Womandla Women in STEAM Awards 2021

The Womandla Foundation will be hosting the second Women in STEAM Awards on 28 August 2021.

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The Awards shines light on the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and advocacy for STEM and recognizes excellence among those who strive to make a positive difference in their communities. This year we have included the ARTS industry to the categories, which demonstrates an exceptional use of arts and innovation in the STEM fields.

“Part of bridging the gender disparity is us taking the opportunity to celebrate women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who against all odds are making outstanding contributions within their respective fields,” Says Rumbi Maisva, Head of STEAM at the Womandla Foundation.

The Womandla Women in STEAM Award winners will be announced on the morning of 28 August 2021 at the virtual award ceremony.

We encourage every female and organisation across South Africa to put forward their success stories with regards to gender empowerment.

Submit your entry here to be considered for this year’s Womandla Women in STEAM Awards.

This year, the awards will take on a hybrid approach and will take place at the MANCOSA Learning Centre in Cape Town and online.

Applications close on 30 July 2021.

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Womandla Sanitary Pad Drive is ON!

Cape Town – Womandla is collecting Sanitary Pads for Langa High School. This drive is intended to keep girls in school during their menstrual cycle.

Seven million school girls in South Africa don’t have access to sanitary pads because they can’t afford them. We as an organization are doing the best to service our community and could do a lot more with your help.

The government has been under pressure to zero-rate sanitary towels after it increased VAT from 14% to 15% in April last year. As of 1 April 2019, sanitary pads have been declared VAT-free in South Africa. This is a small victory for those who can afford them, but what about those who can’t?

Please assist us by collecting sanitary pads within your company, and dropping the donations off at Every Nation N1 City, Solly Smiedt St, Goodwood, Cape Town.

Alternatively, contact us here to collect!



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Womandla Career Expo

CAPE TOWN – Womandla will be hosting a Careers Expo in the Langa Community this May.

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We aim to expose the learners to various  careers and show them tools to succeed in high school and tertiary education and beyond from tertiary information, courses, loans etc.

We are dedicated to actively promoting Furthering Education and training in South Africa and providing learners with as much information as possible to make the right choices in life.

If you are interested in exhibiting your business, sponsoring or joining in on the action, please email us here!


We’re looking for Mentors!

It’s been a long time coming! We’ve done our ground work, supported and learnt from others, now we are ready to take action!

Join our team and become a mentor!

Womandla Mentor


As a mentor, you will support and guide a determined young woman on their journey to success.
You will contribute in leading positive change in their lives.
You will be the key that unlocks the potential that this country has to offer.
You will be able to network with SA’s successful women who will also be mentoring.
You will have the opportunity to invest in a young women’s life.

If this is something you would like to invest your time, skills and passion in, please respond to the call by emailing our Head of Mentorship, Yolanda yolanda.mngxe@gmail.com


5 Ways to Own Your Brilliance beyond a 9-to-5

Business advice from someone who has been there and done that! Tamiko Cuellar shares five ways to own your brilliance outside of the conventional workplace.

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Due to the growing global economy and the digital age, the way we think about using our talents has begun to shift our career paths from the conventional 9-to-5 jobs. The most brilliant thought leaders and creatives today are now forging their own careers on their own terms.


Innovation is birthed from necessity. The world has no shortage of problems, only talent to solve them.  Social media platforms were developed in part to remove the barrier of barriers which prevented people from connecting. What problem will you solve in this world?


Whatever you can do well with the least amount of effort is a clue to uncover your brilliance. Your brilliance does not have to be limited to the conventional corporate workplace.  If you are entrepreneurial, then there are several ways that you could turn your ideas into income.


Your brilliance in this world will shine brighter as you become more adept in your skill set. Learning is ongoing and you should always be a student. In addition to taking courses, attend webinars, go to conferences, read lots of books, or subscribe to your favorite blog or YouTube channel. These are ways to ensure that you will continue to develop the most cutting-edge and marketable skill sets in today’s competitive global marketplace.


