Wonderful Women draw small crowd

2008-08-31 00:00

Despite the poor turnout at the Wonderful Women Gathering event in Durban, the organisers say they got their message out to the public.

Only 1 000 of the expected 40 000 people attended the event, held at Durban’s Absa stadium yesterday to mark the end of Women’s Month.

While it was a dismal turnout, those who did attend listened intently to the lineup of impressive speakers, such as acclaimed story teller Gcina Mhlope and gospel artist Deborah Fraser, as they shared their thoughts on why women are important to society.

The event also commemorated the women of 1956 who staged a historic march to the Union Buildings against the extension of passes to women.

Di Smith, the organiser of the event, said that she was not disappointed with the small turnout, as she believed her message still reached people.

Smith said the event was held to encourage people to be positive about the future and celebrate the great things South Africa has to offer.

“It’s one step at a time. This is only the beginning of something far greater for South Africa. This country definitely needs to be celebrated more,” she said.

She said there are plans to hold more events.

Guest speaker Zama Makhosi from Heartlines said it will take ordinary people to build the country into something even better.

“South Africa is a miracle nation because of its citizens. Ordinary people like you and me can build this country up,” she said.

In a recorded message, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that it is important to recognise the pivotal role women play in society.

“Women are the backbone of society and through them we will address problems in society.

“They will help in supporting and guiding our youth,” the archbishop said.

“By reaching our women, we will reach our youth. You touch our women, you touch a rock,” he added.

Another speaker, Dr Nikolaus Eberls, a bestselling author who is engaged in internal marketing for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, described how women can play a part in the event.

He said the 2006 World Cup in Germany was a resounding success because citizens treated each other with dignity and respect.

“It was about the women and how they were treated. Women are more in tune with sending out positive messages to society,” he said.

The atmosphere sizzled when famous South African band Freshlyground walked on to the massive stage and got the crowd dancing and singing to their popular songs.

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