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MISA Woman of the Year 2017

Phumzile Sabela, Admin Clerk at Bidvest McCarthy Hino Mobeni

The MISA ladies in KwaZulu-Natal seem to have special qualities, as the MISA Woman of the Year trophy is making its way back to KwaZulu-Natal – for the fourth time!

Phumzile Sabela, Admin Clerk at Bidvest McCarthy Hino Mobeni, is the worthy winner of the prestigious 2017 MISA Woman of the Year title.

The 2017 winner hails from Umlazi and is actively involved in various community projects and impressed the judges with her enthusiasm, drive and compassion.

Disadvantaged background

She describes herself as a young woman from a very disadvantaged background.

"Growing up, I had the basics,"she says. "By that I mean I had school shoes. When I went to church, I wore those same shoes. I wanted to change my situation." Her mother earned R300 per month, yet still managed to ensure her children received schooling.

"I am grateful to my mother," says Phumzile. "Today, I am in control of my life. I don’t go to bed with an empty stomach and I am trying to uplift myself."

Quest for upliftment

In her quest for upliftment, Phumzile has not forgotten her community and is involved with an organisation called Icebonathando, a group of young people who are making a positive change in their community. Earlier this year, with the help of her Manager, Dave White, she also arranged a high tea for a group of 'gogos' in her community. "The grannies were traumatised because of crime and I wanted to treat them,” she says. She even arranged a social worker to council the ladies.

All the qualities

"Phumzile has all the qualities we were looking for in a potential Woman of the Year winner," says Ester de Beer, one of the MISA judges. "She is humble, caring and is the proverbial sunshine in the lives of others."

"She has so much potential and we have no doubt that she will make full use of the opportunities that her year as MISA Woman of the Year will present," adds fellow judge, Nalini Ballaram.

Meet our worthy MISA Woman of the Year Regional finalists

While there can only be one winner of the MISA Woman of the Year, our Regional finalists play an equally important role. We are proud to introduce the 2017 finalists.

Eastern Cape Region: Chantaal Poovan

Chantaal, a wife, mother and grandmother, is Service Admin Manager at Autohaus Monti, where she has worked for more than 27 years. Apart from being passionate about her job and her active involvement in various community projects, Chantaal lives, eats and breathes soccer.

She serves as Secretary for the Pride of India Football Club and says the game is her passion. “I love the game of soccer and I so enjoy watching the utter joy on the boys’ faces on match day.”

Chantaal is also a committee member of the Salem Baby Care Centre and is involved with fundraising projects for the centre, such as an annual High Tea and a Charity Ball.

Northern / Highveld Region: Boitumelo Mokoma

Glamorous Boitumelo is sales executive at Audi Centre Sandton and is studying towards her BCom degree in Supply Chain Management, which she hopes will open further career opportunities in future.

She is a founding member of the Fairy Godmother Foundation, which delivers much-needed sanitary wear to girls in townships in the North West Province, where Boitumelo grew up.

She would also like to become involved with the upliftment of women in prisons. "I would like to see programmes developed that would help women to emerge from incarceration as individuals who have really changed their ways," she says.

Boitumelo describes herself as an optimist and says she is good at finding solutions to problems and copes well when the going gets tough. She also loves a challenge.

Western Cape Province: Rashida Harris

Rashida is a Warranty Clerk at AMH’s Tokai Multifranchise dealership, and has a passion for tutoring and helping children. She is a netball coach and plans to start tutoring learners part-time.

"I have already started buying the necessary books and a laptop and a printer to gear myself up for tutoring," she says.

She believes that women still need to work harder to prove themselves in the workplace. “As a woman I continually have to prove my worth and I always go the extra mile to ensure that my customers are satisfied and that there are no comebacks,” she says.

Being respected by her male counterparts and receiving acknowledgement for doing a good job are also important to Rashida