THE last born in a family of three, actress Xoli Zondi (33) fell pregnant at the age of 16. However, the former Generations actress says that this did not get her down but she was motivated to make a success of herself and carry on studying. Despite growing up in a poor household and falling pregnant at a young age, Xoli has made a success of her life.


“When I found out I was pregnant, I was distraught and devastated because I was very young and had just matriculated,” says Xoli. “However, my family was very supportive so they stood by me through it all and didn’t make me feel like I was the worst person on earth. My knowledge of God helped me as well because I learned how to forgive myself and pray for strength to move past it.” Xoli says her mother was one person who believed and encouraged her to go to university to study drama. “I was raised by a single mother. We made it through life’s challenges by God’s grace. My mother was the only one working
and raising us,” she says.


She sent Xoli to university because she could see Xoli’s remorse. “She knew I didn’t fall pregnant because I was loose and unruly but I had learnt from my mistake. I had to understand that my mistakes don’t define me and that I had a life to live and dreams to fulfil,” says the Greed and Desire actress. Xoli went on to complete a diploma in drama at
the Durban University of Technology in 2003. As a mother, Xoli says that she strongly believes in teaching her 17-year-old daughter life lessons and having an open relationship with her. “I have an amazing relationship with my daughter. She can talk to me about
anything and everything; I’ve opened myself up to her. But I’m strict with her and am careful to play a role of a mother than that of a friend to her. Even though I stay in Joburg, I’m just a phone call or WhatsApp away,” says the proud mother.


The actress goes on to advise young girls who fall pregnant. “The advice that I always give to teenage mothers is your mistakes should not define you. God knows you by name
and knows your strengths, weaknesses and believes in you. Rise up from the place of guilt
and feeling sorry for yourself and run to your destiny,” says Xoli.

She admits that being a young
mother is not easy but she
encourages young mothers to get
support from their loved ones.
“Being a young mother can
be intimidating but surround
yourself with people who will
support you and remind you of
where you have fallen. Be with
people who will hold you by the
hand and help you till you are
strong enough. A child is a gift
from God regardless of how it was
conceived. God does not make
mistakes,” she says.