2018 was a really big year of personal growth for me, a year where a lot of who I was changed in ways that have left my norm altered forever and yet, I can’t help but smile at how much I achieved in the last year and how many incredible women have contributed to reminding me that my greatness is dependent on how much I believe in myself, how true I am to myself and how kind my heart remains even in the midst of the worst adversity.
As a result, I wanted to share a few of the lessons I learnt from these women, women who helped mold me, who advised me, taught me, nurtured me and helped build with me. For all the things that didn’t run smoothly, one thing that did was that I was blessed with a network of incredible powerhouses, who wanted us to grow together – because women united are untouchable.
I have been following Siya for a while now, and I always felt that she was an absolutely incredible women – up until I met her in person and then I realized that “incredible” doesn’t even match what an exceptional person she is. A woman that shares her knowledge with others and is willing to share what she has learnt, while feeling as though there is more than enough room for us all to thrive is a woman to watch, a woman to get to know and a woman to listen to. One day, Siya’s fashion, business and travel expertise will change your life the same way it has mine.
Lessons from Siya: Build and maintain relationships with people. Your networks are extremely important. You gain so much by showing people love and respect.
When they tell you that powerhouses aren’t built over night and that dynamite comes in small packages, they’re really speaking about Zoe. Her ability to command a room and attentively manage what she is working on is something out of this world. She may be the Kitten Heels Queen, but Zoe is also one of the smartest, capable women I have ever had the opportunity to know. She is going to do more big things this year, watch.
Lessons from Zoe: Celebrating your friends successes only strengthens the relationships. You can build together as friends, share in each others successes, encourage each other and grow together.
Sindi van Zyl
I have known Dr Sindi since before Nandi happened, I was blessed enough for her to be a friend of my mothers and as a result, I found her as such a lovely woman to be around. The warm embrace that you will find yourself wrapped in when you’re around her will alter your life forever, you will soon understand how important it is to have women who listen to each other surrounding you. Her journey has been an incredible one and her openness is a very big part of why I am so open myself. In her being herself, she helped shape me into a better woman, a woman who helps other women by just sharing her experiences. You will always learn something when around Dr Sindi, whether the leaning is about Le Creuset pots, HIV and the stigma’s that come with it or how to accurately crush – it is always a fun time when she is around.
Lessons from Sindi: Boundaries are important in all the relationships in your life. It’s important to know who is who in your life and then to manage your expectations accordingly. Dr Sindi used to use the word “friend” very loosely. If you were nice to me, you became a friend. And I’d show up for every single “friend” she had. She had two earth-shattering episodes with so-called “friends”. She thought she had learnt her lesson the first time around… no. Second time around – she was forced to learn the lesson. Family is sub-divided into close and distant relatives. Tears are shed for close family, framily, and literally a handful of friends. Everyone else must see to finish.
I cannot even begin to explain what having a woman leading my team has done for my career, to see a woman deal with the pressure and remain so deeply rooted in who she is even in the midst of being told “you don’t know” by a very large group of men. My career flourished quite aggressively under Surie’s leadership, I learnt about the importance of stating how you truly feel and about empowering other young women due to her ability to open up conversations and validating my career choices.
Lessons from Surie: Your gut feeling is never wrong, stay true to who you are and surround yourself with people who will challenge your views because they want you to grow and flourish more from it.
When I tell you that being vocal is never a bad thing, I’m speaking about Zizi. I hav had the honour of watching her life progress right in front of me and have enjoyed every minute of it. Zizi’s journey has been a personal favourite for a few reasons but the one that stands out the most to me is that her love of food, and her love of experimenting in the kitchen has resulted in her side hustle contributing largely to her having her own business. She has grown so much and pulled so much attention that she had many personal highlight – including being on Touch HD, as well as working with a few of her favourite brands, Zizi has also perfected turning her passions into side hustles and if there is one thing I would like you to take from this, it’s that there is always a way.
Lessons from Zizi: When you believe in yourself and you have required the discipline, anything is attainable. The world literally becomes your oyster and on days you don’t believe in yourself, let the passion drive you.
This year, I will find a way to highlight the many women who add power to my personal space, who build me, who encourage me, who assist me in bettering myself and who love me, even when I am not at my best. The reason for this is simple, success – amongst women – tastes better shared.
A toast to meeting more powerful women, to learning from each other, building wealth, sharing knowledge, and creating powerful networks, here’s a toast to our 2019. May it be a fulfilling one!