I met with Lubaya at Rhythms Café at the Intercontinental Hotel here in Lusaka.
We had rescheduled our interview date once already. A week later, on a lovely warm Sunday afternoon, we finally met up and had a few good hours of sharing on life, blogging, music, food and books
We had agreed to meet at 13:00hrs.
I arrive at the scheduled time and she arrives ten minutes later. I don’t mind at all as it gave me time to settle down.
We exchange a warm greeting and there’s even a hug. We sit down to begin the interview over a lemon flavored iced tea that she orders and I do the whole, “I’ll have the same,” thing.
I set up my phone to record our conversation and take notes as she speaks.
When you meet Lubaya, the first thing you notice about her is her lovely face, defined chin, fantastic cheek bones and smile.
Lubaya whose name in Swahili means lioness cub, shares the various meanings of her name in different languages. In Tonga it means shelter/kraal and in Kaonde, her language, it means a place of refuge or a person of elegance and dignity.
If her name is anything to go by, there is an air of elegance to her.
She talks with her hands and occasional picks at her serviette as we talk. I assume she may be a little nervous and later, I find her out to be a bit of an introvert and rather private person. As the interview progresses we are like two old friends catching up and both of us are now more comfortable.
She jokes about being a banker by day and a blogger by night. She studied at St. Mary’s University in Canada where she obtained a degree in Psychology which she says helps in her work as a Relationship Manager, in addition to her Banking and Finance qualifications.
Working a fairly demanding job she tries her best to have a work-life balance that allows for her to write and share on her blog.
Lubzonline is a lifestyle blog that she started, to share her life experiences and thoughts. Her blog’s tag line is ‘Living and Enjoying Life on Purpose’. She says she wanted to write what felt authentic to her and it came in the form of sharing on everyday life. Her blog is themed around food, quotes, love, life and the spiritual side of being.
Affectionately called Lubz (and this is where lubzonline.com gets its name) by her friends, and described as loyal and a great sounding board, Lubaya describes herself as honest, grounded and down to earth. In her definition of herself she points out her Christian faith and how being a child of God is how she identifies herself.
In talking to her, it comes out often just how her faith and relationship with God is critical to who she is.
On living and enjoying life on purpose, Lubaya had this to say,
“In the age that we are living, people are so busy pursuing different things, be it careers or relationships. Time is a limited resource, and you have to make time to enjoy life and live it on purpose. It is easy to forget we are on borrowed time in all our pursuits. But I want to live and not merely exist. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. That is the key thing I was trying to write about…so that people can be purposeful.”
Lubaya admits to at times finding challenges in getting that work-life balance right, but insists we all have to be deliberate and find time to be present, to rest, meet with friends but also still be able to pay the bills.
In her free time, she likes to travel and see new places. She finds her calm in places that have a river or lake…any place with a water body.
Not just given to wanderlust, this soprano singing choir member is an avid reader and a chef at heart, regularly exploring her creativity in the kitchen. Her blog has posts on her food adventures and recipes that she tries out. The foodie in her enjoys watching The Food Network. The travel and nature side is fed off National Geographic, while her fascination with the human mind and behavior makes Crime Channel a go-to for her TV viewing choices.
Reading her blog, I noticed she loved quotes. One of her favorite quote reads, ‘If you want to go somewhere quickly-Go alone. If you want to go further-Go together.’ Something she admits didn’t come naturally for her, but had to be cultivated over time. Older and wiser now, she has a new found appreciation for life-giving relationships and people who fan other’s flames by way of support and encouragement.
“Most people we admire at the top surely didn’t get there alone.”
She also acknowledges the strength in those who have seen difficult times and emerged on the other side, against all odds. People such as those with stories of overcoming challenges are a source of inspiration to her.
This drove our conversation to causes. A lot of us champion one movement or the other. I was curious to know what is close to her heart.
Lubaya is passionate about young people, especially those trying to find their place in life.
She would like to mentor and grow young people in a way that allows them to be comfortable in their own skin but at the same time aware of their responsibilities. Having noticed that we seem to have a generation of Creative’s, more so now than ever, and a lot of these want to pursue those creative avenues….but have “bread and butter” issues standing in their way.
“I want people to be true and authentic to themselves but still be able to meet their obligations. Finding balance is very important.”
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lubaya over this interview.
Check out her blog (www.lubzonline.com) and be sure to, like her, make that deliberate effort to live and enjoy life on PURPOSE.