The greatest things in life are achieved outside of the comfort zone. While the comfort zone might offer security and a steady paycheck from a 9-to-5 job, it might not give birth to your brilliance and allow you to live your fullest potential. You will shine the brightest in this world when you take risks and when you learn to use your failures and uncertainty to your advantage.


You will find that your creativity is best used when there are no limitations. For many employees, the workplace can be stifling to their ingenuity, imagination, individuality, and ideas. This is often how entrepreneurs are born.  Entrepreneurs are naturally creative innovators. They often seek better ways to do things to achieve results and solve problems.

When you own your brilliance, you use it on your terms. You won’t allow it to be squelched or hampered by the limitations of society.  Taking this ownership of your gifts, talents, skill sets, and abilities means that you will determine how and where you use your brilliance for the greater good of this world – and without the income limitations of a conventional job.


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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died

A dark cloud of sadness fell on South Africa as news broke of Mam’ Winnie Mandela’s passing.


A Mother to the Nation, stalwart and warrior are words that best describe the woman who fought against the injustices of the past.

A few of her famous quotes are listed here:

“I will not allow the selfless efforts of my husband and his friends to be abandoned,” she said after Nelson was imprisoned. “I will continue the struggle for a free and equal South Africa.”

“I no longer have the emotion of fear, there is no longer anything I can fear,” she said after being repeatedly sent to prison. “There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known.”

“They think because they have put my husband on an island that he will be forgotten,” Madikizela-Mandela said when her husband was sent to Robben Island, according to Business Insider South Africa. “They are wrong. The harder they try to silence him, the louder I will become.”

You can finally rest in peace Nomzamo Zanyiwe Winifred Madikizela-Mandela. You were a martyr and matriarch, token of freedom and leader in South Africa’s liberation. We will never forget your sacrifices for the country.


We are because you were.



South Africa’s Star Netball Player

We recently spoke to Dumisani Chauke, a highly ambitious sportswoman in South Africa, about her latest achievements.


You are so WOMANDLA and wear many hats! Tell us what you do.

I am a Sport Organiser at Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. I am also the netball coordinator and coach. I am the assistant coach of the Gauteng Golden Fireballs competing in the upcoming Brutal Fruit netball Premier League. I am the assistant coach of the SA u21 netball team. I am the vice chair of USSA Netball. I am the founder and executive Chair-person of Dumisani Chauke Netball Foundation.

What inspired you to play Netball?

I used to watch other ladies play the sport on TV “Sesfikile” and deep down inside I wanted to be just like them. I did not really like netball in the beginning, but I fell in love with it when I realised how good I could be at it. The life skills it has taught me are invaluable. The opportunities it has presented me with plus the doors it has opened for me are immeasurable…

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest 1 right now is launching my own foundation. And second to that, is the opportunity I have been given by South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Netball South Africa to travel with the SA Senior netball team as an Intern Coach to the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel so blessed to be travelling with the team, going to the games, learning and being mentored by some of the best netball coaches in the world…it feels unreal for a Tsonga girl from the dusty streets of a small Malamulele Township in Limpopo. I cannot wait!

What struggles/problems have you have you had to overcome in South Africa?

The fact that netball is not a professional sport is still one of the biggest challenge that both players and coaches face. The lack of funding for the sport which then limits our resources and facilities. As a woman in the sport industry working with men, we are still undermined and we are always having to prove ourselves even though time and again we excel in our jobs/activities but the men in the end still have an advantage over us as women.
Do you think there is enough media coverage of women’s sport in general and if not what do you think could be done to fix this?

Not at all. We as women have to either beg for media coverage during prime time or we settle for the slots that are allocated to us on channels that the general population either doesn’t have or cannot access. In newspapers and magazines, you hardly read about the great work that women coaches and women sport leaders are doing, but on a daily basis you will find something about our male counterparts. I think we need to create our own media platforms. Be it TV, radio stations, magazines or newspapers, and even social media – since it is not being given to us, we need to create our own.

What would you say to aspiring Women in Sport?

