Grade 12 learners empowered and inspired at BWA workshop

APRIL 21, 2016

“Spread your wings and fly,” was the theme and overriding message for the group of 100 matric girls invited to attend the eighth annual Port Elizabeth Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) Grade 12 Workshop, held at Linkside High School on Friday.


This is one of the BWA’s key initiatives since 2009, reaching out to young girls preparing for their future after school. This will put them in a better position to contribute to the mainstream economy.


The inspiring and informative workshop, presented to learners from 10 schools in the city, covered from motivational topics such as “Be a warrior and not a worrier,” presented by Nozibele Qamngana (external relations manager at Ubuntu Education Fund) to making an impact during the recruitment process by Zena King (King Recruitment) and the pitfalls in the social media minefield by Liesl Fourie (laywer, NMMU).

Other speakers included Bernadette Naudé (Atlas Security) who shared personal safety tips, Lutho Msutu (NMMU student) who motivated them to “getting their wings to work” and Phumeza Kota-Nyati (Learner Recruitment and Support Manager – Human Capital Solutions, Coega Development Corporation) addressed the ladies on “The you, you want to be.” Phumeza is a counselling psychologist who shared tips on choosing a career that is right for the individual.


BWA chairperson Michelle Brown urged the girls to follow the organisation’s philosophy by passing on their newfound knowledge. “At BWA we strive to lead the way for younger generations of businesswomen to develop, be empowered and inspired so that they, in turn, can leave a legacy for others to follow,” she said. 

This year, participating schools included Cillie, Linkside, Walmer, Booysens Park, Ethembeni Enrichment Centre, Alexander Road, Otto du Plessis, Andrew Rabie, Tamsanqa High School and the Ubuntu Education Fund.

Attendees at the generously sponsored workshop each received a goody bag of gifts, a comprehensive manual of the morning’s presentations as well as enjoying a light lunch.


Students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s voluntary leadership programme, Beyond the Classroom (BTC), helped bridge the generations and facilitated networking and discussion amongst the girls from different schools and backgrounds.  

 “As they are young women too, and have walked in the same shoes, it is the ideal association,” Michelle said.

The key sponsors at the 2016 event were Global Load Control, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, GDL Photography and NMMU.  

Image: Michelle Brown. Courtesy of