07 Aug
2015

SA trendsetters share insights and learnings in Durban

Four of South Africa’s trailblazers, thought-leaders and trendsetters shared key insights with more than 700 women at Durban’s ICC this morning as part of Women’s Month celebrations. The FNB Business Women’s Breakfast in association with GIBS and East Coast Radio provided corporate Durban with a morning of inspirational personal journeys and shared learnings.

Hosted by East Coast Radio’s Carol Ofori, the event was more than a networking breakfast to celebrate the phenomenal strides women have made in SA. It was about earnest advice from individuals who dare to dream, break moulds and set trends.

“As women, we all need to believe unconditionally that our passion can create the life we really want,” says East Coast Radio’s General Manager, Boni Mchunu. “We have the in-built ability to do whatever we put our minds to and need not wait for things to fall into our laps. Opportunities exist and we need to seize those opportunities and make things happen for ourselves, rather than waiting for society’s approval.

IT innovator, former Google SA boss, Stafford Masie, kicked off the morning. As one of SA’s celebrated digital strategists, Stafford shared advice on how to navigate the challenging – and fast-changing – world of technology and the role his grandmother played in getting him to where he is today. His challenge for women is to encourage their daughters to innovate. “Men run the internet. But women rule the internet!”

Packing a magnetic personality, the business savvy Lorna Maseko discussed the challenges she faced as one of SA’s premiere ballet dancers. From the moment she put on her first pair of dancing shoes at the age of 9, to her meteoric rise as SA’s first professional black dancer and Top Billing presenter, Lorna’s journey is nothing short of remarkable and inspiring. “There’s something about hard work that no-one can take away from you,” Lorna advised as she encouraged women to dream and work hard to achieve their dreams.

The woman who served as assistant to one of the greatest men on earth gave the audience an intimate glimpse of life with Madiba. Zelda la Grange shared some of the key lessons she learnt while at Nelson Mandela’s side for 19 years until his death in 2013. She poignantly shared anecdotes of how Madiba taught her valuable life lessons including the importance of living life with discipline, respect and integrity. Zelda stressed the importance of women standing together and how imperative it is to instil good values in our children to ensure that we build a great South Africa.

Rounding off the morning, Zolani Mahola, lead singer of Freshly Ground, took the audience on an inspiring journey of the challenges she faced and obstacles she overcame during her rise to stardom. Hers was a story that challenged everyone to pursue their dreams as she challenged women to “know your worth!” As mother, poet, songwriter and businesswoman, Zolani’s soulful voice resonated with the audience as she peppered her time at the podium with song.

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