Vision4 Women’s Destined for Greatness networking afternoon featured inspiring guest speakers Judge Nolwazi Boqwana, Linda Ntetha and Amanda Hobana on Saturday, May 28.
Accountancy graduate Amanda Hobana was the first to speak, and warmed up an icy Tramways Building this past weekend when she addressed the Vision4 Women Destined for Greatness networking session.
Hobana, 21, received a standing ovation for her talk aimed at “you gorgeous Grade 12 girls” chosen to take part in the Vision4 Women mentoring programme, telling them to “grab it (the opportunity) with both hands”.
The annual celebration included a mock graduation ceremony where more than 50 girls from township schools in Nelson Mandela Bay were capped with degrees in the field they hope to study next year. Vision4 Women aims the afternoon at inspiring pupils from underprivileged backgrounds to reach for academic and career success.
Judge Nolwazi Boqwana, originally from Motherwell but today a judge in the High Court of the Western Cape, was a real-life example of this success and presented the keynote address while Mrs Eastern Cape Linda Ntetha – a Vision4 Women mentor – highlighted the importance differences between internal and external beauty.
Masiphathisane High School old girl Hobana echoed the need all three speakers declared for young women to believe in their abilities.
“Another girl’s beauty is not the absence of your own, just as another girl’s intelligence is not the absence of your own. Do not let anyone make you shrink yourself, don’t get lost in the crowd,” she said.
“In my matric year, I even struggled and I failed dismally with 30% in my exams. However, what matters is the finishing line and after that 30% earlier in the year, I was the only one in my school who got a distinction in the end.
“It was hard but it had to be done – so persevere. It is good to have fun but when it is time to work, work.”
She also warned the girls in the audience how overwhelming the transition from high school to university could be, particularly for a pupil like her who attended a township school.
“It’s a different space altogether and I was so overwhelmed,” Hobana said.
Then, to her chagrin in spite of shining in her first and second year at NMMU, she failed her third year and had to repeat courses in 2016.
“When failure hits you, it can paralyse but my motto for the year was ‘I will not be defeated’, I had to have the courage to do it again – and I told myself ‘I will slay’.”
And slay she did: Hobana graduated last month with her BCom accountancy degree and is back on track to become a chartered accountant.
Not only that, but last year she was invited to represent South Africa at the Girls 20 Summit (G20) in Beijing, China and her voice was added to that of other young leaders from around the world.
The afternoon included motivatonal talks by other former matric girls mentored on the programme, lucky draws, supper and music by Bay gospel jazz band Fohloza.
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