South Africa’s Sister’s Are Doing It For Themselves

Sep 15, 2015 Blog  Awards , Business Woman , Business Women , Entrepreneur , South Africa
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“Celebrating yourself is a healthy habit, reflecting on what you’ve achieved is not only a way to fight self-doubt, but to gain clarity around how you have used your time and energy, paving the way for better future decision-making. For every step taken, every crisis averted, every smile brought about, every tear you wiped, for every triumph big or small – my fellow women, I salute you and I celebrate you,”

– Farzanah Mall, the national president of BWASA.

Getting to the top of your game isn’t easy. It takes long hours, late nights, dogged determination and plenty of self belief. So if you’re a woman – pushing back against other expectations as well – you’ve got a long hard road ahead of you.

But that’s why we’re so proud to see so many South African women taking the reigns and establishing themselves as innovative and entrepreneurial powerhouses. Proving they’ve got the guts, the brains and the business acumen to make their millions, the women of South Africa have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Never was this more apparent that at the annual Businesswomen of the Year Awards. Now in their third decade, this awards ceremony has really hit its stride. The event was a ‘who’s who’ of South Africa’s successful women from Nolitha Fakude, Executive Director and Executive Vice-President of Strategy and Sustainability, Sasol (event sponsors) to former Malawi President, Dr Joyce Banda.

The categories and respective winners were:

Corporate – Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane
Entrepreneur – Lee Den Hond
Government – Tembela Kulu

Nosipho Siwisa-Damasane is the first female chief executive officer of Richards Bay Coal Terminal – one of the leading coal export terminals in the world.

Lee Den Hond is the founder of Blue Platinum Events and an inspirational speaker. She is also one of only three South-African women to ever reach the summit of Everest.

Tembela Kulu is a trailblazer in the rail industry; currently the Gauteng provincial manager for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

These inspiring women were nominated by individuals in the community who felt that their hard work should be recognized, and what a fantastic way to show appreciation for these business women.

The keynote speaker at the event was former Malawian president Dr Joyce Banda. Her speech acknowledged her own struggle to overcome the challenges of entering a largely male-dominated political sphere. It focussed around the challenges that women from all walks of life were standing up against. She praised the courage, compassion and integrity of female leaders and how they were driving change across not just South Africa, but the continent as a whole.

“The advancement and recognition of women continues to be an integral part of my work, and, as such, the role and efforts of advocacy institutions like BWASA resonate with me immensely. I salute and thank each of you for your passion, purpose and contribution,”

Events like this are an important way of providing recognition to female businesswomen and encouraging young women to come forward and forge their own paths. African women should have the confidence that they too can carve strong business careers for themselves. To the winners of the awards, and to all switched-on, ambitious African women: we salute you!

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