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Nicky Abdinor

Nicky Abdinor






Who Is Nicky Abdinor

Nicky is a registered Clinical Psychologist, professional speaker, and founder of the non-profit organization, Nicky’s Drive. Nicky has a passion for challenging our perceptions of ABILITY. She is a firm believer that it’s not our situation, but how we THINK about our situation, that determines our emotional well-being. Nicky is a sought-after inspirational keynote speaker who gained international recognition following her TEDx talk, "Driving Dreams." 

Nicky was born with a physical disability (she was born without arms and shortened legs) which had no medical explanation. She believes supportive parents, a determined personality and inclusion in mainstream education were key factors in overcoming her physical limitations. Through her Psychology studies, she realised that she had been applying many Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills in her life. She believes that it’s not her situation, but how she thinks about her situation, that determines her  emotional wellbeing. Nicky recognises that positive thinking is helpful, but we also need to be rational and realistic. Positive Psychology has also contributed to Nicky’s theoretical approach where she highlights that we must not ignore what is wrong, but focus more on what is right.

If you are looking for a STANDOUT inspirational speaker, Nicky is your ideal candidate. Her expertise as a Clinical Psychologist places her at an advantage; not only does Nicky have an exceptional personal story to tell, she does so in a way that enables the audience to take away key skills to create sustainable change in our attitudes, beliefs and emotions. Nicky is always commended on being a “credible” agent of change whether you are connecting with her one-on-one or from an audience. When you meet Nicky, it is hard not to recognise that she puts her message into practice!

Nicky delivers a message that is authentic and captivating, with lessons that are easily translated into actions in our careers and personal lives. With her witty sense of humour and natural speaking ability, Nicky not only keeps the attention of the audience, but also spurs them to action! 

As a registered Clinical Psychologist, Nicky’s therapy areas of interest include:

- Anxiety
- Depression/Mood Disorders
- Relationship problems
- Stress and Anger management
- Perfectionism, Procrastination, Work Productivity
- Adjustment to chronic illness, injury and disability
- Insomnia and sleep disorders

Nicky’s primary therapeutic approach is Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It is recognised internationally as effective in treating emotional and behavioural problems including depression (mood disorders) and anxiety disorders such as social phobia, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

CBT is a practical and goal-directed therapy with the aim of helping the client to become their own therapist. It is based on the premise that it is not our situation, but how we think about our situation, that determines our emotional well-being. Nicky has been fortunate to train with local and international practitioners in the field of CBT. Her practice focuses on individual therapy with adults. 


By booking Nicky, you are automatically supporting her registered non-profit organization, Nicky’s Drive. Nicky drives a specially adapted car “hands-free” that was donated to her some time ago. This act of generosity and the freedom that driving gave to her, inspired Nicky to start Nicky’s Drive. The organization funds car adaptations for people with disabilities in South Africa. A portion of Nicky’s presentation fee is donated to Nicky’s Drive, enabling others with a #dreamtodrive.  

Keynote Topics:

  • Cultivating Optimism

  • Reigniting Self-Belief

  • Focusing on what you CAN do

  • Tolerating Uncertainty 

  • Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude 

Workshop Topics:

  • Disability: from a medical to social model

  • Barriers to inclusion (physical and emotional)

  • Overview of the legislation surrounding non-discrimination and disability

  • Challenges for disclosure of disability

  • Practical solutions for disability in the workplace


2011 - Current

2005 - Current

2005 - 2006

2004 - 2011

2004 - Current

Founder and Chairperson of Nicky's Drive (non-profit)

Registered Clinical Psychologist at Milnerton Medi-Clinic

Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre

Part-time Psychology Lecturer at Varsity College, Rondebosch

Inspirational Keynote Speaker

Media Room


"Absolutely fabulous speaker! We have asked Nicky to speak at our events in both the Northern & Southern hemispheres and the results have been consistent - everyone loves Nicky! Super smart speaker that uses humour to drive her important messages home. Oozes authenticity and humility (which is why she is a personal favourite of mine!)."

- Tania Seary, Founder of Procurious (Australia)  -

"Nicky has the ability to connect with and inspire audiences across multiple geographies, cultures, languages and genders.  Nicky’s ability to deliver key messages through emotional personal experiences has meant that the audience instantly connected with her which has led to no less than three standing ovations.  Regardless of conference theme or specific industry, Nicky’s connection with the audience is one that would leave people with self-reflection, belief, inspiration and above all motivated both in one’s personal or work environment. As the client, Nicky makes me the hero of any event. Certainly the one in a million find in keynote speakers." 

- Nicolas Le Roux, Travelport (Middle East & South Asia) -

“Since your inspiring keynote at SAP Ariba Live in Amsterdam, I have repeated, quoted and coined many of your insights internally and externally. Procurement executives of the future need to be inspirational coaches and change agents, equipped with building strong and empowered relationships with their suppliers and stakeholders.  They require purpose, positivity, self-belief and fortitude to tolerate uncertainty while remaining agile and fun leaders. You are the epitome and role model for these “super powers!” I would like to express my thanks for your energy, humour, motivation, resilience and for being such an impressive and impactful raconteur. I left your orbit as a stronger leader!” 

- Nandini Basuthakur, CEO, Procurement Leaders™ (UK) -

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