Celebrating extraordinary South African women

Unique, out of the ordinary and rare are just some of the words that sum up extraordinary women.

With this in mind, Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) hosted a breakfast in celebration of women’s month themed ‘Extraordinary South African Women’, at Moyo Zoo Lake, with AIG and JLT as the main sponsors, and Innovation Group and Oakhurst Insurance as co-sponsors.

Traditional African music created the perfect ambience for a Moyo style women’s day celebration. As members arrived, in their extraordinary hats and/or shoes, they were greeted at Moyo Zoo Lake with friendly faces and drummers.

The allure of the unknown

After the GWII members indulged in hot and cold breakfast eats, daring to glimpse into a mind so extraordinary… and promising to inspire, guest speaker Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist and MARS ONE PROJECT finalist, talked about her desire to journey to Mars, on a one-way mission, for the benefit of mankind.

“The three biggest unknowns are life, space and time. The reason I want to go to Mars is simple: The allure of the unknown is far more powerful than the comfort of the known,” she said.

“The Mars One crews will go to Mars not to simply visit, but to live, explore, and create a second home for humanity. The first men and women to go to Mars are going there to stay. From 100 citizens globally only 24 will be chosen. This mission will jumpstart massive developments in all kinds of areas, a few examples being in recycling, solar energy, food production and the advancement of medical technology. A human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, anything can be achieved. In this era, it is critical that we play a role in our own extraordinary way,” she continued.

In her talk she encouraged women to embrace the unknown and become extraordinary, to get excited about the future, believe in their dreams and remember Nelson Mandela’s words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.

Be extraordinary and dream big

On the topic of extraordinary, Marais then introduced the 2016 Google Science Fair winner Kiara, who was 16 at the time, when she designed a project aimed at combating drought in South Africa.

Using orange skin as the main element, and adding some lemon juice and avocado crust to the mix, Kiara created a low-cost, biodegradable alternative that can store rainwater in the soil. Kiara won a $50,000 scholarship at an event held in California in the United States of America.

In her closing speech that received a standing ovation Kiara referenced an Albert Einstein quote, 'the important thing is not to stop questioning'.

Marais then concluded by saying, “In case you think now is not the time, if you have a vision create a better future and place for yourself. Be extraordinary and dream beyond things that may seem impossible.”

Her inspirational talk highlighted the importance of self-discovery and the essential need to ask yourself what is life? Who am I? Where am I going?  What is my purpose in life? And with that, Oakhurst Insurance gifted the ladies bracelets so that we can all be inspired to be extraordinary.

A charitable cause

Members were asked to bring along a R100 cash donation for the nominated charity, Women of Vision - a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to ensuring that vulnerable women, the elderly and youth are provided with care, essential services and on-going support where necessary. Members also brought along something a little extra including old but new shoes (ladies, men’s and kid’s shoes, including school shoes).

We would like to thank each one of you for your donation and to Insure Group, who donated an additional R3500. The items and cash donations collected will go a long way in serving the needs of the vulnerable.

Lucky draws

A few lucky ladies walked away with prizes donated by the sponsors. These prizes were given for the best dressed and best hats. We would like to thank the sponsors who contributed to the prizes - AIG, JLT and Innovation Group.

  • AIG sponsored R1500 Pandora gift voucher;
  • Innovation Group sponsored two prizes consisting of gift hampers from Lush; and
  • JLT sponsored a R1500 Pandora gift voucher.

Thank you

GWII would like to thank the main sponsors AIG and JLT, as well as co-sponsors Innovation Group and Oakhurst Insurance, for their sponsorship and support for this event. Without them this would not have been possible.

A big thank you also goes out to Insure Group for once again sponsoring our photographer, SHA Specialist Underwriters for carrying our insurance and our supporting logistical partners, Digital Path and Global Choices.

And lastly, to all GWII members… we hope you feel encouraged to embrace the unknown and become extraordinary.

Photos of the women’s day breakfast, sponsored by Insure Group, can be viewed here

Highlights of the women’s day breakfast, sponsored by Oakhurst Insurance, can be viewed here