Meet a Champion. Nelson

This blog is part of a series of blogs: Meet a Champion! You can join the blog. Share your story on change with us and we’ll share your ‘Meet a Champion!’ blog on our Insight’s (blog) page. E-mail us:

Dear you,


I’m happy to introduce you to the ‘Meet a champion’ blog. It’s about how we, in different parts of the world, look at the topic of ‘Change’.


In this blog: Nelson Chingua from Vilankulos in Mozambique. He shares his thoughts on change with you. He learned that you can create a more ideal situation by asking for it and putting in the work involved. Here’s his story.


Nelson Chingua

Time to meet a champion.


  • What’s your name?  Nelson Chingua.
  • Where were you born? Vilankulos, Mozambique.
  • Where do you currently live? Vilankulos, Mozambique.
  • What do you do in daily life? I work as a pilates instructor, fitness instructor and personal trainer at a health club at a boutique hotel.


What does change mean to you?

Change means many things to me. For example, it’s about changing the way we live our lives. It’s about changing the way we do things. This is how I see it. Today is a new day. And it allows us to look at life differently and it allows us to have a new approach to how we do things. Change also means to me that you can change the situation you’re in. For example. Take my story. I was born in Vilankulos, Mozambique where I still live today. Nowadays I work as a pilates instructor, fitness instructor and personal trainer at a health club at a boutique hotel, but I started here as a cook and previously I had no education.


What is the biggest change you’ve experienced in your life?

The biggest change I created in my life was changing from working as a cook to working as a fitness instructor. I started working as a cook at the hotel where I currently work and I really wanted to change that job after I having done it for a long time. You see, it wasn’t my dream job at all. One day I told the female hotel manager about my dream of running my own health club one day. She supported me in taking the first steps and gave me the education I needed to be able to start in the field of fitness at the hotel’s health club.


What did it bring you? What did you learn from it?

I learned that thanks to my courage to speak up about my heart’s desire, I was able to change my situation. It allowed me to receive the guidance and (financial) support that I needed to change my situation. The hotel manager and my other colleagues at the hotel supported me on this transition from working as a cook to working as a fitness instructor. And they’re still arranging courses for me to learn more. Luckily, I now work in the field that I love most: fitness!


What was needed to create this change?

I needed to speak up. I needed to express my wishes and I needed to put in the work to actually learn a new profession. It means I need to study, read and practice weekly and I’ll have to keep on doing this to get even better at what I do.


What would you like to change in the world?

I’d like to change the lifestyle of most people here in Vilankulos. I’ve always dreamed of having a gym where I can train kids as well as adults. I’d like to offer services for prices local people can afford (average salary in Mozambique is low!) and I’d like to train them and teach courses on healthy nutrition. Why? I’d like people to understand the importance of healthy food and doing physical exercises/activities to stay fit. I’d like to encourage people to focus on this, so they can avoid early deaths and (chronic) illnesses such as heart attacks, gastritis and diabetes which kill people in my community daily. Also, I’d like to find a solution for the chronic malnutrition among the children here. That’s something I’d like to change for the better and I hope I can do that through my work.


What’s your advice to others on the topic of change?

Do what I did. Know what you want. Speak up. Ask for support. Be grateful and express that to the ones that have helped you and put in the work. Change only happens when you actually get off the couch and move your butt. Literally and figuratively speaking. If you’d like to get fit, you’ll also need to train. Just thinking about getting fit will not be enough!


Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Through my work I hope to connect with people. I’d like them to see that we are all one. We are the same. We need the same things in life. And one day I hope we all realize that we’re all equal.


Join the blog!

Share your story on change with us and we’ll share your ‘Meet a Champion!‘ blog on our Insight’s (blog) page. E-mail us: and we’ll e-mail you the questions. And the good news is, we’ll edit and post it for you. So, we can share your story and we can all learn from it.


Follow this Champion

Workoutwithnelson (Nelson Chingua).


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// I, Marianne (founder) am a Dutch girl going global. Even though (the team and) I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it if I can and learn from it! //