Dare to dream

Women inspire each other at Business Botswana High Tea

Channeling the Bold, Confident and Intentional theme a sparkling array of impressive individuals attended the fourth Business Botswana Women High Tea, held at Gaborone International Conference Centre this past weekend.

Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, the gathering afforded women the opportunity to listen to, and interact with, high flyers from various industries.

Notable speakers on the day included South African media mogul, Khanyi Dlomo; ABM founder and astute businesswoman Daisy Mmabatho Molefhi; Standard Chartered’s Financial Markets manager, Botho Leburu; the dynamic Tshepang Seisa and daring young entrepreneur, Lebogang Dodo.

Sharing their inspiring journeys the women gave unique insights into their areas of expertise, sparking debates amongst the audience about work, family and one’s purpose life.

Highlighting the importance of remaining adaptable in order to fulfill one’s destiny, Dlomo’s illustrative presentation was peppered by drawing inspiration from celebrated figures such as Shonda Rhimes and Muhammad Ali.

Her eloquent speech drew the women’s attention to the intrinsic strengths we all posses and urged the women to seek out and nurture them whilst also supporting fellow women.

“There is much to celebrate, though women are faced with the challenge of ‘doing and being all’. Juggling a career and family comes with sacrifices. One needs to be clear on their course of life. Have your end game in mind and make a concerted effort to be comfortable with the compromises you will need to make to get there,” said Dlomo.

The creator of Ndalo Media, Dlomo first announced herself to the public as a 20-year-old journalism student, when she became a newscaster at the SABC.

She would go on to become a formidable force in impacting the landscape of the media industry beyond her country of birth.

Two years later, Dlomo became the youngest-ever editor of popular pan African magazine, True Love.

The role was not without its obstacles, as Dlomo explains, “As rewarding as the position was, it came with the challenges faced by many in corporate circles. For some it was the difficulty of accepting the stewardship of a ‘child’ let alone a woman. It meant consistently reaffirming the value I brought to the business.”

Attributing her subsequent development and growth to her ‘humility’ and ‘openness’, Dlomo holds a masters degree from Harvard Business School.

“During my time at Harvard I noticed women around me who were well versed in different areas reading magazines such as Times and Fortune.”

Realising there was nothing in the market that combined high fashion, career information, motherhood and technology, Dlomo’s blue print, Destiny magazine, was born.

The magazine relates to the core values of women throughout South Africa and has since developed into one of the country’s best selling publications.

Dlomo was quick to highlight the importance of teamwork when running a business, saying, “There is great value in investing in a team that will help you realise your dream. It cannot be done alone hence one must be deliberate in finding and surrounding themselves with the right people.”

Molefhi was given the unenviable task of following Dlomo’s hypnotizing talk but the ABM founder revelled in the role.

After spending many years as a teacher Molefhi parted ways with her employer to be closer to her life partner.

“I was committed to our relationship and was prepared to do all in my power to ensure we were together and raised a strong family. That was my life choice,” she told the hushed audience.

It was focusing on this end goal that led to Molefhi honing her business skills and structuring her life to allow flexibility to follow her passion.

She encouraged the audience not to be afraid of going against ‘the norm’, saying, “Some considered my choice to be risky. However, being happier and supported by my partner had a positive impact and was a catalyst to the growth of my business interests.”

Other speeches include the Head of Financial Markets at Standard Chartered, Botho Leburu, who called on the women to use their sphere of influence to bring more women on board.

Dare to dream
Botho Leburu

“There is a need to lend a hand and resources to promote more inclusion of women in all sectors,” she said.

In her talk, Rlabs Botswana founder, Seisa, awed everyone with the projects she pursues as passionately as she invests in her 9 to 5 job.

Seisa highlighted the social ills faced by society and their potential solutions, saying, “Technology affords us the unique chance to engage like never before. It is this platform, which many young people are familiar with, that provides the gateway to much discovery, including business opportunities. We can get our young people off the streets and offer them hope to realise their potential.”

GoldWave travel owner and Limkokwing Media Communications graduate, Dodo concluded the speeches, regaling the audience with a humorous anecdote of her experiences in business.

“With a family to support and no good job prospects I took a job as a cleaner before finally working for a publication where, even though I had no experience, I worked hard.”

The folding of the publication and a stint at a travel agency pushed Dodo to start her self-funded business.

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