“For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school.” - Oprah Winfrey
We at AWCA are increasingly proud of the young women who are flying our flag high in many of the South African universities. Our student chapter members are all young women eager for knowledge and self-empowerment, who also understand that to nurture others is the only true way to empower oneself and society. Below are some reports from the student chapters, describing the great strides they are making in their respective institutions.
AWCA UNISA STUDENT CHAPTER
-Because we are extra-ordinary
The AWCA UNISA journey started in 2012, and with all the obstacles and challenges the group has faced thus far we are proud to say that AWCA UNISA is still going strong.
This year the AWCA UNISA was all about revamping, recruiting and awareness. Making a positive change at the university, in the community and among peers is possible only through aiming high and working well together. AWCA UNISA is positive minded and ready to bring change. The UNISA SC committee had this report to offer about their year so far:
“We started the year off by ensuring we made ourselves highly visible with a recruitment drive, where we engaged with UNISA students, explaining what AWCA is about and how Accounting Sciences students could benefit from membership of the organization. We recruited with the mandate to increase our membership, as we had to relaunch the structure from the ground up. It was a well attended event with most executive members availing themselves for the task, which made it easy to reach out to numerous students. Now that the recruitment is done and dusted we can proudly say that more than 130 female accounting students have been made aware about the AWCA.
“Next, the AWCA UNISA along with other similar organisations and The Directorate of Counselling and Student hosted a workshop called ‘AGAINST ALL ODDS.’ The bigger your dreams, the tougher your challenge, the more ambitious your goals, the more likely it is that you will face difficulties on your way to success.
The purpose of this emotional intelligence workshop was to assist students in dealing with the pressure and stress that is overwhelming during exam season. It served to teach the delegates a method of tackling the highlighted issues. A number of topics were covered by the directorate, which also informed students of counseling sessions on offer by qualified professionals and available to students anytime. The workshop was a great success.
“AWCA UNISA continued to make themselves even more visible in the College of Accounting Sciences .We partook in the Auditing Day, hosted by the dean of the College and other well-known prominent individuals in the industry. Also attending were some companies who were invited to have stalls, in order to bridge the gap between students and prospective employers. The Auditing Day is an annual event and AWCA UNISA was welcomed as one of the constituencies of the female general students of the College of Accounting Sciences.
The University in the Tshwane region has a library service that provides books to students, and the Accounting books are also available for lending. There were a specific challenges though, that made these books unavailable to students .We as the AWCA UNISA felt it was an inconvenience to the accounting students. These books included the SAICA handbooks which are relevant for two years and weren’t available to students. We had to step in as an active voice in support of the students, and with great team work our Library project is a success: books are available to the shelves of the UNISA Library and students, especially those without financial affluence, now have access to them.
“Our journey continues as we have even more exciting events that we are planning for the rest of 2016. We are excited about the AWCA launch, and will be hosting an Accounting Indaba Event, a Mentorship workshop and other community engagement projects. We even have our very own AWCA UNISA uniform!”
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.
AWCA UNISA Executive Members
President: Fezeka Sibanyoni
Vice President: Sibongile Hlongwane
Treasurer: Cikizwa Vena
Secretary: Tusy Hlophe
Director of PR and Marketing: Lydia Mosotho Assisted by Kedumetse Mokone
Community Engagement: Omphemetse Molale assisted by Lorraine Baloyi
AWCA NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY - MAFIKENG
The North West University- Mafikeng AWCA Student Chapter is lead by a committee of six: Mirriam Mokgoasa (President), Lesego Mabokachaba (Deputy President), Nompumelelo Mlambo (Secretary), Trinity Kotsedi (Treasurer), Neo Matlhako (Outreach), and Kgopotso Locke (Public Relations).
During the first semester of 2016, the North West University Student Chapter managed to host a Cocktail function which was also an interactive session and platform to share the vision and mission of the AWCA student chapter, and to introduce the Executive Committee to our new members. Students were afforded a chance to engage with the invited guest speakers from Moore Stephans, PWC and other successful businesswomen. The event was a great success.
The NWU Student Chapter has also adopted a nearby high school - Leteane High School. We are working with Dr Tumelo Leeuw in relation to the sanitary drive and donations to Orphanages in Mafikeng.
The NWU Student Chapter intends to make the second semester equally successful with the following planned activities: Increasing the number of members, fundraising, hosting a Time Management workshop, Roundtable discussions, a Women’s Seminar and a year-end event.
The Wits Student Chapter is the newest of our Student Chapter groups, established in 2016, and already a success story. Zimkhitha Zatu of the AWCA Board was invited to speak at a Ladies’ High Tea at the university last year. There she was approached by some students who were seeking to start an AWCA SC at the institution. From getting all the initial administration done, such as registering with SRC, drafting a constitution etc. to planning an effective launch during Orientation Week to build a good membership base (which included conducting a Res Visit campaign), these ladies have made good headway. Having already signed up more than fifty members, AWCA Wits SC was officially introduced to the University of Witwatersrand on the 9th March 2016. Since then they have completed successful schools visits to Eketsang Secondary school and Ponego Secondary School in Katlehong, engaging with Gr 9-12 girls on the issues of choosing subjects, coping with academic stress etc.
