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GLAMOUR Women’s Month Series: Sam Gqomo

The GLAMOUR Women’s Month Series is an ode to women who are following the beat of their drum and doing it successfully and Sam Gqomo is that dynamic woman.

“I just learnt of an awesome word that sums me up – multipotentialite. Simply put, someone with many interests and creative pursuits. I am a Chartered Public Relations and Communications Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in various industries.’’ she says.

Sam is skilled in Corporate Communications, Digital and Social Media, Event and Project Management, Marketing & Media Relations, Public Speaking, and Social Responsibility. She has branched off to Social Entrepreneurship but also actively consults in the PR space.

Sam founded Womandla, ’a non-profit company that shapes the mind of the African Girl/Woman. The general objective of Womandla is to celebrate and empower women in Africa and around the globe. Womandla collaborates with other organizations to promote social innovation, public education, community enrichment and transformation. They are committed to providing sustainable, relevant programmes in all spheres within the technologies, media, skills development, mentorship, and every sector based to empower young girls to live out their destiny.’

In an honest GLAMOUR Women’s Month series interview, we got to speak to Sam about patriarchy, Black Lives Matter, gender-based violence, feminism and much more.

Which woman has positively impacted you in your career/business? And what is the one lesson she taught you?

Khanyi Dhlomo and Oprah Winfrey. They both have had amazing careers in the Media industry and have a shared passion for making positive social impact. I share the same values with them.

What are the three words that spring to mind when you hear Women's Day/Month?

WOMANDLA! Conversations and Empowerment

To you, what is the most beautiful thing about being a woman?

Our altruism. Women are givers, and that’s really a blessing.

In your industry or in general, have you seen any more movement to gender equality in the workplace?

This is my duty, purpose and role as the Director of a Women’s Organization, to promote it, live it and support other women in all endeavors. In my role as a PR specialist, I tend to outsource to women or work with many organizations with women at the helm. This has come with intentionality and hasn’t always been the case in industry.

As a woman who looks to inspire young girls that look like you what are some of the measures you think should be put in place to assure young girls have an equal say in society?

We need resources. We need funding, platforms and positions that allow us to influence decisions.

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With Black Lives Matter being at the forefront and black people calling out racism and transformation. What do you think we can teach the next generation about inclusion and representation?

We need to teach the next generation about the “wiped out” history and origins of black people, our skills and innovations that existed before colonization. Knowing where one comes from, reignites identity, PRIDE and self-worth.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) especially women and children abuse has been prevalent in the country for a very long time and there have been various initiatives that speak to this but the scourge of abuse still continues at a large scale, what would you advise as a solution going forward? And who should be involved?

Necessary amendments to laws and policies, in order to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are brought to book. We also need to see a substantial additional funding to be made available for a comprehensive package of interventions to make an immediate and lasting difference. – especially for us as an organization. The President is to implement decisions of the Presidential Summit on Gender-based Violence and Femicide. The presidency and relevant departments should implement the National Strategic Plan on GBV. The aforementioned are to also ensure the implementation of the GBV Emergency Action Plan, which was implemented by the Interim Steering Committee located in the Presidency and co-chaired by government and civil society organizations –such as the Womandla Foundation.

What does women’s month mean to you and what would you like to be done to push or commemorate this month?

Women’s month means –FESTIVAL to me! Truly a celebration and recognition of so many great things that women achieve that now get more airtime than usual. Truly there should be a women’s focus and segment on every major webinar, event, newsroom and otherwise going forward.

As a modern African woman, who is a powerhouse in her own right, how do you manoeuvre the African expectations for what Africa believes a woman should be, particularly in countries that are rooted in patriarchy like ours?

I DON’T! LOL! I’m so cosmopolitan and modern it’s embarrassing! If men don’t feel bad about not cooking, cooking etc – why should I? Gender roles are archaic and unprogressive.

What are some of the great possibilities about being a woman in the world right now, that may not be easy to see but you feel women should take full advantage of without being ashamed or afraid?

Such a great question! We literally have EVERYTHING at our disposal. We can create great ecosystems and coalitions as women and support each other UP. Take full advantage of being relational, available and powerful. Own your skills and abilities and fight for that pay check! You have a lot to offer.

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UmfazWephepha 🏔

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The imposter syndrome is something a lot of women confess to suffer from or have suffered from. Have you ever had to deal with it? What would you say to another woman reading this about not letting the syndrome run one’s life in anyway?

YES! If it wasn’t for the positive affirmations from my mother, sister and close friends, I would fall into that rabbit trail more often than I should. I am a perfectionist which means I tend to overdo, overthink and over exert myself. My advice to other women would be to other women to surround themselves with Cheerleaders and Critics for balance and good measure.

How has self-care contributed to the woman you are in all facets of your life? Why is self-care important, particularly for women, as most women are raised to believe that they have to put everyone else first before themselves?

Self-care is so important because it causes one to stop, reflect and recognise your hard work and reward yourself. Its practice has helped me be more intentional about my efforts, be disciplined and also to have fun! Self-care talks to the heart, soul and mind and these spheres should never be neglected. We are whole individuals and need to take care of every area that makes us.

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