Woman of the Year
Quote from Alta:
I hope by telling my story entitled, Turning Violation into Victory, and by reaching out to those in need that I will provide encouragement to never give up and to let every survivor out there know they are never alone. My quote to you:
The most important thing I have learnt from the experiences in my life is that no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless you feel, there is always a way out; you just have to believe in yourself, trust God and believe that everything in life happens for a reason – and above all NEVER GIVE UP!
ANGELIQUE DU TOIT’S INTRODUCTION TO ALTA’S STORY WHICH FORMS PART OF HER BOOK “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU WAITING FOR”:
“When I heard Alta McMaster’s story, I found it difficult to merge this life-story with the woman I saw before me – she is dignified, confident and quietly ambitious. A woman who continues to spend her time doing everything she can to attempt in whatever way she can to reduce the trauma of rape victims. Alta doesn’t count the cost. She sows tirelessly and liberally, rallying the cause of rape victims. She inspires other women to come on board, as well as corporates and charity organizations. The use of social media to source donations and to request people to contribute items for the comfort pack project is a daily focus. These items are delivered to various victim empowerment centers and rape trauma centers, so that every rape victim can leave feeling a little more dignified after the traumatic investigation of their plight. It is people like Alta, the people I call the unsung heroes of our nation, who makes a daily difference to the lives that would otherwise be left unloved and untouched. This is a story of bravery that is required to face the truth, take action, to stand tall and live life, determined to create a new pathway, to see the dawning of a new day, and to not lose heart, even when you feel you have no heart left.”
Alta’s life story and her deep passion to provide help and encouragement to survivors lead her on the path to become the Founder of the Epic Foundation (and acronym for Empowering People in Crisis) and motivational speaker. Being a rape survivor herself gave her a deep understanding of how lonely and helpless one can feel if no-one reaches out a helping hand. She also still works for PwC as their Global Mobility Manager on a flexible work arrangement to allow her time to fit in the work for the Epic Foundation. Although she started projects from her home in October 2010 Epic was registered in April 2013.
Alta was nominated for Primedia’s Lead SA hero of the month for the month of June 2013 for the work she has been doing in Gauteng province assisting survivors of rape and abuse via various projects and initiatives. She was also selected as one of the Top 100 with Difference Makers International.
Her aim from the start was to expand the scope of the projects and initiatives to be able to have more impact not just in Gauteng but also in the other provinces in South Africa. Since 2013 she has added many projects and initiatives and the organization is still growing. Her vision of providing service over the entire South Africa was also realized with the support to the Netcare hospitals over our country who provides free services to rape victims.
Ann Ligman absorbs knowledge like a sponge, continually learning from everyone and everything in her immediate environment and selflessly sharing it with those deprived from opportunity or resources to learn. It is her life's mission to transfer knowledge and her passion for sharing information to empower the individual was cultivated from childhood.
Ann never played with typical girl toys but always sat down her childhood friends in a makeshift classroom "teaching" them. During the heat of township violence against apartheid education systems, she often find herself playing the role of teacher to her classmates as white teachers could not enter townships without risking their lives. To gain her matriculation exemption for first degree studies, she signed up subjects not offered at her local high school and through self-study achieved her goal being amongst the first non-whites to be absorbed in the formerly white only University of Port Elizabeth.
Ann is the only graduate from her family of 12 siblings. Her, dad, a former farm worker changed state general worker at Water Affairs and her mother, a former domestic worker turned house executive, always believed in her future as a school teacher including community leaders. However, she choose an unknown path much to the shock and surprise of community leaders who tried to convince her otherwise as the family lacked financial resources for tertiary education trying to impose a state teacher's Bursary on her. Ann chose commercial studies instead paying for her own fees initially through income earned from her entrepreneurial initiatives at high school and secured a Coca-Cola Bursary in her first year which she later forfeited when her studies was interrupted due to illness. She returned the following year with a TEFSA Bursary loan from Kagiso Trust which converted to a NSFAS Bursary loan.
