The BAWR first anniversary celebrations were held at the Antoinette Hotel in Kingston, London on the 3rd of May 2014. Founded by Lindani Moyo Masuku, a businesswoman in her own right, the BAWR is fast growing and sending shock waves among women in the UK and around the world! The organisation aims to inspire and motivate women to reach their full potential and to realise their dreams.
In an orange flowing gown designed by Leah Africandesign, Lindani looked elegant, demure and poised as she took to the podium, while her two boys looked on with pride. As soon as I had wiped tears that had flooded my cheeks after listening to Whitney’s ‘I didn’t know my own strength’, Lindani welcomed her guests.
Lindani Masuku- founder and CEO of the BAWR Ltd.
‘The Black in the BAWR is not a racist connotation. It is about being proud and comfortable in your own skin,’ she said. Lindani urged the women in the room to network with one another, reminding each and every one of them that they were special and that they rocked!
The atmosphere in the room was electric to put it mildly. The women, who had travelled from all corners of the United Kingdom, were elegantly dressed in beautiful eclectic gowns, all made to flatter their varying figures. Confident and cheerful, the women displayed a spirit of solidarity, the message carried by the BAWR limited.
Gracious Duba from Derby, kick started the presentations by sharing her journey to success during which she dished out some inspiration to the women in the room. ‘As a woman it can be difficult to realise your dream but it’s how you perceive the challenge.’ She said. According to Gracious for women to succeed it is important to realise that we aren’t in a race, neither are we competing with one another, but are there to uplift each other towards greatness. She added that as women we can go far if we unite.
The event was garnished with a concoction of music, mostly of the African flavour. Among the men who had come to support the ‘rocking’ women, was the charismatic musician Lamont Chitepo from Wolverhampton, who ‘rocked’ the joint and had everyone swirling on their feet with his songs ‘mufaro, my year and what have you done.’
Lamont Chitepo ‘rocking’ the place
Another touching speech was given by Faith Okrafo-Smart who encouraged women to nurture their dreams. She said that it takes a woman who ‘rocks’ to make it as the journey can be quite tough. Faith quoted the words from William Ross Wallace’s famous poem ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.’ She also gave her own prescription of success which she dubbed the four Ds (discovery, dedication, determination, and diligence).
‘If you haven’t got your health, you have nothing.’ It has become a bit of a cliche but these famous words couldn’t have come at a better time when Dr Nkem, a London based GP, author and a woman of courage gave a health talk to women who had attended the event. She had had everyone inspired by her story of victory over cancer. Dr Nkem invited women to visualise themselves as conquerors in all areas of their lives especially their health because ‘an unhealthy woman cannot achieve anything’. Her message was simple-‘change your mind set. Because if you can see it, you can be it.’
Dr Nkem giving an inspirational health speech
Other speakers at the event included Leah, the designer who wowed the BAWR guests with her fabulous designs, Fikelephi Jackson, an author and founder of the charity Against All Odds who dished out a spiritual message as well as her three Ds of success which are Discover, Develop and Deploy. She said that as women we are knocked down so many times but with God on our side we can stand against all odds.
The BAWR ladies ‘rocking’ in solidarity
The founder of The Girl Child Network and winner of many awards, Muzvare Princess Betty Makoni, had everyone in fits of laughter with her speech antics and dance routines before she got down to business. In her speech she explored the acronym BAWR. ‘Black is the colour of authority, a symbol of power, the African woman is the most resilient of all, with the burden and pain we carry for the sake of the ones we love,’ she said. She added that the women were an endangered species and that the word rock represents endless worries and the ability to remain strong and firm despite being knocked down. Betty urged the women to reignite themselves, to form networks, and to say enough is enough to violence and abuse. ‘Don’t die before you die,’ she said.
Lindani gave a vote of thanks. And there was more music and cheer, followed by an auction and cutting of a cake.
When it had all been said and done one thing was clear. Lindani Masuku is a woman who rocks. Not only is she an inspiration to all, she has managed to unite women through her message of unity, reaching out and working together as one. She is also living proof that despite what anybody says about you, no one is born a failure and that despite challenges that come your way, you can still make it with hard work and focus.
‘Rocking’ with Miss Elegance
Lindani is a leader on the rise and something tells me this proud ‘black African’ woman will be ‘rocking’ the world for years to come!!
Congratulations to BAWR, Makorokoto, Amhlope!