The beauty of a woman embodies more than her physical attributes and personality. It is in her strength, resilience, and tenacity to face the world with a smile each day no matter the pain within.
On this day in 1956, over 20 000 South African women of all races marched in protest of the Pass laws that prohibited people of colour from entering the white areas without the relevant documentation. This Pass law was repealed 30 years later, in 1986.
It is in honour of the women who started the charge for equality, freedom, respect, and support to all life that we founded Each One Hold One (EOHO). It is in the spirit of all the courageous women who began the fight before us and who will continue the fight after us that EOHO commits to improving the plight of women. One woman at a time we support, grow and pay it forward.
At this stage I want to acknowledge the role of support from these three phenomenal women:
Di Turpin, Boss Lady! Thank you for employing a stranger who did not meet all the requirements needed for a role. Your belief in a stranger, 17 years ago, contributed immensely to my growth and the ability to impact so many lives. Working for the ACI did not feel like work. It was a role with purpose. I loved our policy changes and especially the launch of Fundisa, savings for a purpose, funding tertiary education! Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to run the Johannesburg office even though I did not have the MBA that the role required. We need more supportive women like you to close the gender equality gap.
I feel the desire to thank my husband Ron who encouraged me to apply for that role. Ron, I appreciate you, your ongoing support and your belief in me.
Melissa Dolphin-Rowland – you show up and selflessly serve and advance the EOHO mandate no matter the challenges you face. I am grateful for your selflessness, your passion and your tenacity to change lives. I am blessed to have connected with you in this lifetime and to be on this incredible journey of service with you. Thank you, Sis, for being YOU!
Lalita Jadoonandan – our friendship spans over 2 decades. Thank you for always showing up for me and my family. I appreciate you and treasure our friendship. You epitomise friendship, no expectation, no judgment, only LOVE. In the few times, I was not able to love myself, you were there holding my hand and listening. Sis, I thank you for being an aunt to my son.
I also experienced the power of support from these AMAZING men both in my personal development and corporate journey.
Dr Len Konar
Marius de Jongh
Judge Mervyn King
Thank you for the impact you make in my life and the lives of many. I am eternally grateful!
Andrew Bradley, Ketso Gordhan and Dr Len Konar, I appreciate your continued commitment and contribution in driving the narrative to get more women seats at the table and for supporting them in unleashing their economic potential via the Each One Hold One Programme.
The purpose of my share today was to demonstrate the power of diversity, collaboration, and the benefit of building your tribe with intent. And ladies to remind us that not all men are our enemies. The next time we decide to speak negatively about the role of men in advancing gender equality let us look inward and question whether we are surrounded by the group of men who care or the ones that waste our time and energy.
The recent civil unrest in South Africa revealed that in every group, be it race, gender, age, nationality, etc. there are people with varying degrees of kindness. This is the reality worldwide. Blanket statements are unfair, let us commit to checking our biases. We are the Changemakers who can impact lives, through unity, love, kindness, and respect for all lives! Through love, kindness and persistency, we will ignite positive changes within people we choose to engage with.
Finally, three lessons and thoughts for consideration:
Respect and love yourself enough to walk away from people and situations that do not contribute to your growth and your well-being.
Know when labels are acceptable and allow them into your life. According to scenario planner and futurologist Clem Sunter, I am a Fox. I deliberately used the photo when introducing this article to achieve two objectives:
One, to draw attention to the fact that certain labels and mantras have the ability to keep us on track and focused so allow these into our life. Focus is critical for our success. Focus keeps us motivated, energised and we tend to make fewer mistakes and in the process utilise TIME, the most precious commodity effectively.
Secondly to introduce you to his amazing and thought-provoking book, Socrates & the Fox which Clem co-authored with Chantell IIbury. I have included an extract of the book and I hope it piques your curiosity.
Clem Sunter, I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday!
3. In the words of Rumi – “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” Through this process master the art of freeing your mind so you create space for the people and opportunities that grow you. Always remember to pay it forward.
On this day, I urge you to find the piece that resonates with you and drive that Change. The change will eventually be realised. We need to be present and continue driving the desired outcomes. The journey ahead needs you, your desire, your willingness, and your commitment to bridge the divide and close the inequality gaps. To all the Game Changers, I thank you for your contribution.
If you can be anything today, choose to be KIND! Love and blessings to you all. Stay safe!
Love and light!