Leading speakers inspire at women’s breakfast

2011-08-27 00:00

OVER 150 women from Pietermaritzburg attended an inspirational Women’s Month breakfast at the Sinodale Centre yesterday.

The collaboration between The Witness, uMgungundlovu District Municipality and Ukhozi FM brought leading women speakers to inspire their peers.

Laura Ilunga, one of a few women South African Air Force helicopter pilots, spoke of how it has always been difficult for women to succeed in a male-dominated field like aviation. However, she said, technological advances are leaning towards technology that needs less physical power and greater mental capability.

She also spoke of the wives of apartheid veterans who have been forgotten after the death of their husbands.

“These women were the backbone of the homes and the strength of the fighters,” said Ilunga.

Iris Francis spoke of the importance of humility, leadership and servitude.

Francis, who is the daughter of apartheid stalwart Morris Flynn, spoke about moral and “servant” leadership and how women can be leaders in any environment. “Put yourself first to be effective as a friend, wife and daughter,” said Francis.

Keynote speaker Dorah Sitole spoke of how she has balanced her career advancement in a competitive industry with her simple love of cooking.

Sitole worked for True Love magazine for 23 years and was voted one of the top 10 most influential people in print media in 2009/2010.

In her address she quoted Bryan Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola, saying that life is a juggling act of work, family, health, friends and spirit. Work is a rubber ball that, when dropped, will bounce back but the rest are glass.

After a question-and-answer session with the speakers, the guests left the breakfast with gifts, smiles on their faces and uplifted spirits.

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