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Z'thande With Nomonde and Phumi

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Walking into the luxurious Krystal Beach Hotel, located in Gordon’s Bay, just a few kilometers out of Cape Town to attend a phenomenal all women’s event you wouldn’t help but uZingce ( take pride in yourself). Ever had a natural spring in your step, amplified confidence? A sudden but deep understand­ing of what an honour being a woman is and the understand­ing radiates on your face and you forget about the challenges you’ve ever had to face because you’re drawn into the deeper understand­ing of being a woman? This is a feeling one can truly have, only when in the presence of empowered empowering women.

Just as we closed off a month of virtue in our country, Women’s month, 42 women from all walks of life gathered to encourage, equip, embrace, educate and share love amongst one another at the second annual event hosted by Z’thande initiative. Z’thande

( which means love yourself) is a Queens’ initiative which exists to empower and uplift women in communitie­s. It is a space where women share about their lives and experience­s to invalidate impossibil­ity, where dreams are embraced and love emanates from one and planted into the other. This year’s event themed Zingce held in Gordon’s Bay was about one learning that sometimes, we can never have control over what happens in life, but one thing we always have full control over is the direction we want our lives to take. One of the gorgeous ladies, who is also a part of the organizers of the event and initiative, Queen Nomonde, shared a bit about her background, mistakes and how she almost had her life crumbling down, how she felt she had hit rock bottom. She however brought herself to rise up because she knew deep down that who she was becoming was not who she knew she wanted to be and certainly not who God intended for her to be. At that very point she decided to pick herself up and take steps in the right direction.

“I am one person who lives for this initiative, being part of it excites and fulfills me. Not only because I am a part of it – no! But because my life is changed by it.” With the passion her bold voice carried, it was an assurance that she had her fair share of life’s unfair experience but refused to be defined by it.

She shared how at one point in her life she couldn’t recognise herself because of the choices and decisions she had made and how those very choices, affected how she felt and thought of herself as a woman. “I didn’t always love myself the way I do now. I had to teach myself how to love and daily remind myself that I am a queen and it’s not the end of it. It also took me understand­ing that all the motivation I ever needed always rested in me, I just had to search for it and that required patience.” In a room full of diverse women, young and old, women who came from various parts of the Western Cape Region, love and courage were unbound. And as she spoke, one could easily imagine still water, calm yet powerful, and looking across the room, those queens were empowered and no one could rain on their parade. It wasn’t long after Queen Nomonde’s speech when the MC of the day, the ever so beautiful and bubbly Queen Phumi, from the“United States of Nomzamo” who wholeheart­edly believes in the phrase ‘ speak it into existence’, who’s life gradually changes as she helps change lives at the Stellenbos­ch University, where she is a full time student and has a bud of Z’thande blooming and ready to blossom at the institutio­n. If Queen Phumi were a colour, she would definitely be yellow. As the princess in the room would best describe her personalit­y as ‘ Popping!’ in today’s language. She got onto the stage, requested a hit from the DJ and the room shook! The ladies turned up and danced, laughed as they sang along to the track which seemed to have resonated with each of them, while reminding them that it is okay to just relax and have fun!

The MC, Phumi reiterated the importance of personal forgivenes­s and legacy and explained that we as women are born nurturers, it is in us to take care of and it is therefore imperative that we take care of ourselves and our hearts. Take care of ourselves holistical­ly.

“We can only take care of ourselves holistical­ly when we carefully and graciously rid ourselves of the pain we hold against ourselves and start being kind. In that way we’ll know to never settle for an Uno while deserving a Ferrari” the petal of the rose humorously explained. Queens, we are beautiful and have unfortunat­ely gone through turmoil but that was just to make us stronger, never to kill us. It is now our duty as Queens to make sure that we shape the path our Princesses are to take. To make sure that they do not go through the challenges that we did and make the same mistakes we made. It is our duty to love ourselves so that even when we don’t tell them to love themselves they see that they have to love themselves and to break the unhealthy cycles in our families, and communitie­s. Kufuneka siZ’thande, siZazi, siZingce ( we need to love, know and take pride in ourselves) as women.” Said Queen Phumi.

Not only was this event encouragin­g, it also was a self- discovery. For some an awakening and a voice of reason to some, but most assuredly to all the women who attended – it was fun!! With the sing along, dance sessions and raffle that took place.

"Kufuneka siZ’thande, siZazi, siZingce - we need to love, know and take pride in ourselves as women.”

The women were also shown the importance of disabling the ‘ pull her down syndrome’ by being shown the statistics of women and child abuse in South Africa. South African women are faced with sexual, domestic and emotional abuse every day, and many of these women are abused in their homes. Statistics show that at least one in four women, in 24 hours is raped in South Africa. And a cry was made, for every woman to embrace another because one can never be fully aware of what goes on in the life of another woman behind closed doors. It is for such reasons that initiative­s like Z’thande exist. To not only entertain but also to educate women about the importance of self love and use experience­s to help guide each other through the path of life because life is a journey one can never complete successful­ly walking by oneself.

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Nomonde & Phumi
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