She actively participated in campus church activity, ran the campus church bookshop and during breaks did outreach amongst the destitute living on the streets transferring knowledge through one-on-one counselling, drama, spiritual dancing and miming.
As a professional, mentoring and coaching formed an integral part of her day as employers soon recognised her natural ability to teach and transfer knowledge. Against all odds, despite her poverty stricken small town background, Ann make a break into the professional World of Corporate Accounting (a white male dominated environment historically) and acquired several qualifications whilst building her career and starting a family. She kept on with her educational initiatives doing coaching programmes amongst members of previously disadvantaged communities from her home study and fro.
Through these community give back activities the Pawback brand was born, focusing initially on children and professionals with special learning needs and currently focus entirely on training and development, coaching and mentoring in emerging entrepreneurial business.
Ann uses all sorts of media to bring her message across, selflessly providing both radio and television learning content on demand free of charge. She has over 7500 entrepreneurs and professionals benefiting from her Whatsapp entrepreneurial information-sharing broadcasts and Facebook groups. Pawback CSI gave birth out of necessity to the Aiona Foundation focusing on helping 75% poverty stricken entrepreneurial communities with learning and access to information that can change their dire, helpless situations.
She reads her own story in snippets of struggling entrepreneurial stories, especially those of Women Standing Alone. As an Aspiring bestselling author, books forms an integral part of her world and it is thus not surprising that her current projects includes writing an entrepreneurial guide for Aiona Foundation beneficiaries based on intimate knowledge gained through her travelling educational programmes amongst rural entrepreneurs. She is also writing her life story to inspire existing and aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs, sharing her extremely challenging and painful life's journey and entrepreneurial journey in an empowering and uplifting manner.
Ann is a practising Messianic Judaistic believer whose faith ultimately helps to maintain her sanity in an, at times, demoralising and destructively painful quest for entrepreneurial success.
Ann’s Facebook Bio reads: "Just a country girl groomed in urban corporate for rural empowerment”.
I am grateful for my experiential life journey and as I navigated the different landscapes ,my life purpose unfolded whilst I delivered my mother's eulogy and International Inspiring Women Network Foundation was birthed to rebuild the feminine energy. Our feminine energy is not separate as our cultures often positions logic as king, our academic, corporate, business and spiritual inner work The emotional and spiritual connection with inner work are fuel for empowerment and extraordinary worldly achievement!
I am passionate about accelerating the pace of change in our Youth and Women by sharing my unique practical wisdom gained through my diverse experiences gained in Corporate and as an Entrepreneur. I believe through collaboration and collectivism we can change and impact more lives.
As the Founding President of IIWNF, President of VRP , we have begun to break the poverty cycle and build empowered communities through our NGO programs:
Youth Education Programme (YEP) to equip 400 000 youth emotionally to build a better life.
Vintage Recycling Programme (VRP) to provide training and craft skills to establish 3000 microenterprises.
MY PLEDGE IS TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND THE YOUTH
My message to every woman is:
" Powerful Woman, YOU reach deep into your power of vulnerability and authenticity! Permit yourself to be real, to rise up to your full potential! IIWNF embraces you, honours you, celebrates you, and urges you to accept your past without regrets, handle your present with confidence, face your future without fear! That's the way to live, really live, wouldn't you say?"
I am Ayanda Mafuleka, and I am 37 years of age. I hail from the most beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal; I was born in Umlazi, south of Durban.
"I am very passionate about woman empowerment. I am where I am today because of the women who believed and invested in me. I surround myself with women who pushed me to achieve and I spent time reading about other women who are ‘woman of substance and stature’ in their own right like Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, Lesego Sennelo, Nonkululeko Gobodo, Nonhlanhla Khumalo, and Dr Judy Dlamini. I always strive to do the same for other women who come after me. I mentor young and old women in and outside my team as much as I can.
