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Bonang Matheba: ‘There are no short cuts to success’

Media personality and businesswoman Bonang Matheba recently took part in the third annual Procter and Gamble (P&G) and UN Women “We See Equal” Gender Equality Summit, which was held virtually for the first time this year.

Under the theme “Unsaid and Undone”, the summit brought together leading voices on gender equality to challenge the current discourse and commit to the actions needed for progress.

The “Being Bonang” star delivered a powerful talk at the summit around ‘The Power of Your Voice’.

Using her experiences, she shared insights around leveraging your voice in the advertising and media space to reach millions of people, challenge rigid gender roles and empower both men and women.

“By achieving my own entrepreneurial goals, I hope to inspire others to further change and shape the industry.

“And by focusing on philanthropy, I hope to pave the way for more people to create opportunities for women,’’ says Queen B.

Below are some of Bonang’s key points she shared at summit.

I would like to see more women equipped with the right tools and knowledge to negotiate deals in the media space.

To see more women become media platform owners, rather than just content producers.

Those privileged to have a significant audience need to use their influence for good. ‘We can now reach millions with a single social media post. Let us be mindful of the narrative we put out there.’

We need diverse opinions to be able to excel in our watchdog role. To be fully representative of the country we live in.

In terms of diversity and gender parity, while we have made good progress. It is wonderful to see women, especially black women, taking ownership of their space.

Beyond being perceived as nurturers to our families – as important as this is – women are increasingly being portrayed as individuals with the capacity and talent to achieve.

At grassroots level, we must ensure all our children receive a good education that instils a strong sense of confidence. We need to actively encourage young women to see our industry as a viable career option.

We also need to introduce transformation programmes in media companies to afford more women the opportunity to be in positions of authority traditionally held by men.

Bonang also emphasised that young African women, especially, need to see that through hard work and education, it is possible to change one’s circumstances.

Her advice to young girls and women is that there are no short cuts.

To succeed you must be prepared to invest the time to equip yourself with the knowledge that enables you to become a master in your craft.


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