Cop turned motivational speaker
For 10 years, motivational speaker Thandi Malebang was an employee of Botswana Police. The 35-year-old resigned from BPS in 2016 to pursue her passion- motivational speaking and psychological counselling. By the way, if you’re interested in Psychics, go to psychics4today.com since you can learn how to move objects with your mind by reading their blogs. The Francistown based former police sergeant’s services are in high demand across the country.
A learned professional in emotional intelligence and financial literacy, Malebang is exactly what the doctor ordered for the strain that comes with the office environment.
A natural born talker, she has hit the ground running since leaving the uniform and has provided her services to organisations such as Debswana, Botswana Housing Cooperation and Ombudsman’s office.
After seeing her in action at an event organised by Botswana Sector of Educators and Trade Unions (BOSETU), Voice Reporter Kabelo Dipholo sat down with the bubbly mother of two to find out what exactly makes her tick.
Q. You are a police officer turned motivational speaker. Kindly take us back to your former life as an officer of the law.
A. I joined Botswana Police in 2006 and upon completion I was posted at Palapye as a psychological counsellor.
Basically I provided counselling to police officers and inmates. I counselled traffic officers who had witnessed fatalities and victims of crimes like incest and rape.
I was also trained as a chaplain of which I graduated in 2015.
Q. What does a psychological counsellor’s day look like?
A. It is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. Our police cells were always packed and I had to deal with inmates who were threatening self mutilation.
Some inmates went on hunger strike and it was my job to calm them down and give them hope.
I was always busy because a day never passed without an occurrence.
Q. What were the major challenges you faced in your day to day job?
A. The biggest challenge was the nature of the job itself.
It is a pressure job.
It was stressful, I would counsel a victim of incest and then, a few minutes later, counsel the perpetrator.
I remember at one point one of my Station Commanders suggested that I should come to work in plain clothes.
His reasoning was that it could be traumatic for a rape victim for instance who is attended to by a uniformed officer at the community centre, and then another uniformed officer at the CID, to only be referred later to yet another uniformed counsellor.
So I worked in plain clothes for almost two years.
Q. You then quit your job as a police officer to take up motivational speaking. Why?
A. I did motivational speaking part-time whilst still under the employ of BPS.
It came to a point where I was now getting a lot of bookings and my police job was getting in the way.
I would get a booking in Maun and then that weekend I’d be deployed somewhere else.
After a lot of soul searching I decided to quit and follow my passion.
Q. Was it a good decision?
A. It was the best decision of my life.
I have enjoyed my time as a police officer and have learnt invaluable lessons that come with wearing the uniform.
But now I’m doing what I like without the demands that comes with being a police officer.
I’m still involved with BPS, they have engaged me a number of times for motivational talks with the personnel, and I always feel at home among former colleagues.
Q. Are there any memorable cases you handled during your counsellor days?
A. There was an incest case that is till vivid in my mind.
This young girl had secretly taken video clips as her father harassed her demanding sex.
I called the father, who initially denied any wrong doing. Upon seeing the video clips he was shell shocked, I was greatly disturbed by the incident.
Another that stands out involved an elderly couple with marital problems.
The husband was physically abusing the wife for excessive use of snuff.
Q. It seems like a stressful job. So tell me who counsels the counsellor?
A. I have friends who help me to relax.
Some of the stuff can be like a burden on one’s shoulder especially since I’m bound by the counsellor/client confidentiality police.
Some of the issues I have dealt with play on my mind everyday but I can’t say anything, these are issues I’ll take to my grave.
Q. How are you faring as a motivational speaker?
A. I’m doing fine. I have been engaged by big companies and parastatals like Debswana, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Attorney General, High Court, Morupule Colliery, Botswana Defence Force and many others.
I have done almost 20 organisations and this includes team building exercises and career fairs at schools such as Shangano and Mater Spei College.
I was accredited by Botswana Qualitative Authority (BQA) on Gender Based Violence, Stress, HIV, Emotional intelligence and Financial literacy.
Q. How important is emotional and financial intelligence?
A. They’re very important. Emotions are in most cases linked to finances.
If you are emotionally weak you are likely to make bad financial decisions.
Q. Are we an angry and stressed nation?
A. We are. The cost of living has gone high but the purchasing power has diminished.
This requires emotional intelligence and financial literacy to make it through the day.
Q. What could be the cause of this anger and stress?
A. A lot of us have made mistakes and now we find ourselves in situations we may never get out of.
This happens especially to people who get their first jobs, they get carried away and spend money on fancy things like cars.
Once you get your priorities wrong you have opened yourself up to a very stressful life.
Q. Is motivational speaking financially rewarding?
A. The returns are not bad. I also do a lot of other stuff like supplies.
I decorate at weddings and also provide cleaning services. Motivational speaking though is my first love.
I was born for this, I have been a people’s person from a very young age.
I’ve been advising people for free for as long as I can remember.
Q. What motivates you?
A. The gift of life.
I live by the creed that we should not let whatever is happening around us to affect us, because if we do we’ll sink.
Just like a ship that sails through rough waters sinks the moment it lets water in.
Q. What else do you do besides motivating others?
A. Usually during my spare time I cook up a storm.
I love cooking and enjoy sharing my recipes.
I’m also a wife and mother.
I’m a devout member of Bible Life Ministries where I also have taken some leadership roles.
Q. How do you relax?
A. I write. I was a regular contributor to the police magazine.
I like reading. My library has well over 200 books on different topics and I also have many ebooks.
Q. Thank God it’s Friday. What do you have planned for this weekend?
A. Weekends are the busiest time for me.
My motivational talks are usually on Saturdays and Sundays.
If I’m not working, I’ll be attending church.