Chiedza Sadomba-Jones is the Knowledge Manager and Analyst at Feed Nova Scotia, overseeing the collection, storage, management and use of data, as well as raising awareness about food insecurity in the province, promoting advocacy and supporting the organization in influencing policy related to poverty and food security. She also works as a Research Analyst for Confidion Consulting, carrying out open source intelligence research and data analysis in projects related to situational awareness and due diligence for a variety of public and private sector clients worldwide.
Chiedza is also a Spoken Word Artist, creating and performing pieces that move audiences, provoke thought, inspire and empower. She has performed at a variety of events from community events to international arts festivals, in and outside of Canada. Chiedza also supports organizations in using spoken word as part of their communications, seeing it as an innovative and effective way to share messages that will have a lasting impact on intended audiences. She is also passionate about supporting women to grow and flourish in all that they have been called to be.
Most importantly, however, Chiedza is wife to an amazing husband, and a new mummy to their princess.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
It’s hard to pinpoint my greatest stage of growth, as there have been a couple of notable ones, but I’ll share this one:
I was born and raised in the beautiful Southern African country of Zimbabwe. Growing up, academic excellence was always a priority. It was always important to be the best, and anything that wasn’t the best never quite seemed good enough. In school, I excelled in my grades and outside of the classroom. In 2011, I moved to Halifax to study at Saint Mary’s University, completing a BA (Hons.) in two and a half years, and then the thesis-based Master’s program in eleven months. During that time, I gained relevant work experience and I networked. In many ways, I was an overachiever.
So, you can imagine my surprise when it took me 10 months after the completion of my Master’s degree to find a full-time job in my field of study. That season was one of pressing and crushing, because my worth, which had been so dependent on performance and results, on rewards and the applause of others, was shaken. It was a season where the perfectionist and “control freak” in me had to realize that I, too, had limitations, and that not everything would always go according to plan, my plan. And yet, it was also a season of growth as I learned the beauty and power of letting go, and of trusting in God’s plan and embracing the journey, even if it was not as I would have envisioned.
Even the unexpected and unknown can be beautiful. For in that season, something of greater substance and importance was being built inside of me, and I needed my “perfect” plans to be disrupted in order for that to happen. Ten months later, the destination of that leg was reached, but the journey was the real prize.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
Being intentional about who I am becoming. I find that, as people, we can be intentional about how to get to where we want to be when it comes to our careers, financial goals and other tangible life goals, but less so when it comes to the parts of us that are intangible. Year after year, I have identified what I want to be, or be more of, in terms of personality traits, and I have found that, in some areas, there has been no progress. Last year, I did the same thing, but also asked myself how I would become that, or more of that. For me, it’s about thinking through every action and reaction before it is performed, and saying to myself, for example, “You want to be light and love in this situation; what does that look like? Now be that, or do that.” And then doing it. It’s also about acknowledging that there is no final destination with improving myself; I just want to be in a constant state of growth, and to be gracious with myself when I don’t do as well as I would like. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
My parents are my greatest inspiration. My father is late and my mother is still living, but both were - and my mother continues to be - committed to leaving a legacy of compassion. There is nothing greater than that when it comes to what you leave for future generations, and I strive to do the same.
What would you have done differently?
There's been a lesson behind every mistake or wrong decision I've made, which has been an opportunity to learn and grow, and also teach, so I don't think I would have done anything differently.
Speaker, Spoken Word Artist, Mentor, Research Analyst, and Lover of a Good Debate