How to build a woman

The event was initially meant to accommodate 50 guests, but by the morning of the occasion, numbers had almost tripled.

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The Bulletin Newspaper

Buildawoman held the second part of its second annual event for women’s empowerment on Saturday 14 April in eMbalenhle.
Exceeding all expectations, the Baptist Extension Church hosted a crowd of 140 guests, who were from areas surrounding eMbalenhle, as well as Polokwane, Midrand, Pretoria and Katlehong. Founder of Buildawoman, Forgy Mokalapa, was overwhelmed by the support that she received. The event was initially meant to accommodate 50 guests, but by the morning of the occasion, numbers had almost tripled.
“I never planned to host events,” Mokalapa said, reflecting on the past three years of Buildawoman’s growth. The idea came about when she took a gap year after completing matric in 2014. She spent some of her time visiting schools in eMbalenhle and giving hour-long motivational talks during some of the Life Orientation classes.
As the talks progressed and she engaged with the students, Mokalapa realised that there were so many personalities from so many different walks of life, and that each of them could benefit from hearing and relating to the stories of different individuals. “I thought to myself, the only story they hear is mine, which is something I don’t want,” she recalls. Thus, the first annual Buildawoman event was born in 2016, bringing together a fusion of young and mature ladies, who spoke of and listened to the lived experiences of one another.
“This year, we saw a lot of new faces. I was so humbled to see that women who were much older than me saw the value of this event and felt that they could gain something from attending,” Mokalapa said.
With Buildawoman taking off, Mokalapa has big plans for its future. She aims to launch small group meetings in the respective areas where her guests come from, called ‘Mastermind Groups’. The intent is to create a safe and supportive space where women can empower each other in self-esteem, spirituality, relationships and career goals. “We want women to share ideas and dreams while also motivating each other,” Mokalapa said. She also plans on taking the same event that was held in eMbalenhle to other cities and towns where women have shown an interest, beginning with Polokwane.
Mokalapa said that although she is elated with the support that the movement is receiving, the point is not to gain numbers, but rather to gain growth. “We want to increase the quality of women who attend Buildawoman, not just the quantity,” she said. – Rorisang Rathebe

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