AFI’s Power To Empower experience was a rousing success

African Fashion International’s Power To Empower was a celebration of South African women who continue to chart their own way to incredible success

AFI blows Power To Empower audience away with inspiring speakers, a driving experience, young entrepreneurs, music, and a Spring fashion show

National Women’s Month was closed off with a bang as African Fashion International hosted the second annual Power To Empower experience.

It was a gathering that was all about celebrating women successfully driving their vision while creating an environment where women from all walks of life could break bread together and share information to further each other.

“This is a powerful way for us as women to gather and come together in solidarity,” Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the Founder and Executive Chairperson of AFI said as she opened the gathering and welcomed guests.  

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe is welcoming guests at AFI’s Power To Empower experience at the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre.

“August is a month where we commemorate the 20 000 women who marched to Pretoria to protest and pass laws. We carry the baton now and it’s up to us to make sure that we become what you have always dreamt to be.”

The Power To Empower experience began with a driving experience at the Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre, where attendees were able to their adventurous side. Guests were able to experience the luxury Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles during an experience that covered a range of driving disciplines from defensive driving, handling, skid control, slaloms, and cornering.

The highlight for many attendees was the Fireside Chats, where the keynote speakers shared vignettes of their journeys in entrepreneurship and life. The running theme for all of them was how they used their life lessons to successfully drive the vision they had for themselves.

Award-winning entrepreneur, Lindiwe Matlali with Nzinga Qunta during the Fireside Chats at AFI’s Power To Empower

To kick off the Fireside Chats, guests watched the pre-recorded interview that Dr. Precious had with Banyana Banyana stars, Andile Dlamini, Melinda Kgadiete, and Thalea Smidt. Initially, they were to be in attendance, but due to them being called up for national duty and preparing for their match against Brazil.

Lindiwe Matlali then spoke to Nzinga Qunta about the importance of understanding social entrepreneurship and its role in society.

“Social entrepreneurship is all about caring. You need to have a heart for you to be successful as a social entrepreneur,” she said. “You will meet people who are in need and so you need to understand that if social entrepreneurship is what you want to do, then you need to be willing to support the people you come across.”

Her final words spoke to the importance of driving your vision.

“Work hard and be good at what you do. You need to be excellent because you never know who is watching. Be so good that people cannot ignore you.”

Dr. Precious then invited her contemporaries, Dr. Anna Mokgokong and Louisa Mojela on stage, who shared their inspirational stories of entrepreneurship.

Dr. Anna T Mokgokong during the Fireside Chat with Dr Precious

“Adversity brings forth opportunity,” Dr. Anna said, as she relayed her story of how she became an entrepreneur during her first year as a medical student. After not receiving pocket money from her mother, she took matters into her hands and started selling handbags.

“Before I graduated, I had my own store,” she said, to rapturous applause.

She also shared her lessons in entrepreneurship and the importance of protecting your intellectual property. “Some of us have walked the long and painful road and swam in shark-infested waters, ready to swallow you. So I would advise all you entrepreneurs to pause before you leap. It is so important to understand the dynamics of your product and the market you are in. Rather seek advice, particularly legal advice, and ask what to do before having meetings with external people. Be patient and protect your ideas- don’t run and leap before you have legally secured your business,” she said.

Dr. Precious with Louisa Mojela during the Fireside Chat

Louisa Mojela urged the attendees to do their bit to unite the country through working together with men. “We all have a responsibility to build our country and we have to bring our partners along as well.”

Even so, she said, women need to remember that they have the power to drive their vision without waiting to be invited by men.

“We don’t need men to invite us to come to the table. We can set and prepare our own tables. For us to be successful, we need to invite other women. Unity is our strength,” she said. “And that also means that as we persevere and are resilient to fight for our dreams, we dare not forget the communities we operate in. Make sure that they become part of your empowerment schemes. It’s not right for companies to create wealth at the expense of the people around them.”

MC, Nandi Madida; supermodel Lerato Moloi during the House of Nala Spring 2022 Collections Fashion Show and the award-winning Nhlanhla Mafu performing during Power To Empower
 

Power To Empower was MC’d by Nandi Madida, while Nhlanhla Mafu had the guests dancing up a storm as she performed Mafikizolo hits.

The event ended with the House of Nala Spring 2022 Collection fashion show, which featured the latest designs from David Tlale, Refiloe Mocwa, Tumi Captivating, Suitability, Jessica Jane La Jaqueta, and Gavin Rajah.

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