The grand finale of the Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Women 2021 initiative took place on 18 November at the Coastlands uMhlanga Hotel and Convention Centre.
Mano Singh, Executive Head: Insurance, Asset Management & Fiduciary at Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal said, “We are delighted to be part of the Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Women initiative. It serves as an invaluable platform to celebrate women in the province who are pushing boundaries, challenging new territories and in the process, creating a better life for all in KwaZulu-Natal.
Portia Mthembu, Head Private Clients (Non-Metro) within Clients High Net Worth, Msunduzi Area at Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal said, “As an organisation that strives to drive gender diversity, Standard Bank welcomes the opportunity to recognise the phenomenal female business leaders who have all made an impact on their respective communities and contributed to the economic growth of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.”
Key note speaker, Iman Rappetti, an award-winning broadcaster, media leader and communications specialist, provided a thought provoking and entertaining account of her personal life experiences, as well as much motivation to assess one’s own journey.
She commented, “As a storyteller I’m very interested in the stories we tell about ourselves. Many of you have your story about who you are. Mother, wife, partner, sister, daughter, widow, divorcee, business owner, service provider. We choose our headlines, I am a survivor, I am a creator, I am a… add you own title.”
The glamorous gala evening celebrated the achievements of thirty women in KwaZulu-Natal who were nominated for their achievements by employers, employees, clients, or other stakeholders. At the function, six of the women were recognised further and asked to share aspects of their journeys as well as some of their insights on stage. The interviews were a highlight of the evening and were received with much appreciation from the audience.
The women who were recognised further were:
1. Nomfundo Mcoyi, CEO Icebolethu Group: The courage to realise a dream
2. Thandi Ngxongo, Thandekile Projects: Exceeding customer expectations and delivering brilliant experiences
3. Fatima Moolla, SmartXchange Centre Manager Port Shepstone: Operating effectively and productively
4. Dr Nomusa Shezi, Specialist Neurosurgeon Albert Luthuli Hospital: Fostering a culture of empowerment and diversity
5. Lindsay Hopkins, Humanitarian/ KZN operations manager SA Harvest: Making a difference in the business and community
6. Esayvanie Reddy, Group CEO RR Group: Being a woman extraordinaire: Given to a businessperson who has demonstrated exemplary business achievement, industry influence and is a is a true inspiration to others.
Grant Adlam, publisher of the KZN Top Business, said, “Our theme this year has been ‘Women Inspiring Women’. Our team has been humbled by the many amazing women whose stories we have heard. These stories are about women, from many different backgrounds, who have had varied journeys to get to where they are today and have much wisdom to offer. It is hoped that this initiative and the recognition afforded will inspire other women to strive to achieve more in their own endeavours.”
Each of the participating women shared many of their ups and downs, their wins and their losses. All the women have incredible insights to offer, which showcases the individual and universal strengths they have been able to draw upon as a woman.
Other women need to know these stories, so they can clear the image of fairy tale lives from their minds. When other women see that the road that has been travelled is very similar to the one that they’re on, they’ll start believing they have the power to reach their own goals and be inspired to follow their own dreams and ambitions.
To obtain the stories that formed the basis for the proceedings, the KZN Top Business team interviewed all the women who participated on camera. In addition, to introduce the women participating this year, three webinars were held in the build up to the event, which were facilitated by business coach, Marlene Powell. The webinars and videos are available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/c/KZNTopBusiness/videos
As attendance was limited, the glamorous gala evening was streamed. The direct link for the video is https://youtu.be/sEpNGTU0lOs
Thato Moeng, programme director for the event, concluded with the latest Standard Bank brand message, “A single step can change the way you live tomorrow. Your dreams have no limits. All you have to do is take that first step. A better tomorrow starts today. How about now.”.