Empowa Women 2023 leadership summit

On this exciting edition of Carob Magazine Africa, we talk to empowerment champion, CEO and founder of Empowaworx Simphiwe Masiza. We talk to him about life, business and their biggest upcoming women’s event, Empowa women leadership summit 2023.

Carob Magazine Africa: Who is Simphiwe Masiza? Where were you born and who/what shaped the person that you are today?

Simphiwe: I was born in the Eastern Cape in Pedi, a quiet town better known as Ngqushwa, 72 kilometers away from Grahamstown. From there, I moved with my mom to Mshenguville in Johannesburg. My hustling skills were honed in the streets of Mshenguville, and later Orange Farm. I used to shoot dice and was given the nickname, number Knox man. At some point, I was the captain of a soccer team I used to play for, something that people that know me find surprising as most can’t imagine me playing football. As the child of a single mom that worked extremely hard to keep her household together, I discovered I had a knack for entrepreneurship and came up with many schemes to bring in additional income to help my mother.

Carob Magazine Africa: Has Empowerment always been your mission when you founded your company Empowaworx?

Simphiwe: I was privileged to be given many chances in my life and while I had the sense to take them, I know that just one piece of motivation or inspiration and a helping hand can make all the difference. So, yes, empowering others has always been a passion. As a young man I heard Dr David Molapo speak and he inspired me – not just by his words but also the fact that he was a motivational speaker in a world where there weren’t any black motivational speakers.

Carob Magazine Africa: Take us through the journey of starting Empowayouth week, I read somewhere that you initially started with a hundred people…what would you attribute the growth of this beautiful initiative to?

Simphiwe: It was a few more than that – but it began as a 1 day-long job summit in Orange Farm. I wanted to have an impact on the young people there – to give them a sense that they mattered enough for people that had seen success to take the time to have an input into their lives, and to give them hope. This desire hasn’t changed. EmpowaYouth grew from there – we held the job summit days for five years and then in 2020, we upped the game completely by opening it up to more young people and bringing even more speakers and companies on board to offer the youth real and relevant opportunities. Because we were still in a level of lockdown due to COVID-19, we could only have limited people present in person, so we streamed it all online, giving more youth the opportunity to experience it all. I’m always ambitious and each year we make sure it’s bigger. This year, we hosted 20,000 youth in Orange Farm and the event was incredible. Seeing the hunger on those faces and feeling their desire to be viable contributors to society is incredibly heart-warming. We’ve been able to activate EmpowaYouth in KZN, Limpopo, North West as well, and will still this year be going to Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape.

Carob Magazine Africa: In August you will be hosting one of the biggest Women Empowerment events in SA, please tell us what is in store for women in terms of business and career opportunities?

Simphiwe: We’ve been hosting EmpowaWomen Summits for over five years now, but within specific industry sectors. This year we plan on bringing those sectors together in one place. The premise is based on the fact that in a world where certain industries continue to be dominated by men, there arises an urgent need for a transformative and motivating platform dedicated to empowering women leaders. The underrepresentation of women in key sectors not only hinders progress towards gender equality but also deprives these industries of the diverse perspectives and innovative ideas that women bring.

By addressing the specific challenges faced by women in industries such as transport, mining, health and wellness, communication marketing and advertising, agriculture, media, finance and entrepreneurship, the EmpowaWomen Leadership Summit seeks to foster a collective determination towards creating a more inclusive and equitable future. In short, The EmpowaWomen Leadership Summit aims to break barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and inspire change by providing a space for women leaders to connect, learn, and amplify their voices.

Through our forward-thinking approach, the Empowawomen Summit will be the catalyst that propels women leaders towards unprecedented success and fuel a positive and transformative shift in traditionally male-dominated industries. Focusing on women in leadership positions and those aspiring to lead within typically male-dominated industries, the Summit will attract 1,500 women from around the country that desire to be part of fundamentally transforming leadership in South Africa.

The Summit will be a one-day event filled with talks, masterclasses and panel discussions, at The Forum in Bryanston.

Beginning at the Main Stage, where an opening address and a panel discussion will kick-start the day, delegates will then break away into smaller stages that will focus on 12 different industry sectors, including those that are typically male dominated.

To purchase ticket please click HERE

Carob Magazine Africa: What is your dream for the youth of Africa? What sort of transformation would you like to see happening regarding the youth in Africa as a whole?

Simphiwe: My dream is that they are given hope through tangible, real and relevant opportunities. Our youth just want to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to their communities and society. We know that the youth are our hope for the future, but if they have no hope, what chance does our country have? I want to be able to have EmpowaYouth in every province, ensuring a consistent roll-out of our platform so that the youth know where to go for advice, inspiration, real opportunities and are able to forge a future that fits with their desires, passions and skillsets.

Carob Magazine Africa: Pitcher at the Fountain of Wisdom is the holy grail of Wisdom and Intelligence, what inspired this book?

Simphiwe: We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and I’ve been inspired by so many people in my life – I love listening to the wisdom of others and always manage to get something from a quote or an excerpt. There’s a lot of wisdom in this word and it’s important to harness that wisdom for yourself and to learn lessons from those that are forging a new way in the world. The book began as a collection of my favorite quotes, and then I comment on each quote, outlining what lessons it has taught me.

Carob Magazine Africa: Bonang Mohale describes you as one of the most excellent Black leaders of our time, what is your philosophy in life?

Simphiwe: That’s a great compliment! Excellence is the key word here – I believe in doing everything to the very best, and beyond; and I push my team to do the same. There is no excuse for doing something half-heartedly. If you are going to do it, do it right. My philosophy centers around bringing out the very best in people and enabling them to do the same for me. I want everyone to succeed and when my team performs with excellence, not only do they feel great about their achievements, I also succeed and it enables us to move forward to do even bigger and better things.

Carob Magazine Africa: Please tell us about Social Investment projects that you are involved in.

Simphiwe: Empowaworx is a company that believes in working towards a cohesive and transformed society. That’s why we have our signature events within the whole eco-system. We have EmpowaMen, EmpowaWomen, EmpowaYouth and EmpowaEntrepreneurs.

Launched in 2019, EmpowaMen has become an important platform for men to share and confront the issues they face in today’s world – from ‘men are trash’ to perfection pressure. By talking about it relentlessly, we can unravel complexities, challenge stereotypes, and pave the way for men to embrace a holistic masculinity that meets the demands of the 21st century and contributes to a truly egalitarian society.

EmpowaWomen encompasses informative sessions that unlock new possibilities. Celebrate Africanness, embrace diversity. Feed the imagination, dream big. Showcase mastery, inspire excellence. Ignite passion, foster growth, drive change.

EmpowaYouth brings opportunities closer to youth and supports their desire to improve their socio-economic conditions by driving collaboration and participation from relevant business sectors to ensure a more inclusive economy, specifically in peri-urban and rural areas.

EmpowaEntrepreneurs meet entrepreneurs where they are along their journey, bringing inspiration and practical advice and mentorship on how to effectively run a business and thrive. We match entrepreneurs with funding agencies and ensure that they are given all the tools they need to be successful.

Carob Magazine Africa: What Inspires you to keep doing work that is aimed at empowering everyone around you?

Simphiwe: Our success stories are incredibly inspiring for me and my whole team. When we have activated one of our event properties and we see the influx of gratitude and changes lives, it’s incredibly motivating. We do it because we are making a big difference in people’s lives. We are changing lives in a fundamental way.

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1 year ago

Very Humbled and Kind,siyabonga bab’Masiza🙏

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