Don’t let the suits, fancy shoes, happy socks and deep voices intimidate you, know your story and walk into this industry with confidence and your head held high. Whatever you want to achieve will not be given to you on a silver platter. You are going to have to work for it, prove yourself time and again, and then do some more work, but you know what IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT IN THE END.

Thanks so much for your time Dumi – keep soaring!


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Social Coding for Girls

Social Entrepreneur, Thembiso Magajana, shares her heartwarming journey of how “Social Coding for Girls” project started.

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My journey to becoming a Social Entrepreneur is not a very profound one. There are no heartfelt antidotes of how from a young age I knew I wanted to save the world or be a champion of the community. In fact, I grew up pretty self-absorbed, only concerned about my little bubble.

That was until my aunt had a baby and I soon became cousins with the most extraordinary little girl you have ever seen. Although technically my cousin, I referred to her as my niece because she was 16 years younger than me and I was fiercely overprotected over her. Anything she wanted, I got for her. And as fate would have it, When she turned six years old, what she wanted, was to become a computer engineer.

Now wait, let’s go back a few paces.

Firstly, I come from an accounting background. That’s about as far from Computer Engineering as Paris is from Timbuktu. And to be completely honest, the only thing I really knew about using computers was how to do an excel spreadsheet.

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Fast forward to the morning my “niece” turned six, and decided that she would be an engineer who would build the worlds next Facebook and her “aunt” who could barely tell the difference between the on and off button on a computer, (although to be fair, the same button works for both functions) would be her teacher.

So that’s what I set out to do. I spent sleepless nights researching, reading “Computer programming for Dummies” and watching Youtube tutorials. Soon I was teaching her, what the internet was teaching me.

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One Saturday, She arrived at our lesson with 3 other young girls. And that’s how Social Coding was born. With 4 six years old’s and one laptop.

Presently, we’re an organization of 185 girls, all of whom are being taught digital entrepreneurship through computer programming by a teach of dedicated Social Coding Volunteers. We are so set on ensuring that EVERY GIRL in South Africa has the opportunity to be exposed to Coding, that we even developed a special curriculum, where the girls are taught input and output programming using a blackboard, for workshops run in rural areas where girls may have never even seen or touched a Computer because it’s important for us to introduce technology to at a level that every girl can understand. Our Workshops not only teach young girls from as young as six how to be innovative creators, but how they can be leaders..conceptualists of community solutions because our mandate is “The sustainability of the creator and her community”. This organization is my life because I have seen it GIVE LIFE to others.

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So perhaps I didn’t set out to change the world.

But the World certainly changed me.

The Xhosa Sci-Fi book everyone’s asking about!

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By Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni

Leading up to the last post, many of our followers on social media have been asking about the book.  “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” titled Iqhosha eliyimfihlelo kaGeorge kuzungezo lweNdalo, in isiXhosa, is a delightful science fiction book for young readers.

The book carries a scientific message for children, exposing them to a world of science, astronomy, and physics. This read strikes a balance between adventure and science. In several segments of the book, the adventure is suspended and Lucy and Steven Hawking’s expound further on the science, detailing themes such as exoplanets, the origin of life, and of course the black hole. Amid an adventure filled story, a great deal of learning occurs, which means that the usefulness of the book continues after the reader has put the book down.

Xolisa was inspired to translate this book after seeing how captured her then nine year-old son was by the content in the book. She continues to say “I thought if my son can learn and love science through fiction at the tender age of 9, what of other 9-year-olds in the country?” The experience of translating George’s Secret Key to the Universe affirmed Xolisa’s belief that stories can be used as a stimulus, an appetite wetter to invoke enthusiasm for physics amongst young readers. To conclude she says for too long Africans believed that there is no language in science and mathematics, yet there is.

Xolisa’s work is a massive gain for all who are invested in rebuilding quality education in South Africa. To begin, Xolisa is taking content that is commonly consumed by those who can fluently read English and is exposing the material to Xhosa readers. Secondly, she is matching languages with stories, because without language a child can never access the knowledge or the story. Given the two-tier education system in South Africa, Xolisa understands the challenges of expecting children to learn through a language they do not speak, a language that is not spoken by their parents and a language they do not think in.

