Name: Kgadi Mmanakana
Facebook: Kgadi Mmanakana
Twitter handle: @KgadiMmanakana
- What is the essence of being a woman to you?
To play a role of a mother which is a divine mission given only to women due to their innate resources; nurturing and intuitive nature.
- What is your super power?
I am excellent at serving people (servant leadership is in me).
- What words would you use to describe yourself?
Possibility thinker, intuitive, compassionate, passionate and resilient.
- Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?
Yes, Women’s Month to me is a reminder of the pivotal role they played in shaping our country and a sneak peek of the good that can happen when women are granted a chance to lean in and sit at the “big” tables. As a young woman living in a very patriarchal society, this month is important to me; not only to be reminded that I too (as a woman) can actually lead but to be empowered because we cannot ignore the fact that gender stereotypes still exits and are denying this country or rather world of the change its waiting for.
- They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?
No, my statement will be “behind every strong WO/man there’s themselves” because the greatest power /strength comes from within.
How do you think society perceives women?
Incapable of leading and “not strong enough”. As an active young person in the community and a business person who is a female, I’ve found myself having the feeling and need to prove myself thrice as hard that I can actually deliver on that business project, in a meeting rehearsing my opinions before uttering them to a room with 50+% of men (this was before I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, now I am no longer intimidated). I’ve also found having fruitless discussions with my male counterparts on the issue of having a female president in our country. My male counterparts argument was that the country is not ready for that, reason being “You are a woman and emotional.” Another vague reason or rather reaction I ever got as an ambassador of Women in Engineering was that “girls can’t do math and science because they’re girls” and a sigh that says “but you are woman” when you say you are an engineer or studying.
- How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?
I am a sage and inspirational speaker and personal coach on leading a purpose-driven happier life full of possibilities; I have launched a tour (New Beginnings Inspirational Tour) couple of months ago to equip, inspire and affords individuals an opportunity to rewrite their stories, claim their dreams back and learn how to respond to life struggles in a constructive way.(The theme of the tour is : Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% is how you respond to it). As part of the tour I’ve incorporated focus groups (New Beginnings Circle 4Her (for females) and 4Him (for males) ,the circles are the hands-on version of the tour. As an active and responsible citizen I play my part by participating in public gatherings concerning development of my community/country, by serving as a sounding board to young people looking to start projects in their communities.Over and above by being a definition of possibility that inspires others to start seeing possibilities in their own lives.
- What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?
Being nurturers and intuitive leaders.Women are very instrumental and have been endowed with powerful traits that any country that want to grow needs. Naturally women are nurturers and intuitive; they put others’ needs first and they great at making right decisions! People say women are too emotional and can’t lead ; I say let’s look at Mme Thuli Madonsela- she’s an ethical leader that stand her ground regardless of the heat. To me she’s a great example of what a woman can do given a chance.
- In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?
I initiate and support projects that equips, empower and inspires young people (men and women alike) to get to know themselves and meet their own inner power; that creates possibilities for them (access to info, resources, skills development and education) and give them a space to lead. My work as a business strategy consultant, speaker, volunteer affords me an opportunity to achieve that.
- In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?
Adequate service delivery with a strengthened “Batho Pele” principle.
- Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Kgadi, you matter.As much as the world need Person A, the world also needs YOU!