By Motlagae Konyana
The former First Lady, Zanele Mbeki, was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the Standard bank Top Women awards last week. Her remarkable, philanthropic work on the establishment of the Women’s Development Bank is among the many reasons she was honored.
Former First, Lady Gugu Motlanthe, paid tribute to Mbeki saying her achievements have been silenced by patriarchy but her story needs to be told . She also called her the quintessential South African.
Former First Lady Zanele Mbeki, accepting her award, said that she wanted to change the conditions of the women who are married to mine workers who were left to build homes while their husbands were paid bachelor wages. She said the struggle for women’s access to credit, especially rural women, is far from over. “It’s easier to borrow 600million from a bank than 300 rand for a woman in the rural area to continue supporting her family, we provide only for the opulent.” She said
The Standard Bank Top Women Awards celebrate their 15-year anniversary this year and have used Women’s Month to inspire and encourage women to continue doing incredible work.
In a room full of incredible, phenomenal and inspiring women, one couldn’t help but feel inspired and in awe at how far women have come and how much of a journey we still need to travel, in order to have women who are not just empowered but free of the “silent” patriarchal rules and regulations in the boardrooms.
Women were awarded in their respective industries for their empowering and inspiring work that they have done. Congratulations to all the winners, continue to being inspiring Afropolitan Women.