Woman Entrepreneur awards

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The excitement at the first Sowetan Women's Club forum this year was almost tangible when 600 people attended the prestigious event held at the Turffontein Racecourse, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday.

Centred on business opportunities in tourism for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the speakers included Sizakele Marutlulle, chief operating officer of South African Tourism, and Khanyi Mlambo, chairman of South African Women in Construction.

Television soapie Generations star, Sonia Mbele-Sedibe, was the host for the evening.

"It should be our responsibility to keep tourists in the country safe and welcomed.

"With the world focused on South Africa in 2010 we should be celebrating who we are and what makes us unique," said Marutlulle.

Mlambo, reflecting her own adversities, emphasised the importance of a positive attitude for women to succeed in all areas of their lives.

"Women have to face so many challenges but this doesn't have to stop them from succeeding.

"Stay positive and you'll be fine," said Mlambo.

Agnes Malebane, an interior decorator from Fourways, Johannesburg, walked away with R15000 and the 2006 Mageu Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The award is given to club members who have shown innovation and succeeded in running small businesses.

Malebane of Dee Decor House beat 11 other finalists from throughout the country to scoop the cash prize and the honour.

"I am just overwhelmed and this seems so surreal," said Malebane.

First runner-up, Motshidisi Tau of Tau Chinese Restaurant and Catering, and second runner-up, Fikile Dlamini of ITO Focus, won R7000 and R4000 respectively.

There were fashion showings by Playtex, Aranda blankets and designers including Ephymol and Thato Joseph.

To cap it all was a stunning performances by Afro-pop singer Thembisile that kept club members spellbound.

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