Dawn set to connect women together for inspiration and mentorship

It’s a known fact fact that I love Unilever, but it’s not just because I was their employee. It’s because they always think outside the box. If you follow me on Instagram then you would’ve seen pics of the most inspiration Dawn event. I love getting involved in work that I truly believe in. This mentoring program is definitely one of those.

As part of its commitment to inspiring and facilitating mentorship for young women in South Africa, announced in June to the media, Dawn gathered more than 100 women to empower, connect and grow.

It was a day filled with inspiration, excitement and positivity for the women who gathered at Shine Studios in Johannesburg last Saturday for the Dawn Mentor Meet-up 2017.

Most of the guests were personally selected by Dawn through an online competition where they were asked to share their personal stories via Dawn’s Facebook page, discussing their ambitions and some of the challenges they have faced. Winners were chosen to take part in Saturday’s event where they enjoyed panel discussions from influential South African women and role models.

Earlier this year, Dawn announced its mission to give young South African women the physical and emotional confidence to progress in their lives and careers.

“Dawn believes in the young women of South Africa and wants to empower them to progress, confident in themselves and their abilities” said Sphelele Mjadu, Unilever Africa, PR Lead for Africa, “We have committed to becoming a facilitator of mentorship and this event was just the first step. This is an ongoing journey for Dawn. We aim to create more opportunities for women to connect, learn and grow as individuals. Today was unbelievably inspiring and I know that so many of the women here today are going to go home understanding what it takes to conquer the world and reach their dreams.”

Michelle Potter, co-founder and executive director of SAYes Mentoring, an NGO from Cape Town who are collaborating with Dawn on this project also spoke at the event.

She discussed the importance of mentoring to keep young people on a path to growth and personal fulfilment, while SAYes mentee, Lauren Ramos, shared what she’s personally gained from mentoring on her path to independence.

“Mentoring has the power to effect meaningful and profound change, not only for mentors and mentees, but for society as a whole,” said Michelle Potter, co-founder and executive director of SAYes Mentoring. “SAYes is delighted to collaborate with Dawn to promote the importance of mentoring for South Africa’s young people.”

One panel featured respected businesswoman Phuti Mahanyele, Chairlady of Sigma Capital and 2014 Forbes Woman Africa Business Woman of the Year. Also on the panel was Allegro Dinkwanyane, founder CEO of public relations company, Orgella Media. At the age of 27 she’s created a thriving self-funded business empire that continues to grow and flourish. The two women discussed entrepreneurship and gave advice on how women can market themselves in the corporate world.

Psychologist and life coach Tshepiso Matentjie, celebrity make-up artist Merlene Williams and founder & CEO of the SA Image Institute, Doris Msibi – all successful entrepreneurs in their own right – showed guests how the right personal image and body language can make all the difference when presenting yourself in the world.

Lovedelia Mnguni, who attended the event, said: “Thank you so much for this Dawn. This event…rather I say community of amazing women, has been nothing short of amazing! Thanks for reminding me and the other ladies that #IGotThis because #YouGotThis.”

Another guest, Nontokozo Ntuli said: “You’ll never know how much this means to someone who needed someone to believe in them, Dawn. Thank you so much.”

DJ Zinhle shared some insights and advice based on her experiences and daily life as a popular house DJ and entrepreneur. “Having a plan guides your effort. Have a plan, a vision board, write it down. Think about it all the time. Dream about it. When you have a plan, you are able to say no to things that don’t fit into your plan.”

Dawn announced on the day that they will be facilitating long-term mentorship of 11 young women, who will be paired with a suitable mentor for ongoing guidance and support. These women were chosen through a draw at the event from the women in attendance. They are Amu Hlabano, Eviwe Sijula, Jessica Mahlekisi, Koketso B Mokoena, Lungelo Shezi, Nokuphiwa Xulu, Nontokozo Ntuli, Nthabiseng Mokhothu, Precious Pitjeng, Rebone Maputla and Tsholofelo Kwakwa.

Rebone Maputla, one of the 11 women chosen, said, “I’m so excited about this opportunity. I am looking forward to learning from someone who’s been through all the challenges I’m about to face, learning new skills and tricks of my industry. I can’t wait.”

It wasn’t just the competition winners that benefitted from this unique experience. Event MC Thembisa Mdoda also said she felt proud to be involved.

“When you bring women together, magic happens. We inspired each other. We uplifted each other. It was truly an honour to be the vehicle for this event.”
This is just the beginning of Dawn’s journey where they will create a sisterhood of support and upliftment to take South Africa’s young women on to the cusp of greatness by reminding them… #YouGotThis

  1. Amazing program! Makes me happy to be a loyal unilever person too!

    1. Oh Hello fellow Uniperson… nice to meet you.

  2. What a wonderful mentorship program! It is very inspiring and kudos to Dawn for bringing a great group of women together – we’re always stronger together!

    1. I love that line “We are stronger together”.

  3. When women come together like this amazing things can happen! I love reading about these kind of meet-ups and think its a great inspiration to many.

    1. Yes, most definitely. I love when women create magic.

  4. I love to see women unite to do great things. What a great mentorship program.

  5. Sounds like such an amazing mentorship program! I always feel inspired seeing women empowering one another. Thank you so much for sharing xx

  6. It looks like there is a lot of empowerment between the women in the program. Good for you. It sounds like a great mentorship program.

    Kimberly Love, Author
    Author of upcoming book You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine, http://www.instagram.com/kimmiloveauthor, http://www.twitter.com/kimmiloveauthor, http://www.facebook.com/kimmilovetheauthor

  7. I really admire Unilever as well. I really like some of their focus. It’s wonderful how they’re inspiring women to work together.

  8. I agree. Mentoring is so important in the community because you never know who and how you can inspire. This sounds like it was a really awesome event.

  9. This sounds like an amazing program. Mentoring is such a great way to give back.

  10. Wow, Dawn seems like such an incredible company! It is so important for women to support each other and learn from each other and it is even better when they join together to mentor young girls in another country.

  11. I believe that every time women come together amazing things like this happen.

  12. What a great event! Mentoring is so important and it’s important for women to stick together and support!

  13. I love to see when women come together to uplift, mentor and support each other. Congrats on being able to participate at this event!

  14. What an amazing event with great women! So inspirational! I would love to have the chance to attend such a meetup 🙂

  15. This sounds like a inspiring event put on by a company that really cares about people. They understand how much a mentorship can change someone’s life forever.

  16. I never knew Dawn supported women like this, esp women of color. This is really wonderful to know as I use their products as well as many Unilever products. And you ladies are gorgeous!

    My Favorite Fall Sweaters

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