Updated: Sep 7, 2021
The year 2019 taught me so much about hope and empathy for myself,” recalls Zanani Mrwetyana from South Africa. “It was filled with anxiety and depression over the pressure of trying to be the ‘perfect daughter’ for my parents.
I believed it was my responsibility to be successful for my family since I was the first to go to university. Hence, I rarely left space to make mistakes or cut myself some slack. I decided to see a clinical psychologist and this is where I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder.
However, going to see a professional and taking time to understand the state of my mind taught me to put my mental health above all other necessities. Through this process I learned to have hope for my future, even when it's not always in my control - but most of all show empathy towards myself even when I'm not at my best.
Zanani shared their story as part of The Empathy & Hope Project, an immersive art exhibition on the impact of our social environments on the health of our minds. Chapter 2 of this traveling exhibition was hosted in Durban, South Africa from 12 March - 03 May 2020, featuring photographic artworks by Thabiso Sekgala, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, Witness Change & a Refugee Centre in Durban.