GRADUATION SPEECH Eugenie Drakes – Cohort 3 Graduation 28 Nov 2013
I came in small and I walk out tall.
January 2013 saw the start of a journey that proved to be a significant turning point for me and my business.
I come from a family where a woman’s place is at home looking after husband and children, but at age 45 I had to start from scratch to support myself. Seventeen years later I was excited, humbled and surprised that I had been selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10 000 Women Certificate Programme for Women Entrepreneurs
Story for the the children for the presentation of blankets from the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day movement at the Maqibane School near Ulundi in KwaZuluNatal on 2nd June 2015.
Once upon a time almost 100 years ago a small boy was born in a village in the Eastern Cape – it was much like this village. He watched over the goats and cattle, played in the fields, hunted, played with sticks, swam in the river and played with the other children.
As part of the Vital Voices process, we are documenting the stories of other women on the programme. I am absolutely in awe of the work and life of the woman I am documenting, but more on her another day. Today, I received this email, via the person who is documenting me. I’m humbled and honoured by its contents, and share only because it’s useful for us to be reminded to see ourselves through the eyes of others, sometimes…
This year I celebrated my birthday participating as a Mentor in the International Women’s Day Walk facilitated by The Passionate Professional; and this is where I first encountered the dynamic Pat Fortin Mussieux. At this event she announced that she would be offering a presentation the following week and that there was also an opportunity to win a scholarship to participate in her Wealth Makers Mighty Mavericks programme.
One of the joys of being a South African and living amongst the wonderful diversity of cultures is the opportunity to be exposed to different expressions and insights into practices with which we are unfamiliar.
While I had read lots about them and had had discussions with both photographer TJ Lemon (who had documented them extensively many years ago), as well as Robyn Orlin (who had choreographed pieces with them), I was excited to have met three extraordinary Swenkas (Adolphueus, Sethu and Vusi) at a recent exhibition at the FADA Gallery at the University of Johannesburg.