Fabulous sisters aren't only doing it for themselves, as matric girls get a taste of success

07 August 2019 - 06:00 By KHANYISA TYELELA
Thoko Miya of Girl Hype and Fabulous Woman Awards CEO Pontsho Manzi.
Thoko Miya of Girl Hype and Fabulous Woman Awards CEO Pontsho Manzi.
Image: Fabulous woman awards

Thoko Miya's life is dedicated to uplifting young women, and as she accepted an award last week for doing just that, she was doing it again. 

In the audience as Miya, 26, accepted the 2019 Fabulous Woman Award were 30 matric girls from a township school in Cape Town.

The pupils of Sinenjongo High, in Joe Slovo, were VIP guests at the awards. They had been invited by entrepreneur Pontsho Manzi, whose Fabulous Girls' Foundation aims to inspire girls like them.

Principal Khuselwa Nopote, in white, with some of the Sinenjongo High School matric pupils at the Fabulous Woman Awards.
Principal Khuselwa Nopote, in white, with some of the Sinenjongo High School matric pupils at the Fabulous Woman Awards.
Image: Khanyisa Tyelela

After an evening of glamour and inspiration in Century City, the girls are now looking forward to being mentored by Manzi.

In 2003, Miya's mother Baratang founded GirlHYPE, an after-school programme for girls that teaches coding skills.

Located in Woodstock, Cape Town, the organisation where Miya is now programme director has trained more than 10,000 girls.

Grade 12 pupil Azola Masizana
Grade 12 pupil Azola Masizana
Image: Khanyisa Tyelela

Azola Masizana, 18, said she couldn't believe Manzi had chosen Sinenjongo High pupils to attend the event.

“It’s a privilege to be chosen out of many schools in the Western Cape, especially being from a township school," she said.

“In five years’ time I want to be as successful as the women who are being honoured tonight. My wish is to be motivated, and learn from these women.”

Manzi launched the awards in 2013 as part of her Fabulous Girls Foundation, which aims to  uplift and empower young women.

“What I wish for the girls to take out of this experience is to learn that they can achieve anything they want to in life, to take the baton and run with it," she said.

"Study hard and, become whatever they want to be, and also invest in their own communities. 

Matric pupil Tammy Chibhotso at the Fabulous woman awards event
Matric pupil Tammy Chibhotso at the Fabulous woman awards event
Image: Khanyisa Tyelela

“The most important thing is to believe in yourself, before you can even look for your mentor. Have confidence, know that you can achieve anything, and then ask for assistance from a mentor.”

Sinenjongo High principal Khuselwa Nopote said she was delighted the matric girls had been able to experience the awards. 

"It's going to boost their morale. They will inspire the other girls in the school, and share the experience of being among successful women,” said Nopote.

Tammy Chibhotso, 19, said she had been  inspired by the entire evening, "because in the society that we live in, no one is willing to give a girl child any advice and this platform is providing what we need”.

She added: “I know that the moment I leave here, I would have gained a lot more than I knew before, and I am willing to give back to my community and empower young girls.”

Manzi said: “The bigger vision of the awards and gala dinner is to give these young women access to our guests in a comfortable setting for possible mentorship, and access opportunities from women who have ‘made it’ in their selected careers.” 



subscribe