Women encouraged to think creatively and take chances

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Unlike most people, Nonhlanhla Mjoli-Ncube thrives on risk and urges women not to let fear of it discourage them from into going into business.

"Risk drives our lives," said Mjoli-Ncube, economic adviser to Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and guest speaker at the Sowetan Women's Club meeting at the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Mjoli-Ncube encouraged women to venture into industries that they did not usually consider, such as plumbing.

"Do you know anyone who can negotiate with a plumber?" she asked.

She encouraged women to take chances and exploit the opportunities available in infrastructure development, tourism, information and communication technology, business outsourcing, biofuels and processing farm produce.

"Think of things that might not be obvious. Identify scarce skills and you should be able to make money and succeed," she said.

She said transformation had created opportunities for women and allowed them to be major role players in the economy.

"Whatever you do, be driven by passion. What if you were meant to be great, but you just didn't take the risk?"

Agnes Malebane, of Dee Decor House, walked away with a R2000 cash prize as the October finalist in the Mageu Entrepreneur of the Year competition. The competition is open to club members who run small businesses.

The night would not have been complete without the usual fanfare for which the club is famous. It took the form of free breast measurements and the brave women who were measured walked away with Playtex gift vouchers.

Women and men had their fair share of eye candy with three fashion shows.

With drinks flowing, courtesy of Redd's, the women could barely contain their excitement when beefed-up models graced the stage draped in colourful Aranda fashion blankets.

Scantily clad models teased and shook their assets in the latest Playtex women's underwear to the delight of the men in attendance.

The other partners in this nation-building initiative, which aims to develop the potential and nurture the independence of women, were represented by speakers who also motivated the predominantly female audience.