“What the mind conceives, it can achieve”
After I matriculated and I studied for a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Accounting at UKZN. After graduating with a BCom degree, I started my career in Finance working at Transnet, for various business units namely, Spoornet as Professional Officer, National Ports Authority as Finance Reporting Manager, and Transtel, as Accounts Manager. I then joined Sunflower Housing Company, social housing company of Anglo Platinum as Management Accountant where I was responsible for establishing the finance department. I then joined the South African Post Office, as Senior Financial Manager. Whilst working I was studying towards BCom Honours (CTA) to pursue a qualification in Chartered Accountancy (CA). I resigned to join the National Treasury to complete CA articles and I qualified in 2012. After qualifying as a CA, I worked for the Department of Home Affairs as Director: Finance, after 3 years joined Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo and GM: Finance. In 2014 at a tender age of 34 years I was appointed by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) as CFO. With effect from 1 February 2018 I was appointed as the CFO of African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation SOC Ltd.
Throughout my career of 15 years in finance, I have always strived to leave a mark and I have left legacies of clean audits, sound financial management of turning around an entity from a deficit to a surplus position, put in effective processes and controls as well as governance structures. I always lead A-teams and I make sure that I excel in my area of expertise.
During my tenure at the NCR I started quarterly ‘Tea with the CFO’ sessions where we tackle women issues enjoy empowering my colleagues in financial and budget related issues. I still keep up to date and contribute in academia through marking assignments for a particular university. Throughout the years I have been associated with organisations such as African Women Chartered Accountants, BMF and ABASA.
Outside of work, I have been involved in youth related activities in church, where I am part of the team that plans Annual Career Expo for young people in the Vaal. I have been a volunteer for SAICA to observe municipality elections in 2016. I have been part of the women movement called ‘’Women Who Stand in Prayer’’ where we meet monthly in Alberton to empower and impart wisdom in the spiritual matters.
I am a mother of three (3) children, 2 girls and a boy. I am a child of God before anything."
Bohlokwa Hloki Matlosa is a Media Studies graduate with a major in radio and she also holds a diploma in Public Relations. She is currently a radio content producer on SAfmRadio and a Plus-size model. After interning at SAfmRadio she produced Intune (The Youth Show) on weekends and now produces Afternoon Talk with Ashraf Garda on Weekdays, 14:00 – 16:00. She has been producing the show since January 2015.
“As a radio producer all I want to do is tell great stories and inspire listeners through other people’s amazing life journeys and experiences.’’
Bohlokwa is passionate about women empowerment but first, girl empowerment, she believes it’s important that we start them young. “Young girls need to be taught from an early age to love themselves, chase their dreams and know that they can achieve whatever it is they want, through hard work and believing in themselves. Having hosted powerful women like, Wendy Appelbaum, Dr Judy Dlamini, Dr Snowy Khoza amongst many others has shown me that nothing comes easy but that you work hard and you persevere. Being a very quiet and reserved child held me back from doing so much but I later realised that only I can make things happen for myself and that’s when the radio door amongst many others opened.”
Bohlokwa has been featured in publications like Drum Magazine, Essays of Africa Magazine, which had DJ Zinhle on the cover where she shared her career journey. She made Top 4 of the the Khosi Nkosi First Plus Size Model Search in 2013 and also walked the Soweto Fashion Week ramp in 2016. She has also been on platforms like YOTV talking about body image, body positivity and colourism. She featured in the #BeautifulPowerfulYOU campaign with Destiny Connect where she shared the turning point in her life. “ I have just completed a programme in Individual Voice & Pronunciation at the Voice Clinic. I decided to take this up because I am looking to get behind the mic and as well as get on screen.”
Apart from being inspired by her mother and grandmother, she looks up to phenomenal women (in Maya Angelou’s words) Michelle Obama, Redi Thlabi ,Viola Davis, Masechaba Mtolo and Oprah. “They are hardworking women who through their different inspirational journeys and successes have paved the way for other young women.” she says
“As a radio producer all I want to do is tell great stories and inspire listeners through other people's amazing life journeys and experiences.’’– Bohlokwa Matlosa
Instagram and Twitter: @BohlokwaMatlosa
Facebook: Bohlokwa Hloki Matlosa
Audrey Buyisiwe Khoza, is a social activist with her heart rooted in developing, empowering and uplifting the youth. Her passion to see young individuals developed is actioned through ensuring Education, Transformation and Skills Development further empower the South African youth.
