Friday August 25 was a special day for about 50 women from Ithemba Labantu in Philippi East when their male colleagues celebrated the “phenomenal women” by cooking a meal, entertaining them and handing out trophies, appreciation certificates and gifts.
Organiser of the event, Thandi Swartbooi, who is a music teacher at Ithemba Labantu, said the women have made remarkable contributions not only at Ithemba but in the communities around them.
She said the women have played various roles in communities, breaking gender stereotypes and promoting equality.
Ms Swartbooi added that these women continue playing a major role in improving working conditions and passing skills to children.
“They conduct outreach projects to locals to be relevant to the community in which we are located. It was this and other reasons that we felt they deserve to be honoured and celebrated. That is why men are part of this, cooking nice meals for our women. We love and appreciate these phenomenal women,” she said.
She said celebrating women highlights the stories of inspiring female role models. “In every sector or industry, women must be celebrated, acknowledged, and appreciated everyday even at home. Women are the ones who make a difference in society and our lives. There is no compromise, they must be loved and cared for as they give off selflessly,” she said.
Sophia Zittel, youth coordinator, said it was crucial that women are recognised and celebrated. She said women work hard.
“You are mothers here. You are mothers at home. You make things happen. I am honoured to be standing in front of you, giving you awards and certificates of appreciation,” she told them.
They celebrated with song and dance and shared a sumptuous meal provided by the male counterparts. It was wonderful to watch them dance to traditional songs and marimba music by the Women Unite group.
One woman, Nikiwe Mngqete-Ntsomi, described the day as instructive and fun. She said the day was an absolute privilege. On behalf of other women, she said they were very grateful for this opportunity.