The Patriot Woman Magazine hosted the inaugural Inspirational Women’s Summit at the GICC on Wednesday.
Partnering with Absa Bank Botswana, University of Botswana and GP Audio, the magazine’s event drew the cream of the country leading ladies who were joined by a select group of upcoming female entrepreneurs and students achievers from St Josephs and Ledumang Secondary Schools.
It was held under the theme – Be Inspired by the Trailblazers: Brave and fearless women who are setting new standards. Headlining the speakers’ list was Lucara Botswana Managing Director Maseem Lahri who urged the women in attendance to not second guess themselves but boldly grab the opportunities as they come.
“Aim for the impossible and align yourself with all that helps advance your goals. Conquer your fears as I did. It was not easy but I had to face my father and tell him I couldn’t proceed with my science inclined education. I just couldn’t stand it. Now that I have completed my qualification in Chartered Accountancy my father is encouraging young people to follow my career,” she declared.
She urged women to support each other, sharing that her journey emerged from the support gained from a woman like her. “It took another woman to see potential in me, and see my value in the organisation,” she said.
Lahri is the first female Motswana to lead a local mine and the youngest woman in the world to be a CEO of a mining company, among the many other accolades she has accumulated over the years. He has been named among the Top 100 most influential women in mining and is currently a Finalist for Business Woman of the Year for the 10th edition of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa.
Retail Director for Absa Bank Botswana Valeta Mthimkhulu who stood in for the bank’s Managing Director Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane dissected the topic Executive Code – conceding how lonely it is being at the top and even more so when you are woman leader.
“One should never view his or her challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s critical that one recognises that your ability to face and overcome adversity is one of your greatest assets and strength. You should never shy away from any challenge! I am proud to be standing here as testament to that. Anyone who has assumed a
role of significant responsibility can attest that that the journey is never an easy one. As leaders, we owe it to ourselves — and our organisations — to ensure that effectiveness is not harmed by solitude”. Other speakers included Dr Bokani Mtengi from Botswana International University of Science and Technology; Tshepiso Scheffers, FNBB’s Head of Consumer Sub-Segment and Card Issuing who discussed personal finance; Miss Botswana Palesa Molefe handled Mental Health topic; and Dr Malebogo Eluya who discussed the importance of Nutrition.
There was a panel discussion on Funding Opportunities for Women (run, led and founded) SMEs which featured entrepreneur Norah McAslin, Absa Botswana’s Head of Enterprise and Supply Chain Development Kushatha Chilisa and Bank Gaborone’s Service and Retail Operations Manager Potlako ‘PJ’ Molomo.
The whole day event had highly acclaimed MC Jazelle Oratile Kebakile and Tumie Rasmden directing proceedings. The Patriot Woman’s Brand Manager Neo Mudongo thanked all those that made the day possible and promised to do more to raise the profile of the magazine in handling and projecting women issues.