In celebration of Youth Month, we at JIDEKA decided to recognise and celebrate youths making a difference through their work and talents in organising impactful social communities. We caught up Lindelwa Skenjana and Lilitha Mahlati from Mbewu Movement, where they share their passion for social change.
Please introduce yourself, and tell us briefly what is and how Mbewu movement became?
Lindelwa Skenjana: Mbewu came about with another co-founder (Magcino) and I feeling and believing as young, black women in SA, we need to do more and give back to our community. We reached out to a few friends who were like-minded and that is how the organisation was born.
Lilitha Mahlati: I am an investment banker and a co-founder of Mbewu Movement, a women empowerment organisation that has been around for a few years aimed at empowering young African women through various media.
On your website, one of your long term goals is to feed other women with the knowledge you have acquired from thoughtful leaders and women you admire, how do you intend to do this? And how can young women be aware of these opportunities you are creating?
Well not "feed" but to be the intergenerational umbilical chord. South Africa has such powerful women in politics, business, the arts-we host masterclasses and events, where the female industry pioneers present and give a talk to our Mbewu Movement community. We rely mainly on our online platforms for creating awareness about our movement, our website: https://mbewumovement.com, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and the traditional word of mouth.
What are the core services you offer? And how can others feel a part of the community?
We offer innovative solutions aimed at empowering African women with the aim of achieving their authentic self. We offer thought leadership via content on the blog, masterclasses, networking & mentoring opportunities.
It is common knowledge that how you look influences people’s perceptions about you. What advice do you give young women on fashion and dressing the part in business?
Lindelwa Skenjana: I always thought looks didn't matter as long as you look neat, I have been proven wrong over the years in corporate...people judge you by how you are dressed before you even say anything. It is important for any ambitious, driven person to look the part of an ambitious, driven person in business.
Lilitha Mahlati: I believe that we need to take another look at our influences in terms of dressing in today's world as young African women. Especially in the business realm, we are seeing trends that are moving away from the typical western corporate wear, and we are starting to incorporate our own identity in our everyday dress sense, which I think is phenomenal. So my advice is stay true to how you feel you want to express yourself and breakaway from norms that don't necessarily speak to who you are.
Obviously you are dressed in JIDEKA, how does JIDEKA makes you feel? And going through our ecommerce offerings, what are your favourite items?
Lindelwa Skenjana: Being in the JIDEKA range made me feel amazing, confident and free. The item fit perfectly and I could continue being myself comfortably. The anaaga coat is stunning, Bree flared dress and Simi dress.
Lilitha Mahlati: The JIDEKA collection is amazing! I identify so well with the brand and the pieces on offer and my outfit made me feel strong, feminine and vibrant. I will definitely be looking out for more pieces to add to my collection like the Culottes, the Alor Skirt and Top.
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