- Women’s Month this year is about celebrating powerful, resilient women who manage to persevere in the face of adversity.
- In challenging times, forging one’s destiny both locally and internationally isn’t always a given, but one woman doing just that, however, is Nomzamo Mbatha.
- This Women's Month, she's raising her glass to fellow women who inspire and embody the audacious spirit of Madame Clicquot.
It’s been a time of many personal highlights for the South African born and bred superstar actress, and this year she’s celebrating her foray into the realm of global success in the spirit of Madame Clicquot as premium champagne brand Veuve Clicquot, ambassador.
There isn't an iteration of admiration that hasn't been said or written about Nomzamo Mbatha, who carries multiple accolades and titles to her name. She's admired by the young girls she calls her own and is held in a high regard by women who were our role models in our fledgling years - an all-round doyenne of the media industry.
At the beginning of this week, this widespread adulation for Nomzamo presented itself in the form of a chance encounter of kindness from a stranger. In an Instagram post, the humanitarian expressed gratitude, detailing how a shopper bought her flowers.
"I loaded the fish in my trolley and kept going. As I was about to enter an isle, I heard a voice call out my name. I turned around and this angel said, 'Hi, these flowers are for you, here’s the slip, they’ve been paid for' I was obviously taken aback and asked who they were from And why? She responded and said 'they’re from me, thank you for inspiring so many of us with how you live your life and what you do for others we’ve been standing there in the corner with my colleagues watching you and this is my way of wanting to let you know how loved you are...'" she wrote.
And so Nomzamo continues to pay it forward, continuing to be a beacon of hope for many, as throughout trying times, she has also continued her work on her very own ‘Lighthouse Foundation’, raising over R1.5 million. This humanitarian work aligns with her role as Global Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, leading to her inclusion on the 2018 OkayAfrica’s 100 Women honourees as well as the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.
By always seeking to push the boundaries of personal achievement, Nomzamo endeavours to live her life with daring flair just like Madame Clicquot - an audacious businesswoman who, at a very similar age to Nomzamo, in 1805, had the courage to take the reins at Veuve Clicquot after the death of her husband. She then proceeded to build a global champagne empire and her decisions, at a time when women could neither work nor hold a bank account, remain an inspiration to women in pursuit of success globally, just like this South African actress who's scripting a new journey for herself in Hollywood.
Last month, having just celebrated her 30th birthday, Nomzamo not only signed a management deal with one of the world's largest talent agencies, Creative Artists - laying the foundations for even greater international success (she’ll soon be starring in Paramount’s classic Coming to America 2, alongside stars Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy).
But back to France...
In a rare opportunity to speak to Nomzamo (it's true - the former Isibaya actress once graciously squeezed in an interview with me in between takes on set), we kept things French with a quick Proust questionnaire - an interview style popularised by French essayist and novelist, Marcel Proust.
With a focus on what Women’s Month means for her and how building her personal global brand with a positive go-getter attitude, this is what came of the conversation:
The best advice I can give women today is…. do not listen to the naysayers, strive to persevere despite it all. Move with intention, live your truth but most importantly, live a purpose-driven life and, to remain motivated and positive, celebrate each personal highlight with a glass of champagne.
We live in a world that… tells women what they should not be. But to live boldly is to show up in the world and show the world what to be. Just like Madame Clicquot showed us centuries ago, we will continue to shine our light into this world - to persevere with our dreams, hopes and plans, no matter how challenging the circumstances, which is especially apt in times like these.
A special toast to you, inspiring women, this Women’s Month… thank you for inspiring me and allowing me to show up in the world bolder, stronger and a better version of myself. In times like these, we as women especially, draw on the power of our networks.
There are so many women in South Africa who live their lives with the audacious spirit of Madame Clicquot, and these are just a few I’d like to mention:
Judy Nxasana (Dr Judy Dlamini)
Medical doctor, MBA, doctor of business leadership, University of the Witwatersrand chancellor and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Facebook’s Head of Africa, with responsibility for leading the team that engages with agencies and brands in Africa to help them make the most of the company’s products including Facebook itself, Instagram and related services.
Diversity Advocate, Fellow at @worldeconomicforum, international model, actress and writer
Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
Writer and activist
Activist, radical black feminist, writer, TedxSpeaker, BBC’s 100 Woman List ‘16
Today, I encourage all women to… live their lives as Madame Clicquot did, forging their own paths, going against the grain and becoming masters of their own fate, despite the odds. This month we get to celebrate and toast to her legacy. I want to say to every brave woman out there, forge forward. Keep that fire burning. No matter what your truth looks like, I hope that you show up in the world in the most important fashion there is, and that is to be yourself.
I celebrate all women during Woman’s Month… and what better way to do so than with champagne and a brand which supports women. We may not be able to travel, but we can travel vicariously by bringing a bit of French flair and celebration into the comfort of our homes. Here’s to Women’s Month, to every month, to every decade we find ourselves in - here’s to us.
Additional information and images provided on behalf of Veuve Clicquot