SITHULISIWE Mthimkhulu does not earn a fat salary for a living, neither does she own any famous business.
In reality, she prides herself as a civil servant, an assistant police commissioner, who has a modest life.
And like many before her, police officers by their nature are generally feared and hardly trusted by common citizens.
But Mthimkhulu has an admirable compassionate mission for the poor and downtrodden.
She was born and raised in rural Lupane and only left the “sticks” to pursue a career in policing, but maintained one golden rule — never forget where you come from.
As a tribute to the place that gave her a start in life, Mthimkhulu has been involved in philanthropy work, sourcing food stuffs and clothes, among other things, to assist homes of the other underprivileged such as Entembeni Old People’s Home and Izizukulwane Zesizwe in Matabeleland North.
Besides that she takes care of hundreds of orphans and widows in the province.
She says she drew her inspiration from her maternal grandmother who taught her from an early age the essence of giving.
“My maternal grandmother inspired me the most to be a giver and my experiences growing up as a girl pushed me to be more biased towards the girl-child,” Mthimkhulu told the Daily News on Sunday recently.
“Growing up, I would see my grandmother giving literally half of what we had to our neighbours and other people.
“The satisfaction and happiness and how she would always read us Acts 20 vs 35; and would explain that if you don’t give, there won’t be space to receive more.
“Somehow, we would receive more after that, not sure how that happened though. So, that inspired a culture of giving in me.
“The pleasure that comes from the feeling that I have made a difference in someone’s life, is a privilege that comes with its own sense of obligation to me.”
The selfless cop is also looking after underprivileged children, sending some of them to school.
Just recently, Mthimkhulu, who is based in Harare, donated sanitary pads worth $30 000 to 12 women football teams in Bulawayo and handed them over to Footballers Union of Zimbabwe for distribution.
But how does Mthimkhulu fund these projects?
“It’s amazing how God works. I have been fortunate enough to get help from a lot of people by just sharing with them what some people are going through.
“I have several people who have come to partner me on uplifting the underprivileged in our society,” she said.
Mthimkhulu, who is a holder of a degree in Entrepreneurial Development Studies and Marketing and a Masters in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance, hopes for a day when leaders invest in the girl child to prepare them to take leadership in the next generation.
“I firmly believe that everyone is capable of flourishing in their respective areas if given an opportunity.
“I always try and identify areas where opportunity lacks in people and am somehow biased towards the girl child whom I feel is still somehow marginalised even up to now,” she said.
“I also meet a lot of girls who tell me they want to be like me with some asking me to mentor them and then that makes me realise how fortunate I am to be where I am.
“It has pushed me to do the work that I’m doing. I also have five girls in my home area whose school needs I meet just to at least afford them what my parents afforded me.”Mthimkhulu has also a word of advice for fellow women.
“To all women out there, I would urge them to be amb
itious; don’t depend too much on others instead go out there and do it,” she said.
“You may mess it up, but that will be a valuable lesson; don’t give up, people will doubt, discourage you, it will get hard along the way, but never give up; never settle — always make an effort to be better than you were an hour prior and most of all uplift other women — when women support each other, incredible things happen.”