Why Heritage Day Is Important To The South African Nation
Heritage Day or Braai Day as it has colloquially become known, is celebrated on the 24th of September. South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their cultural traditions and beliefs and the rich diversity that makes us proudly South African.
The day was declared a holiday during the late former president Nelson Mandela’s tenure.
Heritage day should not be seen as a mere holiday and a day off, it should be an opportunity to embrace your cultural values and traditions.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu became the national spokesperson for National Braai Day in 2007 and the name was changed to Braai4Heritage.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “We’re going to have this wonderful thing on the 24th of this month when we all gather round one fire. It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam [‘we do this thing together’]… just South Africans doing one thing together, and recognizing that we are a fantastic nation.”
Archbishop Emeritus Tutu thought that the idea of using the braai to unite people was a very good one as it is common for people from various cultures in South Africa to gather together around a fire to celebrate.
Why is Heritage Day Important?
It is important for all South Africans to celebrate our culture and heritage against the background of our unique diversity. In so doing, we build pride in ourselves and our nation as we remember the difficulties of the past and share in the victories of the present and raise hope for the future.
South African Culture
South Africa has been legendarily referred to as the rainbow nation because it is made up of so many diverse cultures and religions. To name but a few in South Africa, we have:
All of these people are united by calling South Africa their home and has their own unique culture and identity.
Interesting Heritage Facts
South Africa has eight places declared as World Heritage Sites, these are:
- The iSimangaliso Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park
- The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
- Robben Island
- The Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs
- The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
- Vredefort Dome
- The Cape Floral Region
- The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
The purpose of Heritage Day is to expose people to the differences, to enable us to understand, respect and appreciate other cultures. There are positive things in every culture. If we can adopt or even just accept what is good in other cultures, we will grow as individuals and contribute to a more unified South Africa.
South Africa has its ups and its downs but one thing is always certain. When needed our rainbow nation comes together as a force to be reckoned with. Happy Heritage Day, South Africa.
What Makes Women Better Virtual Assistants?
I am woman, hear me roar! It is Women’s Month in South Africa and we are celebrating all women in all shapes and forms and saying – YES! You are strong. You are capable. You are loved. You are part of a tribe that cannot be broken.
The date, 9 August is the day we celebrate Women’s Day here in South Africa, and it is not to be confused with the International Women’s Day which takes place globally in March. This date, 9 August, is significant to us as a nation due to the fact that a plethora of women, regardless of age and race, stood together and marched to the Union Buildings declaring the need for the abolishment of passes which women needed to have to move around freely – I mean really now – how was this even a thing at all??
But anyway, due that movement and the amazing women who stood together then – and for those who stand together today and shall stand together (hopefully) going forward, women have being liberated and are free to go wherever they want. Do whatever they want (within reason of course …..hehehe). Our daughters can choose to be ballerinas or they can choose to be astronauts or rally car drivers. The sky is the limit!
So – what does this have to do with women being better virtual assistants? Well isn’t it obvious??
Let’s break it down….
MEN ARE GREAT, BUT WE ARE BETTER
Okay, so I adore my husband to no end, and men in general are pretty great to have around, right? So I am not saying they are not up to the challenge of being a Virtual Assistant – not at all – but the likelihood is that a women will always be better at this particular job than a man.
Well simply put, women are fierce and can take on anything that comes their way. We are daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, friends and, in this instance, virtual assistants – that is a whole lot of hats to wear – and we wear them all almost every day.
The ability to wear those hats and juggle, what seems like, a million and one things daily is the art of MULTITASKING. Now I do not know about you, but in my house “male” does not equate to “multitasker”. I can pretty much be reading an email, putting food on the stove, preparing some juice for the kids and possibly even be filling the sink to do dishes – all at the same time – and not miss a beat. Hubby cannot even talk and do the dishes at the same time (bless his socks!)
As a virtual assistant, multitasking comes with the territory a lot of the time. So that is reason number 1.
How about TIME MANAGEMENT? Yep, you guessed it, again women are generally better at this too. (I say generally because it is not always the case, but it is more probable for a women to have better time management skills than men.)
Being on time is not always a thing for men but women tend to always have schedules and routines and although this can maybe cause a bit of stress, the end result of being organized and focused and things falling into place because of it will be worth it.
