POW­ER­FUL MO­MENTS

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - Report Back -

EM­POW­ERED WOMEN EM­POWER WOMEN

Co-founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Apo­lit­i­cal Academy Lindiwe Maz­ibuko de­liv­ered an in­spir­ing and thought­pro­vok­ing speech on be­ing in power in pol­i­tics. She touched on the ten­dency of South African women po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to un­der­mine and be­lit­tle each other, rather than build­ing each other up. Ad­dress­ing this cru­cial point, she in­sisted that, ‘this nar­ra­tive that we must be threat­ened by each other or hold each other back is one of the greatest threats to suc­cess for women, par­tic­u­larly in pub­lic of­fice.’

DREAM­ING IS A DO­ING WORD

Ac­tress and phi­lan­thropist Nomzamo Mbatha re­minded us all of the im­por­tance of hard work and go­ing after what you be­lieve in. ‘Dream­ing has always been a verb to me, a do­ing word,’ she told us. ‘I’m only ob­sessed with the ap­point­ment I’ve set with the uni­verse, not with what the world thinks of me.’

DE­SIGN THE WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN

Redi Tl­habi made the vi­tal point that ‘women are the largest eco­nomic force and yet we sel­dom have a say in de­ci­sions,’ with Suhana Gord­han, Cre­ative Di­rec­tor at FCB Africa and Chair­per­son of the Lo­eries, adding that, ‘it’s up to women to de­sign the world they want to live in and to em­power one an­other,’ be­fore sug­gest­ing that, ‘if there isn’t a chair at the ta­ble, bring your own.’

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY STARTS WITH US

‘Plas­tics don’t lit­ter, peo­ple do.’ These were the wise words of South African en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, so­cial en­tre­pre­neur, activist and hu­man rights de­fender Cather­ine Con­stan­tinides. The au­di­ence was en­cour­aged to em­u­late the ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple pro­vided by Rwanda, the ‘clean­est coun­try in Africa’. Not only has this for­ward-think­ing coun­try banned plas­tic bags, but on the last Saturday of every month, ‘they shut down and clean their com­mu­ni­ties’. We were re­minded by this acutely so­cially aware woman that the re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with us and that ‘we have only one home; we have only one place to live in, and we have to safe­guard and pro­tect it.’

LUX­URY IS EM­BED­DED IN AFRICAN CUL­TURE

CEO of Luxe Corp and Founder of Lux­ury Con­nect Africa Uche Pézard re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion for her rous­ing speech, ‘Can Africa Re­de­fine Lux­ury to the World?’.

She pointed out that the wealth­i­est in­di­vid­ual in recorded his­tory is African and that Africa cur­rently has the high­est num­ber of raw ma­te­ri­als for lux­ury prod­ucts across all cat­e­gories. Yet, Uche told us, peo­ple con­tinue to laugh in her face when she speaks of lux­ury in Africa. ‘Lux­ury is African and em­bed­ded in African cul­ture,’ she stated. Uche ques­tioned why Africa is not ben­e­fit­ting from its own prod­ucts and why we, as Africans, have been si­lent on the riches of our her­itage. As she so rightly pointed out, ‘When you buy a brand, you’re buy­ing into a her­itage.’ In Uche’s words, ‘We as Africans need to pro­mote our rich cul­ture.’ mc

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