Women’s Day – not just about the ladies

TEA TIME: Students celebrated Women’s Day at the Accounting Student Council’s High Tea, at the Wits Origins Centre. From left: Tebogo Selabe (3rd year BAccSci), Suzan Lesame (3rd year BCom Accounting), Moleboheng Sefume (3rd year BAccSci) and Tinyiko Mareane (3rd year BEconSci). Photo: Lameez Omarjee

TEA TIME: Students celebrated Women’s Day at the Accounting Student Council’s High Tea, at the Wits Origins Centre. From left: Tebogo Selabe (3rd year BAccSci), Suzan Lesame (3rd year BCom Accounting), Moleboheng Sefume (3rd year BAccSci) and Tinyiko Mareane (3rd year BEconSci). Photo: Lameez Omarjee

Young women and gentlemen were inspired to overcome challenges to achieve their dreams at the Accounting Student Council’s (ASC) celebration of Women’s Day, today at the Wits Origins Centre.

The ASC hosted two events, a gentlemen’s breakfast and a high tea for the ladies.  The dual-event is new this year.  In the past the ASC only hosted a high tea for ladies, but it was decided that young men also have a side to the story.

Building character

“We need to also tell men to be responsible.  A lot of issues that women have is because of men, so we essentially trying to build men of character,” said Danki Mokwena, ASC Projects and Campaigns Officer.

Women were also told to create their own paths for progress and not to only rely on men.  “In 1956 the female narrative was as under-represented as it is today.  Those women took a bold step to challenge authority,” said Khaya Sithole, accounting lecturer and one of the organisers of the event.

“We don’t take enough action to proactively change women issues.  Women should rise to the challenge and make their voices heard.”

Professional wisdom

Students were exposed to the wisdom of successful professionals from a variety of fields, not just accounting.

Young men were inspired by the likes of actor and Wits alumnus Tumishu Masha, and medical doctor Vuyani Mhlami, who “achieved so much at a young age”, according to Siphesihle Mchunu, 2nd year BAccSci.

It’s not about the money.  Leave a legacy.  Create something that can survive you and generations to come.

Businessman, Sisa Ngebulana told male students about the challenges he faced in his career and the lessons he learnt.  “It’s not about the money.  Leave a legacy.  Create something that can survive you and generations to come.”

Bridgett Majola, senior associate at a law firm encouraged female students to find ways to differentiate themselves from others and to create their own brand.

She told Wits Vuvuzela, after 20 years of democracy women in South Africa have made a lot of progress and change.  However, there’s still a lot that needs to be done, especially in ways women relate to each other.  “We compete with each other when it’s so unnecessary.”

INSPIRED: Students and young women starting their careers were inspired by Nonkululeko Shezi's story about overcoming obstacles in her career.  From left: Nondumiso Mbambo, legal intern, Michelle Gowere,1st year BAccSci, guest speaker  Nonkululeko Shezi and Thandekile chiliza, candidate attorney.  Photo:  Lameez Omarjee

INSPIRED: Students and young women starting their careers were inspired by Nonkululeko Shezi’s story about overcoming obstacles in her career. From left: Nondumiso Mbambo, legal intern, Michelle Gowere,1st year BAccSci, guest speaker Nonkululeko Shezi and Thandekile Chiliza, candidate attorney. Photo: Lameez Omarjee

One of the guest speakers, Nonkululeko Shezi, Chief Financial Officer at L’Oreal Manufacturing South Africa, told students to see their failures as lessons to move forward, as she had failed her accounting board exams, more than once.

She also told Wits Vuvuzela that the country made progress in developing the roles of women.  “Twenty years ago it was unheard of to have female CEOs, and black, female CEOs.  The numbers may be low, but we are working towards the right direction.”  She said there was still room for growth.

This article was featured in the Wits Vuvuzela

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