CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 28. SOUTH African radio personality Graeme Joffe had the chance to speak with South African Paralympic star Natalie Du Toit recently after she was awarded the MBE, or Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
“Her Majesty The Queen has announced that South African Olympic and Paralympic medal-winning swimmer Natalie du Toit has been awarded an honorary MBE for her services to Paralympic sport,” the commission said in a statement upon awarding Du Toit.
In the quick, yet insightful, interview with Joffe, Du Toit talks about receiving the award, her trepidation of discovering what to do with her life after 22 years as a competitive swimmer, and her thoughts on the Paralympic movement in South Africa.
Natalie Du Toit on life after swimming
If I can say how tough life actually can be and it is just to try and get through it and those patches in which you are completely down, it is to live them and somehow to try and come through it at the end of the day. I am proof that it is possible, no matter if it takes you 22 years or if it takes you one year or one month, it is possible to get through that dip. And right now I have no idea what I want to do, it is extremely difficult and I always feel like a failure where I feel like, you know, everyone thinks you’re this big success but I don’t know what I want to do. So, you put a lot of pressure on yourself and at the end of the day to believe that it will all work out and not just to believe it but to go out and actually work to try and find it or to try and achieve whatever you want to. Life doesn’t come easy and all of us go through bad patches and good patches and it is to embrace it. That was the advise that was given to me, but also … the advise came after I had learned a lot of lessons and it just put it all into perspective. It is to set goals, dreams, live by values and you know that is basically the brand that was created, was values and to never ever let those values fall at any point in time.