More than 200 women that attended Women’s Day on 17 August 2017 left De Charmoy, in Verulam, north of Durban, as changed individuals. The women felt honoured, loved and respected by MUT’s Management, and the esteemed speakers, with varying backgrounds, who made presentations on various topics.
Acting DVC: Resources and Planning, Prof Nokwethemba Ndlazi, demonstrated how seriously MUT Management appreciated staff’s contribution to the well-being of MUT, and staff’s place within the MUT machine. Prof Ndlazi said staff were vital cogs in the huge MUT machine. Prof Ndlazi also, like all other speakers, impressed the women with the quality of her responses to their questions, which were mainly about being a professional woman who had to keep a number of balls in the air – being a mother, a professional, and being a wife. Prof Ndlazi pointed out that
being a woman was not easy. But to make it manageable, women were supposed to build support systems, and look out for each other.
Iris Cupido, CEO, SABC Foundation, talked to the women about being a ‘complete woman’. The ‘River Girl’, who grew up in a village called Hlokozi in the south of KZN, said women had to love themselves, and had to know who they were before they could expect others to love and respect them. Iris also emphasised the importance of
self-development and respecting one’s work, and waiting for your opportunity. “You can’t expect to be appointed to a higher position when you are not ready. You need to prepare for it. While preparing, you need to stay focused.” Iris said women needed to have the skills and attributes that would make them complete women. Responding to a
question from one of the attendees, Iris said women should reach within themselves and find the answers that would enable them to face the world with its challenges.
Nokuthula Ndaba, a University of Zululand academic, advised women to handle their finances well so their families could benefit. For her it was also very important to pass on the saving skills to the next generation so there would be continuation of the legacy.
Programme organisers also thought about the importance of the physical well-being of the women. They brought in a ‘gem’, Sister Nomsa Mkhwanazi, MUT Clinic Head, to speak about the health issues that affect women. She said most of the issues could be avoided by leading a lifestyle that would support a healthy living.
As they left the venue, the women felt they were not alone in their daily struggles. The quality of responses from speakers to the questions women asked went a long way in assuring the women that life was normal, and that they were not alone. One of the women said she was impressed by how the speakers “embraced every question and reflected it on their own personal experiences.” She described the speakers as ‘brilliant’.