This problem is worse in poorer schools where children experience at best three years of mother tongue, then changing to English medium schools after a year of English introduction. This is the tale of two cities where children in predominantly township schools (commonly with a poor command of the English language) are likely to be disadvantaged both through language and pedagogy. Thirdly, Xolisa is boldly building up a glossary of African terms, so that scientific words are not confined to the English language, but are rather explored in African language. This is a major step towards the intellectualization of African languages in the South African context and beyond.

Clearly, Xolisa Guzula’s work puts children at the center. Xolisa challenges black families especially where parents work eight or more hour days, with weekends tied to community commitments, to ponder the question: “Where do we put our children on our list of priorities?”

George’s Secret Key to the Universe will be published by Jacana Media. The Zulu manuscript is soon to be finalised before the books go to printing. Jacana Media usually place their books at Exclusive Books stores and at The Book Lounge.


Sibongile Zungu launches the preferred South African Travel Company

This past week I spoke to Sibongile Zungu, a qualified registered Chartered Accountant, who just launched her Travel Company called Preferential Travel.  She astutely describes herself as ambitious, witty, spiritual and romantic and spares a moment to share her past and prospects with us!

1. Tell us about your business and background.

SZ: I come from a family of entrepreneurs, yet I never believed in entrepreneurship. I felt it was unnecessarily risky, when I could easily live a very comfortable life with a 9-5 day job, ever-so-often waking up and wondering how much sick leave I still have available.
Preferential Travel is quite simply a travel company that arranges affordable travel experiences (mainly road trips) within South Africa for individuals, couples, and groups of up to 20. We have accommodation partners in most tourist attraction destinations in South Africa, and have an option on our website for clients to obtain quotes for destinations we don’t currently have listed.
Every single listed property on Preferential Travel’s site, is a place I would personally visit and can personally vouch for. I love adventure and natural surroundings, and all the properties offer that – not to mention they’re all very reasonably priced.
To the best of my knowledge, we are one of very few travel companies that also have CSI initiatives. Shammah Safe House is an amazing children’s home and we are proud to have partnered with them.

2. What are the challenges you face as a young, female entrepreneur?

1. Adequate emotional support.
2. Finding a quality mentor that is willing to actually invest time in you.
3. Finances
4. Time management – particularly if you have an 8 hour full-time job.

For my industry, specifically, I noticed very quickly that it’s a very tough industry to break into, and accommodation owners are not very open to helping start-ups. I had a good number of phone calls dropped in my ear and emails not returned whilst I was gathering my initial client base. I remember the first rejection email, of many, I received several weeks ago – “Sorry. The owners are not interested. Regards”. Such things fuelled me, and still fuel me, to push even harder.

3. What do you hope to achieve in your business?

SZ: Preferential means “superior”, “favoured”, “better” – I want the meaning of the name to manifest itself. So naturally, I envision Preferential Travel to be a leading travel company in South Africa, and I am branding it as such. I’m very fortunate to have travelled South Africa rather thoroughly, consequently I’m passionate about promoting local travel. I think our country is gorgeous!

I’m taking it step-by-step, and I truly value the partners that have decided to take this leap of faith with me. My main focus at the moment is on marketing. People need to know that Preferential Travel exists. I have the likes of Safarinow, RoomsforAfrica etc. as ultimate competition and I fully acknowledge that I won’t get to their level overnight. But I will get there. And do far “better”.

4. What keeps you going when the going gets tough?

SZ: Two things – God and my passion for travel. Just like my life, this entire venture is founded on Psalm 23:6.

5. Any words of encouragement to our network of ladies?

SZ: Hold the vision. Trust the process. Pray.

Bio: Sibongile grew up in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu Natal, with her parents and older brother then left for Pretoria in 2010 to study Accounting Sciences. She is currently working as an assistant manager in one of Africa’s leading professional services firms and is also studying towards a Masters in Taxation.