It was a glitz and glamour affair for a group of 80 women who attended the Manenberg Women’s Celebration Dinner.The dinner was held at Beulah Community Centre in Manenberg Avenue on Saturday 15 September. The event, hosted by Ashley-William van Heerden and Christin Daniels, contestants on the second season of My Kitchen Rules on M-Net, in partnership with the Manenberg Women’s League, was an opportunity to celebrate, inspire and engage women from the area.The event was also to establish a structured dialogue for the purpose of community development.“The event took the form of a celebration, to make up for missed milestones which these women haven’t had the opportunity to celebrate, because of the sacrifices they made for their family and community,” explains Van Heerden.“The event in partnership with the Women’s League was also hosted in an effort to break through barriers and to harness the power of women to effect real change in their community.” The local women in attendance were treated to a three-course meal as well as live entertainment, and donned their best dresses on the night.“They (women) also took the opportunity to share their stories and uplift each other through conversation. As a gesture of their commitment to community, they (women) also donated money to the women’s group that empowers both women and children through upliftment projects,” he says. Firdous Benn, a resident of Pam Walk who attended on the night, says: “This was a memorable night for many of us. We were all dressed up in white and silver or white and gold, as if it were our 21st birthday parties or matric balls. And as we arrived, a photographer was on standby to capture our entry. We really felt special. “Everything was beautiful about the event, from the decor to the food. Our women really enjoyed each other’s company, understanding that we have a responsibility to give leadership in the community. It was a wonderful night.”The cooking duo from Manenberg, also known as Ash and Chris, say they hoped to build on the momentum of their nationality to broadcast a positive message of hope, for and about the people of their community. The chefs also took the opportunity to share the purpose of the evening and that of several similar programmes that are coming up, and ended the night with a symbolic walk on stage with each of the women.“At the end of the event, the women joined us on stage with pride and confidence to sing Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman,” adds Van Heerden.