Some might say Nompumelelo “Mpumi” Nobiva was born lucky. As a gangly 13-year-old, she managed to convince Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King that she was an “It” girl … “I don’t know what I came up with; I didn’t even know what that meant!” Tall and athletic, Mpumi exudes the kind of energetic confidence of a young woman accustomed to attention. If she was unsure of her “it” status then, there’s no doubt about it now. Whatever she came up with sufficiently impressed “Mom O”: Mpumi was admitted to the inaugural class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), which opened in 2007 in Henley-on-Klip, South Africa, and graduated in 2011 amongst the top of her class. It was all part of a communal expectation for Mpumi, whose name means “success” in Zulu.

Excerpt from “Oprah ‘It Girl’ chooses JCSU, written by Creative Loafing Charlotte, 2013


International and cross-cultural relations


Outstanding oratory and motivational skills

Unique understanding of HIV/AIDS

Interpersonal and communications skills

Social Media Strategy


M.A Strategic Communications (Undergoing)  

High Point University; Expected Graduation Summer 2017

B.A.  Interdisciplinary Studies ~ Magna Cum Laude (May 2016)

Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte NC Graduated May 2016


Graduate Presidential Scholarship Package (valued at $60,188) to attend Master’s Program in Strategic Communications at High Point University, 2016

Highest Average in Interdisciplinary Studies, Achievement Award, 2016

Academic Dean’s List Scholar, 2014 -2016

4.0 GPA Final Semester, 2016

Inducted to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities Honor Program, 2016

“Big Heart Award” for Humanitarian Efforts to Youth in Charlotte, North Carolina, 2016


Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte NC Graduated May 2016

Major in Global Outreach, Public Leadership and Strategic Communications

Captain of University’s Ethics Bowl Debate Team – 2016

President of Johnson C. Smith International Club – 2015

University of Cape Town, South Africa, CIEE Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Program, Jan – June 2015

Myers Hall Council – Deputy President & Academic Assistance Advisor -2014

Life Club – Public Relations Officer, Digital Media Coordinator & Treasurer -2014

Community Service Highlights – Finance Volunteer at Democratic National Convention – 2012

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Meyerton, South Africa: 2012 Graduate

Learner Representative Council – Elected as Class Deputy Chair

Visual Arts Student Overall – Awarded Gold certificate for achieving highest Grade Average: 2010

South African National Senior Certificate – Passed Matriculation Exams with 5 Distinctions

Received Gold Award Certificate at graduation – Achieved an “A” Grade Average

Performing and Visual Arts School Festival, Rhodes University 2010 – Fist Place for Gauteng Province

OWLAGive Community Service Program – Participant for 4 consecutive years


Work/ Internships

International Motivational & Empowerment Speaker: 2010 – Present                                                              

Inspire and motivate global audiences sharing personal story of overcoming odds to empower others; speaking at conferences ,fundraising events, panels and other forums

Relate Bracelet Organization   Cape Town, South Africa: April-Jul 2015

Sales Account Executive Trainee and International Relate Bracelet Ambassador: 2015 – Present

  • Promote bracelets online & engage marketing campaigns to increase sales, log and process bracelet orders online,
  •  Promote Relate Organization & Aids program in the media and attend community outreach campaigns.

S.T.A.R.S. Math & English Academy Site Director, McCorey YMCA, Charlotte, North Carolina, US Jan: Nov 2014

Student Site Director

  • Manage the site as requested; prepared classroom environment before tutor sessions began and record attendance roll for all instructors and students participants
  • Assist in EOG weekly test preparations; ensure that all tutors and present with required classroom material

Lavern Chatman  for Congress Campaign, Alexandria, VA, USA: May-June 2014

Communications Intern & Official Campaign Photographer

  • Served as Official Campaign Photographer and Social Media Analyst
  • Collected and analyzed constituent voting data and social media feedback using web traffic metrics such as page visits, Klout media database and hootsuite.

Give Kids the World Organization, Kissimmee, Florida, USA: Jun-Aug 2013

Student Intern for Leadership Exchange Program

  • Occasionally edit “Give Kids the World” merchandise for online store by using of Photoshop, Bridge and Premiere editing software for Communications Department.
  • Conducted research to find data correlations for Public Relations Department.
  • Researched, published and assigned Wish Family&/ Village stories for Give Kids the World Online Blog.

Cummins Africa Headquarters, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South AfricaApr-May 2011

Student Intern for Pioneer Leadership Program

  • Collaborated with web, multimedia, or art design staffers to create multimedia web sites that conformed to brand and company’s visual format.
  • Collected sales data, using web traffic metrics such as page visits, link popularity, conduct & present final CSR Project.

LANGUAGES: English home language speaker.  Proficient in IsiZulu, IsiXhosa & IsiSotho.

INTERESTS: Empowerment, Motivation, Politics, Communication, Arts, Production, Campaigning, Social Media, Traveling, Entertainment, Business & Fashion

SKILLS:  Computer Skills (Microsoft Office: Word; PowerPoint; Publisher; Excel; OneNote; Social Blogging etc.)

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” W.H. Murray 


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no [woman] could have dreamed would have come [her] way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”  W. H. Murray