There's nothing boring about 39-year-old Samareh Rahnavardi. Born in Iran's capital city Tehran, she travelled extensively with her family from the age of five, immigrated to Botswana when she was 14 and finally settled in South Africa in her twenties. She's been calling Cape Town her home ever since.
What really sets Samareh apart is her larger-than-life personality. Whether it’s her widespread travel or her affinity for art and drama that informs her kaleidoscopic view of the world, it’s impossible not to be infected by her enthusiasm. “When I was a kid I wanted to be on stage. I’d do anything – sing, dance, speak – as long as I had a microphone!” she exclaims. Fortuitously Samareh’s great love for spectacle has helped her carve out the career of her dreams. She chats to us about her latest adventure: her journey to becoming a coach.
In the wings
Spurred by her talent in art – specifically oil painting – Samareh began her tertiary education at beauty school and qualified as a permanent makeup artist. Her desire to improve herself was insatiable and she went on to study a broad variety of topics including courses in philosophy, human behaviour, metaphysics, meditation, esoteric teaching, energy and pranic healing, hypnotism, counselling and most recently coaching.
Samareh completed SACAP’s Coach Practitioner Programme and became a coach in 2017. She says she thoroughly enjoyed her time on the Cape Town campus because the part-time six-month course was so well structured and excellently curated that she had no problem juggling it with her responsibilities as a working mother. “It was such fun meeting so many different, interesting people. I felt like I was part of the family,” she says.
“I chose to enrol at SACAP because the college has such a professional environment and I wanted a certificate that would be recognised,” Samareh says. “I literally had the best time of my life while I was studying at SACAP and I’m sure I’ll sign up for more courses in the future because I don’t think I’ll ever stop studying!”
Setting the stage
Samareh maintains that her SACAP qualification has boosted her confidence. “It’s given me the credit and recognition I needed to rise,” she explains. “It makes a real difference when I mention my coaching certification is from SACAP.”
She believes she’s also been adequately prepared for a career in coaching and attributes much of her blossoming success to SACAP’s course content. “All the interacting exercises and coaching practices we tried out on fellow students were very helpful,” she says. “We learnt something new and eye opening and mind expanding every day.”
Empowering women has been a life-long passion for Samareh. “I remember wanting to be a fighter for women’s rights when I was just six years old,” she says. “Gender equality is something I feel very strongly about.”
In her growing coaching business Samareh has devised a 12-week programme called Starwoman, which focuses on empowerment. “I show women how to expand their awareness about themselves, helping them heal and transform. My nine-point step-by-step approach promotes clarity about their magnificence and self-worth. When I watch them blossoming at the end of 12 weeks I feel reborn and humbly joyous!”
Her career highs? “Watching others tap into their inner power and transform their perception about themselves and create a life of their dreams,” she says. “Seeing people let go of self-doubt and increase their self-belief is truly rewarding.”
Samareh says she’s encountered a few challenges, too. “Coaching is fairly new to some people and many underestimate the power that lies in a coaching session or in having a coach,” she explains. “Also, few know the difference between a coach, a psychologist and a counsellor.” This seems to be changing at a rapid rate she concedes. “Everybody needs a coach and the world is learning about this necessity more and more every day. I believe a coaching career is destined to be successful because the future IS coaching!”
Samareh plans to channel all her positivity into her budding business. “I’m confident my online coaching programmes will be bought all around the world,” she says. “I want to teach, speak and coach internationally and I hope to be invited to coaching seminars to share my experiences.”
SACAP offers a variety of part-time coaching programmes that will help you harness your potential. Coaching is all about helping people make positive changes and, like Samareh says, the world needs more coaches!
All three of the coaching programmes offered by SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology) are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and approved by COMENSA. The ICF, which was founded in the USA in 1995, is the world’s largest coaching organisation connecting practitioners and educators in a professional community that today, spans more than 100 countries.
With 15 years of coach training experience, SACAP empowers South Africans to harness their potential and effect change through its rigorous coach education. The part-time courses are designed for working professionals who aim to either develop as professional coaches or practice coaching in their own workplace.
SACAP’s two-year Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching (PGDC) is a comprehensive NQF 8 level qualification, equivalent to an Honours degree, while their Coach Practitioner Programme is five months and the Advanced Coach Practitioner Programme is six months long. These learning programmes respectively provide foundational and in-depth theory as well as extensive practical skills.
SACAP’s Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching, Coach Practitioner Programme and Advanced Coach Practitioner Programme are available on both the Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses. Courses begin in May 2018, and admissions close at the end of March 2018.
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