On Mandela Day, 23 July, they visited an orphanage in Alexandra to donate food and sanitary towels, and to engage with the children there.
Further plans for this year include an “Entrepreneurship Skills and CV Making” training event, as well as a social Closing Dinner in October.
AWCA WITS EXECUTIVE MEMBERS:
Cathrine Sefara (Chairperson)
Zenande Mkhankanyeli (Vice Chairperson)
Zintle Madonono (Treasurer) Nelisa Metula (Secretary)
Zizipho Potye (Events Manager) Nomvuyo Sangqu (Media)
Violet Lebohang Ratapa (Community Service)
AWCA UKZN- WESTVILLE
The AWCA Westville Student Chapter is determined to bring innovation and new strategy into their endeavours this year.
In February the Westville SC was involved with an outreach program organized by the Ntombenhle Foundation, with the aim to shed light and provide career guidance for female learners in grades 9 – 12.
Along with Westville SC representing AWCA, there were representatives from UKZN, Post Office, the Women and Children Abuse awareness organisation Brave and Beautiful, and the Deputy Mayor of Umzimkhulu accompanied by various local councilors and members of the ANC Women’s League.
In an area where the education of females is not deemed as important as marrying the girls off at a young age, (also known as ukuthwala), the AWCA SC members tried our best to enlighten the young girls to not only pursue Chartered Accountancy but any other profession that they desired, especially in male dominated fields such as engineering and information technology.
The learners felt inspired by the end of the program, and they expressed that they were now keen to research further about different professional fields.
Some of the UKZN AWCA’s plans for the rest of this year include hosting an “Enhancing Professional Soft Skills” workshop in collaboration with some well-known industry leaders, to unpack the most important aspects of the working environment such as professional conduct and interview success.
In order to assist students in exam readiness, the SC will also host a series of revision classes where students have an opportunity to put what they have learned during the semester, into practice.
AWCA RHODES UNIVERSITY
The AWCA Rhodes SC, with approximately 43 registered members, has held five events thus far in 2016, the first of which was an Extravaganza during O-week, aimed at informing and recruiting first year students. The SC members were also able to further promote AWCA via a Rhodes Music Radio interview. Shortly after, a signup event was held, which proved very successful, with more new signups than the previous year.
The AWCA RU Meet and Greet was aimed at creating an increased social media following and introducing the committee members and their respective portfolios to new members, as well as briefing them on future AWCA plans and events. The event also served to allow members and the committee to begin establishing a more personal rapport. A separate, fun gym session event was another way that the committee created awareness around the organization.
As an unfortunate result of the much-publicized academic shutdown earlier in the year, the SC was unable to host the Roundtable discussion they had planned with Black Management Forum and Enactus. Also impacted were community engagement project plans.
The second semester will see the organization hosting a Power Tea event as well as a Day Outing in August, and a Gala Dinner in September.
Chairperson: Zizipho Magula
Vice- Chairperson: Tebogo Molatlhegi
Treasurer: Lilithia Khowa
Community Engagement: Nhlokomo Mhlophe
Secreteary: Neliswa Mayisela
AWCA UNIVERSITY OF LIMPOPO
The UL AWCA Student Chapter members have also been hard-working this year, kicking off with a recruiting campaign in February. They exceeded their target of 100 new recruits by successfully enlisting 112 new affiliates. The AWCA Opening Function that followed to inform new members was well attended, with a highlight being a dialogue with core guest speaker Ms. MJ Seanego CA (SA), who shared her experience and journey to becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant. She brought across new determination for all with her words: “Rather the pain of discipline than that of failure.”
The UL AWCA faced some financial difficulty at the start of this year, but overcame this by networking at an award ceremony for students, hosted in April by the UL School of Accounting in collaboration with the Auditor-General of South Africa, Thembekile Kimi Makwetu. After the event they submitted a proposal for funding to the AGSA, which was accepted. The UL Student Chapter subsequently received much-needed funding of R47’000. The members also held a car-wash event on 22 April at the university, with the aim of easing their financial situation.
The organisation’s Leadership Induction on the 11th June, has so far been an astonishing highlight. The induction was presented in the form of a camp at Magoebaskloof Adventures Canopy Tour, and covered team building through activities, as well as raising the awareness of leadership qualities and informing members of the expectations of the corporate world. Effective communication was the overwhelming theme of the camp, and all attending were satisfied with the knowledge and skills received.
Some of the planned activities for the rest of the year include Community Outreach, Leadership Debate, Take a Student to Work day, AGM and a Closing Function incorporating an awards gala dinner.
AWCA UL EXECUTIVE MEMBERS:
M Maserame (Chairperson) MA Kanyane (Vice-Chairperson)
S Debeila (Secretary) B Miya (Public Relations)
T Mafologela (Treasurer) CM Okpe (Marketing Director)
M Ravhudzulo (Community Engagement)
It is clear, by the activities and planned endeavors described above, that our future leaders are not waiting for graduation before beginning to change the world for the better. We at AWCA salute your energy and generous spirit, our young women leaders!