Full feast on menu AT CLUB FORUM

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Judging by the fun and knowledge shared by all, the year-long wait for the return of the Sowetan Women's Club to Mpumalanga was worthwhile.

In all, 230 women and men packed the Liberty Hall of the Graceland Casino in Secunda.

It didn't take much persuasion to get club members dancing and singing along with the Basadi Women of Jazz Band.

The guests danced almost hypnotically to the club's theme song, Vulindlela, which is one of the late songbird Brenda Fassie's evergreens.

The night's forum focused on starting a catering business in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup event.

Food expert Dorah Sithole encouraged women to use their skills such as cooking, baking and flower arranging to start their own hospitality businesses.

"Women in the townships often bake for parties and funerals.

"This is one area that hasn't been fully explored as a business venture. Get other women into a group and pool your resources to start your own business," Sithole said.

She said that home-based businesses are more affordable and allow women to work from home using skills they already have.

Club members were also given financial advice and tips on personal grooming by experts from Old Mutual, Pres Les and Playtex.

Actress Connie Feruguson also spoke at the gathering.

Francinah Madi, a businesswoman from Ermelo, said that she had been motivated to join the club.

"This forum gave me an opportunity to interact with successful people. It has given me ideas to expand my business," said Madi, the owner of a petrol station.

Maureen Magagula, who recently joined the club, said she was drawn to it to learn "practices that I can use in my work" as chairman of the Women's Network in the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga.

Nelly Mashifane of Nobe, Mpumalanga, walked away with R2000 as the November finalist of the Mageu Number 1 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She owns Mognel Business Enterprise, a home-based company involved in construction, catering, security and transportation services.

l The next Sowetan Women's Club will be held at Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg on December 7.