“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” These words by Maya Angelou are timeless words of wisdom. In an era where social media make borders porous and anonymity obscure, true leaders and role models are in short supply.
People think differently about role models – some of us look for guidance in business, some in our personal lives, some of us strive to make the world a better place, and some admire trailblazers. As a country we probably have the greatest role model in Nelson Mandela – he taught us that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world; that it is better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. And most importantly how we, as women are adequate and powerful beyond measure. Nelson Mandela’s legacy leaves behind a trailblazing path for us to make a difference and to be role models.
This month is women’s month and that is why we celebrate women and transformation in the profession. We all know that transformation is not an overnight affair. As you will read in our cover story (p.42) transformation within the profession can be linked to a metamorphosis – each stage has been unique in its development and holds its own experiences and challenges, but once they have been conquered it means progress has been made and ground has been taken.
We feature 15 influential and inspirational women who have all contributed to transformation. Some lead and influence the daily lives of people around them and some inspire us to revaluate our own lives. Each tell their story: some had to overcome insecurities, Kashveera tells her inspirational story of her world in silence – being the first deaf CA(SA), and Mpho shares her tough upbringing of herding animals, often going to bed hungry and owning no shoes; others tell of how sometimes they are not taken seriously – but despite all the challenges they had to face, they succeeded.
Their personal histories, outlooks and missions may be different, but each of these powerful and individualistic women sets an example of how to be the best women we possibly can be. In so doing they succeed in using their narratives to add vibrant colour to the mosaic that make up the CA(SA) landscape, thereby making an indelible impression on you, the reader.
Author: Gerinda Jooste