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Spotlight on Women Entrepreneurship and Self Love

September 15, 2017

               Guests at the event from left: Ms Ntandokazi Buthelezi, Ms Mbalenhle Shandu and Ms Nomfundo Khumalo.

A group of UKZN female students convened to talk about the importance of education, self-love and self-importance at a recently held event to celebrate Women’s Day.

The event, hosted by Isibani Education Empowerment Students Organization (ISEESO), was held on the Westville campus.

A total of 47 female students attended the event whose theme was “First, Love Yourself (F.L.Y)”. It was hosted with the support of the Westville and Central Students Representative Council. During the course of the evening speakers motivated the ladies, inspirational videos were played and the evening ended with an open discussion.

This platform of encouragement, motivation, and rediscovery also focused on instilling a mindset and power of female entrepreneurship. 

The first speaker, Ms Malindi Kunene, an Entrepreneurship Academic at the University spoke of how females can uplift themselves and others around them. Ms Pinky Mnyaka, HCT Counsellor under the AIDS Programme on the Westville campus then spoke about self-love and self-acceptance and how women can go about achieving a sense of self-worth. Central SRC President Ms Noxolo Bhengu emphasised the importance of having women in leadership and how women in leadership can overcome obstacles and prejudice they face without losing their femininity. The audience was also entertained with live performances by Vuyiswa Ndlovu of the F.L.Y Initiative, Mandisa Mondise of UKZN Poetry Night, and Asanda Magwaza. The ladies were immensely empowered, and uplifted by these exceptional speakers and entertainers.

Those attending the event participated in a discussion on how to sustain the initiative of F.L.Y. During the discussion it was discovered that many female students lack a support system and this sometimes leads to their poor academic performance. These female students often face issues on their own and feel isolated. It was suggested that a peer based support group and similar gatherings should take place more often on campus so as to help others cope with personal issues along with their academics and further practice some entrepreneurial skills. The Campus HIV and AIDS Support Unit (CHASU) representatives suggested working together with their women’s forum to help tackle some of these issues raised including : gender based violence and the need for sanitary towels. ‘Working together will help create a united voice and greater awareness in tackling such issues. We need to share ideas together as females in forums and discussions to help uplift one another and make a better change to the society,' said Ms Phume Ngcobo.

The ISEESO Leadership agreed to further support the F.L.Y Initiative and to also support any other upcoming events of this kind. The proposed types of events were F.L.Y Man Indaba, with an aim of addressing the issues that male students face which may also lead to poor academic performance. Another event being mooted is one in which both genders come together to discuss gender violence and a plan towards achieving Goal 5 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

‘We send our warm gratitude to all females who sacrificed their evening and came together to make the event a success,’ said Mandla Dlamini, ISEESO Chairperson and WSRC Students Services.

Words by: Vuyiswa Ndlovu

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