Unathi's talk leaves her audience teary

Unathi Nkayi addressing Sowetan Women's Club at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni on Saturday.
Unathi Nkayi addressing Sowetan Women's Club at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni on Saturday.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

There was scarcely a dry eye in sight as Unathi Nkayi took to the stage at Sowetan's Women's Club Shades of Summer event.

Held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on the East Rand, the event was aimed at motivating aspirational women in their personal and professional lives.

Nkayi, drawn from the panel that discussed women's experiences in and out of the workplace, was the keynote speaker.

The musician and mother of two is also famous for her tearful and candid moments on popular music series, Idols SA. She opened up about her difficulties after she broke her knee as a university hockey player. This eventually led her to pursue a career in entertainment where she faced much discrimination as a black woman.

Bubbling with enthusiasm, Nkayi stressed the importance of the female-centred event, and how it was paramount for more women to put themselves first, an actualisation she found during her much publicised divorce which saw her take on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

"I didn't realise what that did for all my girlfriends. I didn't realise what that did for my kids," she said.

"I came back and my daughter, who is eight, says, 'mommy, Snako and I are going to summit Mount Kilimanjaro with you.' So, when you are putting yourself first, you don't know how you are inspiring someone else."

Nkayi also touched on the question of "mom guilt", any issue many women in attendance resonated with in pursuit of their careers, or personal goals.

From left, Khomotso Moloto, beauty creative director; Thembalethu Zulu, editor Sowetan S MAG; Matapa Maila, Mrs South Africa, at the Emperors Palace.
From left, Khomotso Moloto, beauty creative director; Thembalethu Zulu, editor Sowetan S MAG; Matapa Maila, Mrs South Africa, at the Emperors Palace.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

"I would be very resentful if I did not chase my dreams, but then when we are resentful we take it out on our children and our friends," said Nkayi.

She encouraged women to explain to their children what they did, and how it wouldbenefit them as well.

Mrs South Africa 2019, Matapa Maila, Sowetan S Mag editor Thembalethu Zulu, as well as beauty and fashion editor, Khomotso Moloto, were among the panellists.

Addressing the current trends in lifestyle and fashion, the panellists also encouraged the audience to be aware of achieving their career goals, and how to go about doing that efficiently.

Moloto advised her audience to simplify their wardrobes, and to include capsule wardrobes in their homes.

"On YouTube you will find these women who will show you how to get 10 outfits out of six items. By clearing out your wardrobe, and making it organised, you will find combinations that were never there.

"Trends are fleeting, so do not ever spend money on them, ever, rather on a classic outfit, specifically winter classic items."

In achieving her goals, Zulu shares that using a vision board has helped achieve her priorities.

"Other people find other ways, some people meditate to come back to the centre.

"The main thing that has worked for me has been to articulate what I want and the things that I hope for and have it visual."

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