Female entrepreneurship… in a remarkable way

Gauteng Women in Insurance welcomed members to its first event of the year, at Hollard’s Villa Arcadia, with Hollard Insure as the main sponsor.

Guest speaker, Nonhlanhla Joye, shared a story that lifted spirits and inspired hearts as members heard how cancer, plastic bags and pesky chickens led this humble entrepreneur to a solution that enables more people to create and secure better futures.

Nonhlanhla is the founder of Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute, a multi-award-winning initiative that combines female social entrepreneurship, organic urban farming and environmentalism in a remarkable way.

Umgibe (The real story)

Ma’ Joye was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, as a result she could not work to provide food for her family. She decided to grow organic vegetables in her backyard.

Unfortunately, the chickens ate all her vegetables, and as a woman, she had to come up with a solution to provide for her family. She innovated a growing system that enabled her to grow vegetables using diversified plastic bags from going to the landfills as growing bags. “I created a frugal, climate-smart system to grow organic vegetables,” Joye said.

Armed with his solution, Umgibe provided the much-needed protection from the chickens but it did not end there, it saved water and fed the family as well as neighbors who started buying the surplus produce. Before long Ma Joye was teaching other community members to grow nutritious vegetables. The story that began with pain has now paved the way for the hundreds of families.

Ma Joye quoted her parents, "when everything else fails, the soil will never fail you. Don't always expect people to feed you."

“You have to work and sweat. People want the money but do not want to work for it. Life is about choices. I could have sat and had a pity party, but I chose to do something about my situation. I helped myself and others. Life would be boring if there were no challenges and your mind would be dormant. Don't take problems personally. Someone out there has it worse than you. You have the strength to walk over hurdles. Focus on the positive side,” conclude ma Joye.

A charitable cause

As customary, members were asked to bring along a R150 contribution. This will go towards training households to grow vegetables. The aim, with Hollard’s help, is to get 30 households trained… an impact we believe will be profound.

We would like to thank each one of you for your donation.

Lucky draws
A few lucky ladies walked away with prizes donated by sponsors. We would like to thank the sponsors who contributed to the prizes.

  • Centriq – sponsored two huge bottles filled with chocolates
  • Chubb – sponsored a bottle of wine, decadent chocolates, a note pad, pen, biltong and an external hard drive
  • ELB Engineering – sponsored a wash, cut and blow dry voucher
  • Glasfit – offered two lucky draws from Digicall
  • GWII - sponsored a weekend half day Mangwanani African Spa voucher for two valued at R2 398
  • Hollard Oojah – donated two hampers
  • MUA Insurance – sponsored two Matsimela hampers value at R500 each
  • SATIB – sponsored a one night stay for two at the Fairview Hotel & Spa, with breakfast included
  • SHA Specialist Underwriters – sponsored a weekend half day Mangwanani African Spa voucher for two valued at R2 398
  • Standard Bank – donated a pen, notepad, umbrella and bag
  • Tracker – Donated an awesome bag with pink gin

Thank you

GWII would like to thank main sponsor Hollard Insure, for your sponsorship and support for this event. Without you this would not have been possible.

And lastly, to all GWII members thank you for attending this event. We hope that your spirit is uplifted and that you are inspired.

See photos here