The second annual South African Underwriting Managers Association (SAUMA) ladies’ day got off to a festive start on Friday 15 September when nearly 240 women – all professionals in the insurance industry – gathered at La Vie en Rose restaurant at the Killarney Country Club, Johannesburg.
The event, hosted by SAUMA and sponsored for the second consecutive year by Fulcrum, gave attendees the opportunity to celebrate each other, network, laugh with (and learn from) charismatic radio and television personality Anele Mdoda, and last, but not least, shop up a storm at the pop-up spring market.
Thanking guests for attending the industry’s salute to women, SAUMA chairperson Tertia Davey said: “It’s moments like these that paint the perfect picture, moments that I want to freeze in time ... that I want to share with my daughters. Moments like today.”
Davey said in preparing for the day she had looked at different definitions of what makes a “good” woman. She found that a good woman is proud, respects herself, respects others and provides a “dash of inspiration” to those she comes into contact with.
“But, most importantly, she knows her past, understands her present and moves toward her future.”
Davey said SAUMA, with the support of “our absolutely phenomenal sponsor, Fulcrum”, was ecstatic that the event had grown year on year and found resonance with so many women in the industry. Tickets to the lunch had sold out within hours.
“But even with a bigger venue, unfortunately not everyone could join. Next year, hopefully,” she said.
Fulcrum head of brand Clodagh da Paixao said: “We’re proud to be supporting SAUMA and its spring ladies’ day for the second year in a row. These events allow us the opportunity to come together out of the office, strike up some memorable conversations and build important business relationships.”
Before introducing main speaker Mdoda, Davey announced the first in a series of lucky-draw winners. The plethora of prizes donated by more than 20 SAUMA member companies ranged from beauty vouchers and art to nights on the town and an Apple watch.
Mdoda had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand from the moment she started. “When we started talking about doing this months ago, and they asked, ‘What is she going to talk about?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to eat tomorrow, let alone what I’m going to say in weeks to come!’.”
But she had clearly figured it out, because he spoke broadly on the theme of self-celebration, recounting hilarious tales from descriptions of childhood antics that taught her she had “two superpowers” (emotional intelligence and the power of manipulation) to detailing her first years in broadcasting.
“Self-celebration is the only thing that will keep you going. You need to be here for yourself. Celebrate you. Put yourself first. Be selfish. Yes! Be selfish,” she said.
While not missing an opportunity to make everyone laugh, Mdoda encouraged the women to know their purpose in life. “Stop judging yourself so that you can hear yourself and know what your purpose is.
“What are you here for? Why are you in this world? If you’re here for someone else, then you’re doing this wrong. Learn what it is you’re good at and focus on that.”
The afternoon ended with guests chatting, having their make-up touched up or purchasing goodies at the pop-up market.