The 7th of March marked a historic moment at Zenande Leadership as we put together a celebratory event attended by over 140 women. The atmosphere was electric and one could sense the celebratory spirit from afar.
Attending this event as a convener and host and seeing the good showing brought a lump in my throat as I could not believe what could be achieved in exactly six weeks – I learnt a lesson that – ‘where there is a will there is a way’. I am grateful to the women and men (yes) who attended and I salute their resolve to brave the weather and be part of a celebratory event. Malibongwe!!!!
The event would not have been a success without the inspiring, insightful and developmental inputs given by the speakers. I am grateful to have pulled together some of South Africa’s greatest women and leaders in the persons of Cheryl Carolus, Lulu Gwagwa, Anitha Soni, Joanne Yawitch, Vuyo Mahlathi, Nosipho Ngcaba and Portia Molefe under one roof. Between all of them these sisters offered advice on personal well-being, leadership and shared their general survival strategies and tactics. What I found most valuable was the passion and generosity in which the practical advices were offered. There are still people out there who are willing to share and give their all in building others – hands up to all the speakers.
The speeches and general engagements also acknowledged the victories achieved in the last 20 years of our democracy and various anecdotes were shared about personal and collective experiences and everybody was at one on the need to share and document these experiences as part of our quest to celebrate the milestones achieved whilst inspiring and nurturing young talent.
On the way forward there was a clear and loud voice on the need to have more of similar events, as platforms for sharing and networking and Zenande Leadership will be consulting broadly on how to take the outcomes further without reinventing the wheel. Finally a clear message was sent to the women who have travelled the journey before to find ways of taking young and emerging leaders under their wing in order to build a reservoir of women leaders who will be able to take this country to greater heights based on merit.
As I end this piece I feel excited and encouraged to play my part in taking issues of gender mainstreaming on board and more importantly to design programmes that will help women leaders achieve sustainability. For some of the upcoming Zenande programmes see the links (http://www.zenandeleadership.com/docs/LeadershipCoachingGroup-May2014.pdf and http://www.zenandeleadership.com/docs/WomenConversations-June2014.pdf