecology with the aim of helping women in my community and improving their childbirth experience. 
11. What’s next?
My hopes are that the organisation grows and becomes a beacon of hope to this generation and that more systems can be established so as to alleviate poverty amongst the girl-child in the rural communities of Zimbabwe. 


Read more about Mentle Ncube and how she found her purpose through setting up Khanya-Be the Light in September 2021's alumni magazine, Connect.