By Qhawekazi Memani – 3 September 2021
Often not recognised for the important work they do every day, they are mothers, sisters, wives, family pillars etc. The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Protection Services Women, put on a brave face and come serve at VUT, they smile, they greet the institution’s visitors, cater for the institutions students but nobody really knows what goes on in their minds and hearts, which I believe it’s every woman’s story.
For this reason, the Protection Services Department hosted a Women’s Month Celebration on 26 August 2021 at the VUT Desmond Tutu Great Hall. A day as alluded by the Programme Director, Ms Dorcas Sekhoto, Protection Services Liaison Officer, as a day Protection Services Department set aside to celebrate and encourage women to know their value in their communities, more especially at VUT. “The work you do is appreciated and very important to VUT, don’t look down on yourselves, be bold and presentable at all times”, she advised.
Statistics reveal that 12.1 in every 100 000 women are victims of femicide in South Africa each year, this not being the only challenge women in general face all over the country. You get to work, there’s a lot happening, you go to church, there’s a lot happening, you go home, there’s a lot happening. Where can a woman be herself and where can she find herself? Where can a woman be happy? How can a woman stay above the challenges she faces in her daily life?
As guest speaker and someone who has seen it all – from having nothing, to having it all, going through hardships to overcoming her challenges, Ms. Kediemetse Mokotsi: Director Marketing and Public Relations, Advancement Division shared her life story of how she managed to rise above challenges she faced growing up and how she got where she is today. She reassured the ladies that there is no work that’s inferior, the role they play at VUT is critical. They should carry on serving with a smile and pride, “you are the key building block in the institution, the first point of contact for everyone at the entrance, brand ambassadors, continue carrying the VUT flag up high”, she said. Recognising that they also go through a lot, she advised, “find someone to talk to, be it inside the institution or outside, if need be, seek professional help.
“The child’s Cry”: Creative Arts and Poetry group performed a moving role play that got every lady present shedding a tear.
The event was packed with fun activities coordinated by Ms Fikile Zondo, Fire Response Officer, who also advised the ladies to learn to unpack whatever that is not fitting in their hearts, finding ways to work well together and to love each other.
Fikile concluded the event by sharing that she obtained her first qualification after having matriculated 20 years ago, “study, seek advice, we are willing to assist you to make better choices in life, Azisisikele, asizinukise amakwapha, in order to be the best version of ourselves and to rise above the challenges we face.”