Time management is an important, in fact incredibly important skill to have when working as a virtual assistant.
Now scientists also did studies on what differentiates men and women (besides the obvious!) and came up with things like a women’s ability to recall things better, better memory. A woman can recall if things have changed or being moved in certain spaces they frequent as they tend to use landmarks a lot in every day life. Men are generally more about the route to the goal and how to get there and whatever is along the way kind of falls by the wayside (eg women shopping vs men shopping)
They also discovered that females tend to work with and recall numbers and lists better than a male would and things like putting pegs into a peg board was more meticulously done by females.
This brings me to the last, but certainly not least, skill that a woman has, giving her an advantage in the VA world – ATTENTION TO DETAIL.
Attention to detail is key when you work as a virtual assistant because most times you would have more than one client, more than one task on the go and missing details could be to the detriment of the client, and ultimately you too.
Being able to analyse and figure out things, looking for and scanning the finer details, these are things that women do better and that is probably also due to the PATIENCE LEVEL of a woman, versus a man.
I think it is also important to note that PASSION is another element that plays an important role in being a virtual assistant – not to say men do not have passion, but for a woman working as a VA is usually a choice made so that she can stay home with the kids and therefore having a passion for what she does means that she will do it well and be able to continue her journey and therefore also set a fantastic example for her kids – using her passion for them and for the work that she does.
Wow, that is a whole lot of words right there about how amazing women are – so I think it is only fair to also mention here at the end that MEN are pretty darn special too and hopefully most of us ladies that work from home and are trying to win at this remote lifestyle have an incredible dude standing beside us egging us on. Someone to lean on at the end of a treacherous day of technical failures or failures of other kinds – providing a good shoulder rub and topping up the wine glass!
Again I will end by saying – I am woman, hear me roar! Go out and have a stupendous Women’s Month – hey make it Women’s Year!
8 Reasons Why Women Make Great Leaders
A great leader can, of course, be male or female and gender shouldn’t be a factor in a person’s leadership abilities. However, women don’t tend to be encouraged to take on leadership roles as often as their male counterparts which have caused an imbalance of power. Despite this, women continue to take the lead across the world whether in politics or in corporate boardrooms. We take a look at some of the many reasons women make great leaders
They are empathetic
Women value relationships and are naturally empathetic which enables them to understand what motivates their colleagues and employees. They develop a good understanding of individuals and their personal requirements which makes them effective leaders.
They value work-life balance
Women are able to balance professional and personal leadership skills and are more approachable with personal or sensitive requests. They have a good understanding of work-life balance and how it affects team motivation and productivity.
They can effectively multitask
Being good multitaskers enables women to respond quickly to several tasks and problems at the same time. This makes women leaders extremely efficient.
They have good communication skills
Communication is a skill that women excel at and women in leadership know how to use it to get things done efficiently. Whether communicating with employers, partners or co-workers, having good communication skills means clarity in executing roles and responsibilities.
They make great listeners
As well as being able to communicate well, women also listen well and tend to take the time to listen before they react and make a decision.
They cope well with crisis situations
Many women have gained experience from their home life that means they know how to handle crisis situations calmly and with compassion and patience. This skill can be invaluable in the workplace when handling HR or PR issues in particular.
They are flexible
Women are good at adapting to situations and changing the course of action as required.
They value teamwork
A female working environment tends to be less authoritarian and more co-operative especially with a woman at the lead. Women can make bold, decisive decisions whilst relying on and trusting others in a team to play their part.
In summary, these are just a few of the reasons why women make great leaders. Women have proved again and again just how strong they can be when called up to lead.
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
7 Reasons why it is good for a women to be her own boss
Internationally and in South Africa, every year we celebrate the amazing achievements of women and the progress we have made towards gender equality. Women everywhere are recognised for their leadership, particularly in business. Of course not everyone can be “Woman of the Year” but every women who is her own boss is a leader.
This year, the United Nations encourages women to innovate, think equal and build smart. Here is what the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, aims for:
“Let’s make sure women and girls can shape the policies, services and infrastructure that impact all our lives. And let’s support women and girls who are breaking down barriers to create a better world for everyone (https://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/)”.
