Last Friday I felt so proud and so inspired as I attended the Local Government Women Leadership Development Graduation ceremony. This is a SALGA programme that was implemented by UCT’s Nelson Mandela school and Zenande Leadership Consulting (the 100% women-owned and managed company I have had the honour and privilege of leading for the last 12 years).

This was a graduation ceremony worth a special mention as the women on the program showed incredible determination and resilience. This program was conceptualised before we were hit by the devastating pandemic and everything had to be adapted and offered online. These women braved a lot and remained focused and resolute and showed all of us what they are made of.

It made me appreciate what Cheryl Hale said: “Brave women are not born from comfort zones….they are made in the fire”. I invite you to listen to Lira’s song “Something inside so strong” as I firmly believe it fully captures the essence of what these women achieved during a pandemic.

The program is set to empower women to be better leaders in the municipal space and I feel it achieved the intended objectives and more. It ushered an incredible amount of “sisterhood”. We watched with admiration how the women supported one another so effortlessly and with a great sense of love and selfless giving; all in service of a greater good.

What inspired me the most is how each of the women showed up and got themselves out of their comfort zones. They embraced their discomfort; brought their A-game and showed the world how is it done. They showed us how to balance hard work and sheer enjoyment; how to apply abstract theoretical constructs to day to day practical services delivery challenges. More importantly, how to be intentional; live your purpose and be passionate in what you do.

I could easily run out of superlatives as I express how proud and inspired I was by these women. At the same time I could easily be auditioning to be the resident imbongi (praise singer) for sheer excellence and class and to be honest I am quite pleased to be doing this as queens need to be consistently fixing each other’s crowns.

As I say “halala” to the LGWLDP class of 2022 I feel privileged and honoured for being part of the conceptualisation and delivery of the program. I; without hesitation; would like to accord each and every one of the participants of this programme the esteemed title of being true “Imbokodos”


Pam the Coach