She's got one of the most wholesome Instagram pages in South Africa. If she's not sharing pictures in studio, she's chatting about motherhood and life experiences.
She's developed a good relationship with her followers and soon realised Covid-19 has changed the way people do things, including church. So now, TV and radio personality Zizo Tshwete uses Instagram to share Bible verses and preach.
She chats to Drum about how it started and her inspiring mother.
What prompted you to start the sermons?
The slot came about as part of my relationship with Telkom. I discussed anything I felt strongly about during that one hour on Sundays. Over time, it grew its audience and we discuss real life matters that impact us.
I’m really happy we have been able to get such wonderful support. It means there is a need for the work being done in that space.
Your mom holds a very senior position in her church. Do you think you get your knack for preaching from her?
I’m reluctant to say preaching per se. I am still learning so much about sharing God’s Word. As a result, I’m part of a Bible study masterclass.
At this stage, for me, it's sharing my perspectives on how we’re impacted by it daily. My mama has the credentials that make her a subject matter expert. I honour and respect that. What I can say is that I do learn a lot from her. She inspires me.
My gift has always been my authentic connection with people. I was born with that. Over the years with my personal relationship with God developing, I have been able to share from some of my own experiences.
Growing up and when you first started your career, did you ever think you would be sharing such an intimate part of yourself with the public?
I always knew the time would come. I may not have had the words to express it at the time. God has been faithful in my life. Each step has led here and to where He still intends to take me.
What is your favourite Bible story?
When I young I used to relate to the idea of having a favourite Bible story. Now I know the Bible is a life manual. I have no idea how one would choose their favourite chapter in such a book. You look into the area of your life that needs guidance. I don’t see it in separates anymore.
Who is your favourite woman in the Bible?
This would mean I believe one to be more important than the other in what their role and/or impact is. I don’t like that idea. There are extremely valuable lessons to learn from the heroes and villians in the Bible.
That thought translates into real life too. There's not a single woman on earth who doesn’t have anything to teach me if I’m willing open myself up to the value in the stories we all carry. We need to stop pitting women against each other!
Why do you choose to be loud about your love for Christ?
I am Zizo before I am what I do for work. If I concerned myself with what people thought about me, I wouldn't be where I am in my life. It is my personal choice how much of my life I share with people. I can't judge anyone who expresses themselves differently. Someone thinking I am boring doesn’t slow me down on my life’s purpose.
Do you think all Christians should use whatever platforms they have to minister to those around them?
What I know is that our faith teaches us to use our gifts for the good of all. How each one of us is tasked to do that may differ.
The absolute most important thing we are called to do is, as Dr Sylvester Funani expresses, “Share the Gospel of Christ and if necessary, use words.”
What has the response been like from members of the public?
Our community keeps growing and it’s happening organically. I must be honest, we’re not counting numbers. We’re grateful for impact.
I honour the team at Telkom who has always respected both my value and vision. A relationship based on mutual respect always works well.
What are you trying to achieve with the sermons?
When we share, we are opening a space for us all to engage honestly and openly. We are all growing – discovering ourselves deeper, advancing towards our dreams, letting go of past pain and scars, learning to laugh again, developing our relationship with our creator (whatever we were guided to come and receive).
When you come open to let your guard down, willing to switch up your perspective where necessary, and get down to do the work, you will not leave the same.