With encouragement like this, women are finding the freedom to be their own boss all over the world and embrace these ideals. They empower themselves and are am example to other women and girls and free themselves to achieve.
But it’s easy to overlook this freedom if you only focus on the bottom line when running a business.
Free to choose!
Whether you are single, a wife or a mother, you can choose how your time is spent for a balanced life. It doesn’t matter when, how long, or where you are working as long as you deliver. You are in control You choose how to meet the challenges of running your business because the responsibility begins and ends with you.
Free to grow as a person!
As your own boss, you go from strength to strength by not relying on the approval of a boss. You measure your success by what you achieve. When things go right no one else takes the credit, you are the one who becomes more and more confident by being the boss.
Free to learn!
You learn every day that you manage your life, whether you realise this or not. You can devote that little bit of extra time to learn how to improve whatever aspect of your life and work, whether it is related to running a business or not.
Free to earn!
There is no ceiling on your earning capacity nor that of your employees. Unlike being employed at a set salary, when you have your own business there is no waiting and hoping for a tiny increase in your salary.
Free to create!
You don’t have to be the creative type to find better ways to do business, or how to make everyone’s work fun and rewarding. As an entrepreneur you must and will innovate to solve problems, use new technologies, improve your service and create new products.
Free to give back!
When you hire staff you help fulfill their own hopes and dreams. This is a perfect opportunity to create an amazing job and work environment for yourself and for others. You are giving back to others as well as growing the economy.
Free to celebrate!
This year Women’s Day in South Africa focuses on focuses on celebrating the strength, beauty and love of all South African women. As your own boss you are free to love what you do, and do the work you love.
You can be very, very proud of yourself and everything you do and celebrate your strength and entrepreneurial spirit, not only on women’s day but every day of the year.
Get Your Goals Done With this Mid-Year Check-In
Goal setting is essential to living a life with purpose and meaning. Goals give our lives direction and focus, and help us stay motivated.
Nearly everything in life revolves around goals, they encompass all of our plans for the future, all of our hopes, dreams and visions for what we want in life. And yet we often fail to reach our goals. That’s because we’re all human and can be easily distracted.
Avoid the Mid-Year Slump
Maybe you’ve been powering through and are making great progress toward your goals. If so, that’s great! Take a look back and enjoy seeing what you’ve accomplished. At this point, the danger is letting complacency set in. You want to keep moving forward and avoid that mid-year slump that can derail your progress for the remaining half of the year.
Check In to Reach Your Goals
Checking in on your goals might show you progress you didn’t know you’d made, that’s always encouraging. Checking in can also give you some insight about how you need to change your goals.
How to Check In
Go back to your goal list (if you’re pursuing more than one) or your goal description.
Ask yourself, where did I start? Where am I now? The point is not to berate yourself, it’s to accurately assess your rate of progress, the obstacles encountered, and to determine how you can keep going and even improve for the rest of the year.
Set some markers for progress, one every two to four weeks, and check in when you reach each marker. A little at a time adds up to a lot, and you’ve got five more months in this year to get things done.
Evaluating your progress is like drawing up a roadmap for the year. You can’t get back on track if you don’t even know where the track is or if it leads to where you want to go.
Have you ever set a goal at the beginning of the year only to realize you don’t care about it just a few months later?
That’s why evaluating your progress isn’t just about making sure you’re working hard on your goals, it’s about making sure your goals still work for you.
Ask yourself why you want to accomplish each goal. If you don’t have a good enough answer, it’s time to say goodbye.
- What are my achievements?
- What are my struggles?
- What is the next step?
Using these three questions to work your way through your goals for the rest of the year, really gives you the opportunity for a reset. I urge you to physically write the answers to these questions down, and not just think of the answers, you will find if you can be honest with yourself and write out your struggles, you will be more likely to pinpoint the steps needed to achieve your goals.
It is important to not get defeated at this point. If there is a goal on your list that you haven’t even began to work towards, don’t put yourself down for it. Break the goal down into smaller, tangible goals. Try to give yourself the grace you would give to someone else.
It is never too late to start again. Trust where you are in your journey and be honest with yourself and you will find a way to reach your goals.