Ms Khoza is resilient, tenacious, persuasive, innovative, strategic and a clear leader. She has a passion for community development especially for young people who are our national asset from school level up to graduate level. She is supportive, active and visible in programmes done at grass-root level. She has the ability to develop, interpret and implement policies, strategies and legislation. She holds the following Qualification’s: Project Management, National Marketing Diploma, Assessor, Degree in Occupational Directed Education, Training and Development Practices, Business Communication and Business Management (City & Guilds of London) and Business Administration. She is a John Maxwell Accredited Facilitator.
Her unquenchable thirst to bring change goes beyond just the influence of existing organisations, but extends out to transforming the communities reached. It was for this reason she launched Inqaba Yokulinda Youth Organisation, a Non-Profit Organisation that has been an enthusiastic driver, a point of contact in transforming the lives of young people within the country, for over 14 years. Her desire to see change will further aid in her quest to not only give hope to young individuals, but will contribute towards the eradication of poverty among the youth of our country by providing a means to have youth become active contributors to society, one neighbour at a time. Over the years, Ms Khoza has been part of the cogs of youth development within the country by leading the youth through a journey of self-discovery.
Ms Khoza has intentionally strived to be in spaces where her impact could further benefit others, such as serving in the Presidential Youth Working Group, being an adjudicator for the National Lotteries Commission for Beneficiary & Staff Awards and forming partnerships with entities such as the National Youth Development Agency for the utilisation of their local youth branches for further reach and impact of programs implemented. Inqaba is a Cisco Academy under the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and its Accredited with the ETDP SETA for Youth Practitioner NQL4 and NQL5.
She was also nominated by the Centre for Education Policy Development (CEPD) to be part of the Reference Group for a 3 year feasibility study on Youth Community Service funded by DHET. Ms Khoza and the organisation were nominated for the Big Time BBQ Awards, in 2017.
Prior to serving as CEO for (IYYO), she was the Provincial Project Manager for a Special Program in the Gauteng Province called the Integrated Community Based Services Programme (ICBS) reporting to the HOD from the Department of Health. Her role was to integrate the community-based services rendered by 11 different Gauteng Provincial Government Departments at local level through community structures, with the intention of improving service delivery and eliminating duplication when services are delivered to individuals and households.
Her most recent partnership with Orlando Pirates Football Club, steered the successful running of an after school program which has assisted 1200 primary school pupils in subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Economics. The desire to continue to see more young individuals benefit from programs that Inqaba Yokulinda coordinates, will pioneer the launching of Learning Centres in KZN, Free State and Mpumalanga by August 2018.
I hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and I am currently the Head Administration at Krugersdorp SAPS. I am also part of the management team at the police station.
I have received 8 medals during 35 years service and I am currently one of the highest decorated females in the South African Police Service.
I like to share my knowledge and being a mentor to juniors fills me with pride. If I can share knowledge to change the life of one person today, I have achieved my goal in life.
I believe that you live by the choices you make in life and people are my passion.
More about Carol:
I am the proud mother of four outstanding children, aged 31,25,21 and 20. I joined the South African Police Service in 1983 after I matriculated at the Afrikaans High School, Sasolburg in 1982.
I furthered my studies in the police and obtained my National Diploma in Police Administration at the Technikon SA. During my basic training I was trained as a lifeguard and registered at the NRSI, National Sea Rescue Institute. I wanted to do VIP Protection and was one of the first women in the SAPS to be trained by the Special Task Force in VIP protection.
After being transferred I worked on a border post, and received a medal for Combating of Terrorism for duties rendered.
I was then transferred to a station environment where I have been assigned duties such as acting Station Commander and various other duties .In 1992 I was transferred to Gauteng where I worked at the child protection unit for a while and Krugersdorp Area Commissioner.
