Johannesburg - To close off International Women's Month, entrepreneur and women empowerment advocate Ntombenhle Khathwane hosted the 4th annual My Own Kind of Beautiful workshop.
The theme this year was #FindYourJoy. The workshop aims to empower women.
The speakers in the event discussed various topics including entrepreneurship, self-love and healing.
“Every human that has lived on earth leaves their mark. Every heartbeat and thought, feeling and word, every step we take, each and everyone of us gets recorded. Each of us is creating the world together,” said Khathwane, who opened the workshop.
Miss South Africa Shudufhadzo Musida said it all start with self-love.
“Having a sense of self means loving yourself. My real crown was adorned on me when I started loving myself. When I first cut my hair, it was because I didn’t find any beauty in myself, actually. I would try different hairstyles but it wasn’t working out for me, so I decided to cut my hair.
“If you don’t love yourself or see value in yourself, whatever you put on your head, be it the crown that I have now, it is not going to matter. But once you learn to love yourself, that is when you see a queen every single day you step out of your house,” she said.
Musida added that it was important to always change the narrative of how women spoke to themselves.
“The tongue is a sword and what you confess with your mouth will become a reality. I believe that in us being queens we need to remember that we are queens even in the bad times. We need to change the way that we speak to ourselves.”
She encouraged women to look in the mirror, especially on the bad days, and affirm themselves.
Sun International’s Sibongile Morale said it was symbolic to have the event during Women’s Month.
The PR and events manager of The Maslow Hotel, where the event was held, said self-actualisation was one of the hierarchy of needs at the Maslow.
“Self-actualisation is about people fulfilling their potential and all that. Having an event like this speaks to the brand from the fulfilment to the need. It has been a difficult time and we want businesses to come into our space and know that we can still do business,” said Morale.
Entrepreneurs Portia Mngomezulu and Mpumi Madubedube have been running successful businesses in skincare and haircare.
Mngomezulu founded Portia M products 10 years ago after wanting to help Africans have great skincare that was proudly African.
“Our names represent the true essence of who we are. Every time people use Portia M, they are feeling my spirit and the love I brought to this life and how God is using me as a vessel to change women’s lives through the transformation of their skin,” she said.
Owner of The San Hair, which just opened their ninth hair salon, Madubedube said it was the business that chose her.
“The one thing the business represents for me and what it has been able to do is to really allow women to be who they want to be and how they want to represent themselves. Whether that is natural, chiskop or wearing a R700 wig, if you are not confident in who you are, it will not matter.
“If you don’t know who you are, you will be bothered by outside forces. The business is an extension of me because I have always wanted to make a change,” she said.
Mngomezulu said she was thankful for the support and the sense of pride customers had for the products.
“It is really humbling. We appreciate each one. They noticed the sense of sincerity that we had. The intention of the products is to really heal the skin and to make a difference and to give us as Africans our own sense of pride that we, too, can create something great. We couldn’t have done this without all the women who supported us.”
She spoke on the challenges of funding while demand was growing for her product in the earlier years.
“I had to become a better negotiator. Growing a brand when you are unknown is a challenge in South Africa. However, with the grace of God, Portia M has been able to grow with the normal customer on the street. Word of mouth is what has built the brand, as the people are the advocates of the brand.”
Actress Ayanda Borotho also gave a talk on “healing to become” and the foundation of self-love.