Uncomfortable growth with Gugulethu Nyatsumba

Introducing Gugulethu Nyatsumba, or affectionately known as Gugu, a multifaceted South African media personality, YouTuber, and podcaster whose vibrant personality and insightful storytelling have captivated audiences far and wide. Gugu first gained prominence through her YouTube channel, “Uncomfortable Growth,” where she fearlessly tackled topics of mental and emotional well-being, drawing from her own life experiences, and inviting viewers on a journey of self-discovery.


With each candid video, Gugu fostered a sense of community, sharing not only her triumphs but also her vulnerabilities, from navigating heartbreak to navigating the complexities of relationships, friendships, and career challenges. Her mission was clear: to inspire emotional growth and encourage others to confront their own challenges head-on.


Now, Gugu has expanded her platform with the launch of her podcast, “After School Is After School with Sis G.U.” This new venture serves as a continuation of her commitment to honesty and transparency, offering listeners an intimate look into her ongoing battles and triumphs in her twenties. Through candid conversations and personal anecdotes, Gugu aims to motivate her audience to strive for personal betterment and to embrace the journey of self-improvement. We uncover into Gugu’s story and the motivations behind her passion for self-help and empowerment.

What is your earliest memory of storytelling?


My earliest memory of storytelling is from primary school. I would get excited at the thought of sharing my weekend with my friends or sharing the stories that I had heard my family members share with us. I know that I could always get a reaction out of sharing a story, that I could make the people around me smile or laugh. Bringing joy to others always made me feel good.


Can you describe the subtle signs in your life that led you to becoming the person you are today?

I’ve always loved people and connecting, so much so that my parents would often tell me that I have way too many friends. My response to them would be, ‘I’m good with people’ not really understanding what I meant at the time. Looking back at it, that’s when I started to realise that my superpower was the fact that I could make people feel seen. Throughout my schooling career people gravitated towards me. 
I’ve always been creative too so as I got older I kind of had the idea of combining the two, my love for people and my creativity and that’s what’s gotten me to where I am today. 

I understand that you started as a YouTuber before you moved into podcasting. Do you view those as two separate endeavours or is it one endeavour?


The two platforms are similar but different. My podcast now serves as a traditional diary of sorts and my YouTube channel is now my visual diary.


Take me back to the first YouTube video you ever made. What led up to you releasing your first video?

I had the idea of starting a YouTube channel for a while. I asked my friends to do it with me but that never happened. Eventually I got tired of waiting and decided to take the leap of faith and do it by myself.

On a video you released a year ago you said, “the birth of my channel is the birth of my healing”. Can you elaborate on why that is the case? 


For a long time, I had silenced myself due to shame and guilt. Allowing myself to start my channel was in turn allowing my voice to be heard. Trusting that what I had to say and my voice, were indeed valuable. Allowing my story to be heard and for myself to be seen after spending years avoiding the limelight provided healing. Having a community online that would share their stories with me and find solace in my story made me feel less alone. 


You talk about a whole host of topics on your podcast. As a creator, do you experience any insecurities or anxieties in putting yourself out there?

Not as much as what I used to. I’ve mastered the art of only releasing an episode once I’ve dealt and moved on from the topic that I’ve chosen to speak about. I still have moments but for the most part I’m always comfortable with what it is that I’ve chosen to share and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m not ashamed of my story or my struggles.

One of my personal favourite topics you talk about is self-doubt and self-affirmation. In those moments where thoughts of self-doubt creep in, how do you bounce back?


I remind myself of everything that I’ve been able to achieve, that I’m not here by mistake. I remind myself that I am wonderfully and fearfully made, that if God has called me to something he will get me through it. I’ve also started saying affirmations over myself at the beginning of each day – I’ve learnt to attack myself doubt before it attacks me.


On the last episode of, “After School Is After School”, you spoke about being open to new friendships. As a self-described reclusive person, how do you navigate forming new friendships and protecting your energy from people who may not have the best intentions for you?

It’s all about the vibes, I prefer to forge relationships in person for that very reason. Energy doesn’t lie and nor does your gut. As someone who loves people I’ve learnt how to do so whilst protecting myself. Just because I have a love for people doesn’t mean that everyone has same amount of access to me. Only in the spaces where I feel seen and extremely safe do I bare it all. I’m always open to new connections but I trust my gut and the Holy Spirit to steer me in the right direction.

You seem to always have gems to drop on your podcast. What topics are you currently resonating with in life?

I unfortunately spend a lot of time in my head just unpacking life and what being in my 20s is like. I’m currently working towards my live podcasting show, The Assembly where I’ll be digging into all the juicy topics that have been on my mind lately.

What is your mantra, if any, for the year 2024?

All endings bring about new beginnings, that is my mantra for the year. As a creator of habit, I sometimes really struggle with letting go because I don’t like facing the unknown and not having any control. I’ve recently come to learn that letting go doesn’t always have to be anchored in pain and turmoil. You can choose to do so and embrace the beauty of a new beginning. A new chapter comes with endless possibilities.

Read more stories like this in issue 40 of our monthly ezine by clicking here 

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