During 2001, I was trained as a Hostage Negotiator and was an active hostage negotiator for 9 years, during such time I started focusing on trauma debriefing. I was one of the primary debriefers at the Jeppe’s Town massacre. I received numerous commendations from the Provincial Commissioner and Area Commissioner as Hostage Negotiator. In 2004 I qualified as an EMD, or ambulance assistant. During the Kagiso massacre I did not only assist as trauma debriefer but also as medic for family members who could not cope during the memorial service. During the Nic Diedericks sword murder, I debriefed the ambulance men who attended the scene and was one of the trauma debriefers for the school children.
During 2017, I was the winner in the category best administration officer level 8-12 in the West Rand Cluster at the Cluster Awards. I am the 2nd runner up in Gauteng in the Provincial Excellence Awards for the best administration officer level 8-12 in Gauteng. During May 2017 I won the Leadership Award at the international conference for Women in Law Enforcement, presented by the Intelligence Transfer Centre.
I have been nominated by the International Police Association South Africa this year for the Arthur Troop Scholarship in Germany 2019 .
I participate in sport as much as possible and was the SADTA ballroom champion in my age group in 2015. I love cycling and swimming when possible.
Catherine is driven by her passion for people and her obsession with adding value to Business, Corporates, Entrepreneurs and Individuals. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and is currently enrolled to complete her PhD in The Science of Human Transformation processes. This is through the Open Commonwealth University in the UK. She has developed a therapy model for people who are ‘stuck’ and who find it very difficult or challenging to implement changes in their worlds filled with complexities. The model is titled ‘Getting Unstuck’. Her research paper is to be submitted during 2018.
She founded a training and development business almost 22 years ago, called Thinking Dynamics which offers a wide variety of training programmes in the areas of business strategy, facilitation, leadership development and improved team performance.
Catherine is an internationally accredited master trainer for Dr. Edward de Bono in South Africa.
Catherine has worked with various corporations such as the JSE, Coca Cola, The Foschini Group, South African Reserve Bank, Nedbank Ltd. Standard Bank, Sasol, John Deere, Emerald Casino Hotel, Heineken, Novo Nordisk, Hollard, Hensoldt, SAAB, Absa Bank, WBHO Construction, Unisa, University of Pretoria, Oceana Group and many others. The value Catherine brings to her clients is evident in the repeat business and long-term relationships she has formed over the years. She is also highly sought after as an Executive Coach to various CEO’s and other senior leaders in this country.
She is delightful and creative as a speaker / presenter and has addressed audiences at various local and international conferences and gatherings on a variety of subjects including personal, relational and business transformation.
Her latest international speaking engagement took place in Orlando, Florida, United States, addressing an audience of 2000 people representing various businesses from over 70 different countries.
Catherine was furthermore the designated psychologist to work with South African Woman’s Magazine on a variety of subjects relating to personal wellness and effectiveness. Catherine has been instrumental in assisting women who have struggled to lose weight and guiding them through a journey she calls ‘Emotional Weight Loss’. Catherine has over the past four years been a witness to the power of such an intervention and how this empowers women to change the way they live and make decisions resulting in inward and outward transformation that is real and sustainable. To further her reach and help more women, Catherine has created an e-Book which guides women through the journey of emotional weight-loss in a practical way.
She has written and published various articles for the magazine over the past four years. She has furthermore published and co-authored a total of 4 books.
Her most recent appointment (1 February 2018) has been that of the Managing Director of a subsidiary company named Foursight South Africa. It is her responsibility to manage 15 small entrepreneurial businesses to deliver results to the holding company named 4Sight Holdings, listed at the JSE during 2017. She is therefore responsible to manage a total of 20 businesses.
Her philosophy of life is to travel light and take with you just what you need, inspiration comes as and when you can give it to others and to embrace change as it is sure to happen.
She loves addressing groups of women especially and has done so as a non-paid guest speaker helping to raise funds for charity and all kinds of intentions.
