Brand South Africa and Owami honour women

28 September 2015

It’s a honourable gift [to South Africa] to play your part wherever you are, said Katie Mohamed, a representative of Brand South Africa on Heritage Day during an event to honour women.

Owami Women in partnership with Brand South Africa got together on 24 September 2015 in Lonehill, Johannesburg to celebrate women in various sectors who play their part in preserving the country’s heritage.

According to Bridget Nkuna, founder of Owami Women’s Deep and Meaningful Conversation, the importance of honouring women stems from the intent that both Owami Women and Play Your Part should award recognition to ordinary people who do their bit to contribute towards a better South Africa.

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 Women

Brand South Africa partnered with Owami Women to award women who play their part in preserving the country’s heritage. (Image: Melissa Javan)

“There are many unsung heroes who in their daily lives give of themselves in this country. Owami Women has 2300 members of which them have an area of life towards which they work and contribute,” said Nkuna.

“We have many stories and testimonies of excellence amongst our members. The six women that we chose to recognise in this time are women whose contribution we have tracked and therefore have vetted the authenticity of their work.”

Traditional clothes

Guests at the event wore traditional attire to celebrate Heritage Month. (Image: Melissa Javan)

Owami Women’s Deep and Meaningful Conversation is an initiative that enables women to share their stories and lend support to one another on a public platform. “It will do more than inspire viewership. It will encourage women to speak up and share their voice,” its website reads.

Through its flagship programme ‘Play Your Part’, Brand South Africa recognises and celebrates South Africans who continue to make a positive contribution in their communities. Brand South Africa therefore recognises the positive impact that Owami Women has played in addressing women’s issues in the country ranging from social to business matters.

Make a small contribution

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 Women

The key message from Katie Mohamed of Brand South Africa is that people should make a small difference wherever they are. “Ask yourself: ‘What difference can I make at my school, my home or at work?’ (Image: Brand South Africa)

Nkuna said the awards “is the start of bigger things to come.”

She added that South Africans have the responsibility to play their part. “It’s not good enough to complain.” She also encouraged the guests to adopt a girl. Nkuna said it is important that mentorship is done.

Mohamed’s message was that a small positive contribution could be made to make a difference in the country. “Ask yourself: ‘What difference can I make at my school, my home or at work?’ Everyone can play their part in South Africa.”

She recalled the story of a grandmother she had met who started a safe haven at her home. “The kids would come to her home from school, eat and do their homework there.”

“We need to love each other. Make a difference [in our area],” Mohamed said.

Rebecca McNally and Bianca Williams

Guests at the event, Rebecca McNally, a representative of Miss Earth South Africa, and Bianca Williams of the organisation Campaign for Girls, are also Play Your Part ambassadors. (Image by: Melissa Javan)

The award winners

Sithembile Ntombela, acting chief marketing officer of Brand South Africa, said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised and acknowledged as one of the women playing their part and I’d like to thank Owami Women for this award.”

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 Women

Katie Mohamed (middle) took the award on behalf of Sithembile Ntombela of Brand South Africa, who unfortunately could not attend the event. On Mohamed’s left is colleague Boitumelo Mpete and Bridget Nkuna (on right) of Owami Women. (Image: Brand South Africa)

Nawaal Nolwesi Mdluli, chief executive officer and founding editor of Kwenta Media said she is quite humbled. “It’s quite exciting, being given this recognition.

“I have to grow more legs to enable me to keep growing. Our Essays of Africa magazine should keep on moving women. I realise you have to move in a way that you empower and bring change. It’s my responsibility to be an agent of sustainable change,” she said.

Motlalepule Mokhine, founder of the financial firm Temogo Consulting, said she had not expected the special recognition. “When you are doing something with passion and purpose, you don’t expect this. We are very excited about it though.

“I believe that the world would be a better place if everyone does their part. Collectively we can bring change to our country,” said Mokhine.

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 Women

Nothando Baloyi (middle) of Lady T VIP Protection company is recognised because her business succeeds in a male dominated industry. Here with Baloyi is Boitumelo Mpete of Brand South Africa and Bridget Nkuna (on right) of Owami Women. (Image: Brand South Africa)

The other winners were Kearabilwe Modise-Moloto, owner and founder of the non-profitable organisation (npo) Bontlebame that aims to educate girls on education and health issues; Nthabiseng Monareng, author and specialist in family law; and Nothando Baloyi, the managing director of a local VIP Protection company.