This year marked the 24th commemoration of National Women’s Day reminding all of us of the gallantry of 20 000 women who marched to the Pretoria Union Buildings in 1956, to present a petition against the country’s pass laws. These women were brave enough to challenge the notion that a woman’s place is only in the kitchen or confined to the realm of domestic duties. Fast-forward to 2019, great strides have been made to ensure that women are economically emancipated and free to participate in all aspects of the economy through entrepreneurship, employment as well as management of businesses and government.
The Siyandisa Women’s Trust is the legacy of a dream by many of our country’s female icons who fought against the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of South African Women. Women who, among other challenges, were and to a large extent remain excluded from investing and contributing to the management of the economic drivers of our society. The Women’s Trust is a wholly black women owned investment trust whose sole objective is the attainment of private equity interests in owner managed and family led enterprises with a view of creating economic value, growth and achieving transformation. Our vision is achieved through unique collaboration with investee companies who are committed to changing the racial and gender profile of our enterprises, business leaders, economic opportunities and skillsets.
Our ambition is to create sustainable solutions for our investee companies while creating and expanding access to economic opportunities for black women as envisaged by the BBBEE Act. One of the ways in which we strive towards sustainable transformation is through nurturing and rewarding the hard work of future leaders at secondary school level. This is done through the Siyandisa Foundation which identifies, guides and rewards top achievers at disadvantaged schools through technology, mentorship, career guidance and study support. “Our scholars are real troopers defying the odds heavily stacked against them. They are the bastions of hope who can change their families’ trajectory. Access to information remains the most important means of identifying and leveraging any opportunity! The Foundation provides access to basic resources for our scholars which assists with reimagining a world different to that of lack.”
The Scholarship programme is somewhat of a forerunner in a world with endless opportunities created by hard work and sacrifice! Our programme rewards persistence just before the end of a long secondary school journey and transition in to the start of a new phase. It’s a relevant motivation to re-energize a learner to finish strong and an excellent incentive to reimagine a different state of being during tough and otherwise challenging circumstances.
As we draw closer to the end of this year, I’d like to encourage people to not believe everything they think! This is a daily mantra which I, myself live by because as women we tend to allow negative thoughts of self-doubt to cloud our minds. This reminds me to be careful of my thoughts, to be kind to myself and to challenge my fears.
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