Catherine is a proud mom of 2 wonderful boys aged at 24 and 9 years old, loves her family and friends, the outdoors, new adventures, gets lost in good books and regards herself as an enthusiastic partaker of life, one grateful for every opportunity awarded to her.
Over the last 4 years, Cherise was personally responsible for writing, producing and directing a TV series for children in Africa, called KidsHubTV. This television series was aimed at teaching children good moral and social values in a fun and meaningful manner. Cherise’s vision was to use non-professionals from local communities, so that they would have an opportunity to be trained in media skills “on the job”. Not only were all nine of the children on set amateurs, Cherise and her team of production staff also trained each one of the presenters in basic presenting and media skills, thereby providing them with invaluable skills for school and life. The children were exposed to media skills, such as camera operation, sound and assisting in other production tasks. The TV series was broadcast in South Africa, Malawi and Kenya, and was recently highlighted at the Global Children’s Forum as the standard by which children’s programmes can be produced. This television series gave birth to a number of other initiatives that are aimed at making an impact for children in the media industry, and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.
Cherise was recently featured in Finesse Magazine for her work in media among the children of South Africa through KidsHubTV.
She founded and launched the Children’s Film Movement (CFM), in 2017, where she is currently training children in the Western Cape, aged 6-17 the art of skillfully using media, empowering them to believe that they too have a voice that must be heard. Children are taught the art of identifying good media and how to create their own media to tell stories of hope and inspiration. These stories are coming from the local communities to bring South African children a vision of a future that they can dream of, and be proud of. Children are becoming increasingly excited as they learn the dangers of social media, as well as how they can take control of media in their own lives, instead of allowing media and social media to control them. NGOs focused on children’s ministry as well as churches are asking for the training as they see the impact it is making in the lives of children.
“I believe with all my heart, that if we value the children of South Africa, and SHOW them that we value them, by investing in their skills, these children will grow up with the same value set, and ultimately live lives that impact their community. It is my absolute passion and goal in life to fulfil God’s purposes for my generation, and to leave a legacy of children who are encouraged to dream of a future that they can shape.”
Cindy’s life draws a parallel to her surname, Diamond, in that it is multi-faceted, but each facet plays an equally important role in her life. Starting off her career over 20 years ago with a degree in psychology, Cindy’s drive for understanding the human psyche still remains her passion and has set her in good stead in all areas of her life.
As Mediamark’s Group Sales Director and one of the founders, Cindy Diamond leads top sales teams tasked to craft multichannel advertising solutions for brands. Cindy has been instrumental in Mediamark’s transformation from a radio sales house to a media results company drawing on the benefits of radio, digital, TV, content and events, including events and activations. Under her management, Mediamark has won numerous industry awards, recognising their sales excellence, innovation and successful campaign results.
More about Cindy:
Cindy is a wife and mother of 3 children and ensures she is always very involved in her family’s life providing a constant presence as well as strong support to both her husband and children. Even though her schedule is hectic and there is often not enough hours in the day, each day, Cindy still finds time for a session at the gym as well as a moment of prayer, strongly believing in a healthy body, soul and mind.
Cindy excels in all spheres of her life, with not one facet achieving less attention than the next. Her passion for a quick thrill saw her summiting Kilimanjaro as well as engaging in activities such as rock climbing and open water canoeing.
In her downtime, you will find her and her family actively engaged in outdoor activities, whether it be riding with their Harley Davison motorcycle Club, cheering her kids on the sports field or simply relaxing with her friends and family over a fine single malt.
Cindy Diamond is an exceptionally gifted leader who can inspire and lead people to achieve amazing things. Following in her late father’s footsteps, Cindy entrenches herself in community based projects, ranging from youth counselling and women mentoring to fund raising initiatives for social development and change.
She is an asset to her company and a reliable, honest and fair leader to her team. Cindy is not afraid to jump into the trenches and join the infantry. As a General, she commands respect and despite her success and achievements over the years, Cindy remains humble, considerate and sincere.
"A true Diamond – multi-faceted and multi talented"