Local women have made the city proud by being among the nominees for 2015's continental awards for Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government. The awards recognise women's efforts and contributions in various fields of work.
In order for the women to have been nominated, they had to be winners in their respective categories at national level as well as in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) south region, which includes all Southern African countries.
The awards ceremony, which saw two women qualify for the continental awards, was held in Johannesburg last month. The third received a lifetime achievement award.
Zola Thamae, president of Free State Cricket (FSC) is one of the women who qualified for the continental awards. She expressed immense joy for being recognised as 2015's most influential woman in sport on both levels. She sees this achievement as a milestone in her career and says it shows that women can be successful in any field of their choice, including the male dominated ones. "Male dominated industries are quite challenging, however, women should never doubt themselves," she said. Thamae is the first and only female president of a cricket union in South African history. She is also the first woman to serve in the Cricket SA's general council.
Elize Joubert, acting CEO and COO of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
PHOTO: SELLWANE KHAKHAU
Likewise, another Bloemfontein woman, Elize Joubert, was a winner in the category of Welfare and Civil Society Organisations. The award saw her qualify to be one of the nominees for the upcoming continental awards. Joubert is acting CEO and COO of the national Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
She also expressed her joy: "I was pleasantly surprised when I was nominated for the national awards. It shows that the world is watching you. I was even more surprised when I won the award. But winning the SADC award was beyond amazing," she said.
Winners will be announced later this year.
Prof. Maryke Labuschagne from the University of the Free State.
Meanwhile, the University of the Free State (UFS) researcher, Prof. Maryke Labuschagne, known for her research on plant breeding, received a Country Lifetime Achiever award at the function.
The award was in recognition of her lifelong efforts, achievements and contributions in the field of food security in the African continent. About the award, she said: "It's always great to be recognised for your work. It is pleasantly rewarding." She explained that Lifetime Award winners will not compete in the upcoming continental awards.
The three women encourage others to never doubt their ability to achieve their dreams.
firstname.lastname@example.org – Sellwane Khakhau