Stephanie Benjamin was the main prize winner of the Weekend Argus Instameets for her role in the community. The event was held at the Radisson Red at the V&A Waterfront. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - For the month of August, the Weekend Argus, in partnership with popular brand Vannie Kaap have been driving a social media and print campaign to find and celebrate some of Cape Town’s heroines.

Using the hashtag #SyHerrit, the campaign has been a platform for recognising ordinary women who do extraordinary things in the lives of their communities – often without any recognition for their contributions.

Christine Taylor the 2nd prize winner of the Weekend Argus Instameet was nominated by her son. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

More than 300 nominations were received in the run-up to Sunday’s grand prize event at the Radisson RED hotel, with the top 10 nominees being joined by social media influencers for an Instameet - to celebrate and honour some of the city’s homegrown heroines.

Overall winner Stephanie Benjamin with Sue Levy from Radisson Red, Weekend Argus Saturday editor Jade Otto and Weekend Argus Sunday editor Melanie Peters. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Through the power of social media, the campaign provided each nominee with a platform for their accolades to be lauded; but in the end, the work of one exceptional woman stood out.

Stephanie Benjamin of Steph’s Ladles of Love was the overall winner of the campaign, thanks to her ambition to “feed our nation with love and kindness”.

Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

The Belhar-based soup kitchen initiative has been around since 2012 and each month Benjamin and her team of volunteers provide soup for children from the Freedom Park informal settlement, and bread and other essential goods to farms and crèches in the Stellenbosch area. 

Rasheeqah Karriem, Shihaam Hendricks and Chad Chitter. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Despite being acknowledged as the woman who embodied the #SyHerrit brand best, Benjamin said she never expected to win an award for her work, which she described as being part of her “humanity”.

“When I heard I was nominated, I thanked the universe for using me as a vessel to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it’s a good word or positive thought you out out, that’s a donation in someone’s life,” Benjamin said.

Weekend Argus editors Jade Otto and Melanie Peters with the prize winners of the Weekend Argus Instameet Keri Perumal, Christine Taylor and Stephanie Benjamin as well as Sue Levy from the Radisson Red hotel where the event was held. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Weekend Argus Saturday editor Jade Otto said the title was proud to be associated with a campaign where women were recognised for being remarkable individuals.

“The Weekend Argus is proud to acknowledge phenomenal women who do great things in their spheres of influence - whether online or when no one is watching,” Otto said.

 Alison Samuels and Ursula Heuvel. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Weekend Argus Sunday editor Melanie Peters added that the #SyHerrit campaign has been fundamental in acknowledging Cape Town women like Benjamin and the hundreds of other women who were nominated for their achievements and sacrifices.
 Fatima Williams and Simone Noble. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

“It’s important to acknowledge the women in the communities who are making a difference not only in Women’s Month but everyday of the year,” Peters said. 
Christine Taylor. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

“Well done to the winners and well done to all 300 nominees. Their life of service is appreciated.”

@Latashia_Naidoo

[email protected]

Weekend Argus