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Leading SA boss women celebrated

The winner of Veuve Clicquot Elle Boss Corporate category Melody Xaba.
The winner of Veuve Clicquot Elle Boss Corporate category Melody Xaba.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Scrumptious food, wonderful company and phenomenal women - that was the mood at this year's Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss 2018 awards.

Hosted by the effervescent Nomzamo Mbatha, she owned the room in an oversized monochrome houndstooth pants suit. She started the proceedings off with a positive affirmation by getting all the women in the place to owning up to their power.

A simple evening filled with glamourous and mouth-watering fare, paired of course with the Veuve Clicquot yellow label. The battalion of candles offset with a single tulip in a black long stemmed vase created a soft romantic atmosphere for those seated at the table.

The night was off to an elegant and chic start. The guests were regaled by the story of Madam Clicquot, who was widowed seven years after her marriage and inherited her husband's business.

She was at the helm of the business for 62 years. She introduced many blends to the world. The awards are also in her spirit by celebrating strong businesswomen.

For those who might not know, the name Veuve Clicquot means Widow Clicquot.

After the inspiring story and the delicious cuisine was done, the two winners were announced. The Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss of the Year is Dr Judey Pretorius, a chemist who founded the Biomedical Emporium, a company which creates pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals and medical devices. The other winner, Melody Xaba, was the winner of the Corporate category.

[OPW] is not the only TV show that I have done
Melody Xaba 

Xaba is the brains behind popular Mzansi Magic show Our Perfect Wedding (OPW). The idea came to her during her honeymoon after having experienced a hectic week just before her wedding day.

"I just remember sitting on my honeymoon and thinking, 'there's great TV shows that show all kinds of beautiful weddings, but there is nothing that is culturally relevant to black people when it comes to weddings'," she said.

The 33-year-old mother of two was dressed in black top with white pants and sporting a funky dyed fade. She is a television producer and currently works as an executive producer on the current affairs show The Morning Show on e.tv.

OPW is not the only iconic show she's worked on, her first job in television was Jam Alley. Xaba says that the show inspired her to work in television, the conversations that resulted after watching the show and the unification of the community is what sealed the stamp for her.

Veuve Clicquot director Thomas Bouleuc, Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss winner Dr Judey Pretorius, Ndalo Media CEO Khanyi Dhlomo and MC Nomzamo Mbatha.
Veuve Clicquot director Thomas Bouleuc, Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss winner Dr Judey Pretorius, Ndalo Media CEO Khanyi Dhlomo and MC Nomzamo Mbatha.

"[OPW[ is not the only TV show that I have done, besides being a producer I'm a format developer and for me creating TV shows is always about creating something that will get people connected to the same conversation and OPW was one of those things that does that for me," she added.

Indeed, the show sets twitter streets blazing every Sundays. Black Twitter gathers in their various corners and discusses everything from the bridesmaids to the groom's shoes.

Xaba put herself up for the competetion to show other creatives that they should not be intimidated. She stated that she wanted to ensure that they fight for their seat at the table.

"So, we end up not being part of the conversation. We end up not being at the table taking a seat, representing us. We end up being left behind when it comes to conversations about business and economics," Xaba said.

Already equipped with a BA degree in Motion Picture from AFDA and a postgraduate qualification in business administration from Milpark School in Johannesburg, Xaba is currently pursuing an MBA through Henley Business School.

"I got a Johnny Clegg Henley scholarship this year, so I was awarded that scholarship to sort of pursue the movement of art economics." Xaba's schedule is so busy that she got into a car accident due to lack of rest on September 1.

The accident happened after she fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. She survived the crash with just a broken hand which is recovering well as she was already out of the cast by the time we meet.

Xaba has learnt a great deal out of the accident and she's now taking it easy.

"It's important that in this era of working, pushing and being super women we have to look after our health and after our wellbeing."

Xaba describes herself as a child of God and a "minister" who values her family as they keep her going.

"I wouldn't call myself a minister who stands in church and minister. [But] I'm a minster of a gospel that will awaken people in the universe in different ways."

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