Pressing for Progress in 2018 & Beyond

Budgeting, physical and emotional wellness as well as pushing against unfavourable circumstances were topics greatly discussed at this year’s Women’s Day event at the University of Zululand.

Each year, the university holds a special event in honour of the 20 000 fearless women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956, against the carrying of passes. The function is also UNIZULU’s means of paying homage to the hard-working, powerful and beautiful women who contribute to its daily production.

This year’s event was held at the iconic King Bhekuzulu Hall on the KwaDlangezwa Campus on Friday (24 August 2018) and was attended by five hundred female staff members who were beautifully clad in floral ensembles.

Amid the glitz and the glam, the ladies were constantly reminded- through the different segments of the event- of their worth, the importance of taking care of their wellbeing and why they need to constantly “Press for Progress”, like the theme indicated.

In her address, UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor Professor Xoliswa Mtose stressed the need for modern-day women to unite like the women of 1956 in achieving gender parity. Quoting a verse in the bible she reminded women that they were wonderfully and fearfully made by the Lord and urged them never to allow anyone or any situation to let them think otherwise.

“A woman will not allow situations to define who she is. A woman needs to understand her vision for her life… This year’s theme is #PressForProgress and it speaks to something deep within me. It means we push against all odds. It means we do not allow anything to stop us but we keep the spirit of our fore sisters of 1956 uprising and banning,” Prof Mtose said.

In the same breath, she cautioned against women-to-women and women-to-male friction saying that her message is that women need to “push” the circumstances that threaten to stifle their progress in life.

Zibu Masotobe, the phenomenal business woman, UNIZULU and Mandela Washington Fellowship alumna who directed the programme and delivered the keynote speech, challenged the women to do some introspection on their financial habits. Deeply concerned, she showed the ladies the alarming statistics about the lives professionals in the country lead. She revealed that 77% of professionals were flat broke at the end of every month, 60% couldn’t meet their home loan and credit card payments, 75% owed their salaries to creditors while only 23% still had money in their accounts at the end of the month.

“It’s not so much how much money you make but it is what you do with the money you make. What you need is not an increase but a better way to manage your income,” Masotobe stated. According to her, buying on credit is the main source of people’s struggles because what one could pay for once-off ends up costing them three times more than the initial price when purchased on credit. The reason for this predicament many citizens find themselves in is that financial management is not included in the curriculum of any schooling phase, Masotobe claimed.

She thus encouraged the ladies to purchase her book titled The Personal Finance Revolution which has a detailed guide on how to eliminate debt.

-Naledi Hlefane

Caption

Professor Xoliswa Mtose, UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor; Zibu MaSotobe, UNIZULU alumna and businesswoman; Smangele Simelane, Employee Wellness Specialist and Ester Bacela, Financial Aid Officer.