Illuminating the importance of authenticity

Take part in an essential discussion around the importance of gender equality and ‘The Power of Authenticity’ with a host of top South African influencers at Illumi.Nation powered by Strawberry Lips.

Designed to be an evening of inspirational conversations fused with fun activations such as spot prize wins, video booths and more; Illumi.Nation will kick off proceedings with well-known sports presenter and journalist, Sibongile Mafu as master of ceremony; and will then move on to the all-important panel discussion with Lelemba Phiri, Palesa Mobukung, Dave Duarte and Carl Wastie as they share their stories of how authenticity helped them achieve success in their careers and personal lives.

Palesa Mobukung was recently announced as the first African designer to collaborate with retail giant H&M. Mobukung is looking forward to the discussion as she feels that these events are important in the context of South Africa. “Girls need role models that they can identify with, who have lived in the climate they do and can check in on them on all levels. They are impressionable. These events are an opportunity to help young women and make a positive impact – we all want to raise strong and confident girls”, she says.

Popular media personality and the host of Kfm’s Flash Drive, Carl Wastie comments, “I believe that any event that brings about dialogue on gender issues and aims to create a solutions-based approach is vital for the country. We need to have more open conversations and invite different narratives to the discussion to get a full picture of the situation. I would like to see absolute equality in the home, the community and the workplace”.

As one of only two male panellists Wastie will offer a snapshot of his life as a man in modern society. He says, “I’ll be talking about rising above the stereotypes ingrained in society and focussing on actions to better the world. Gender equality and motivating for young women to see themselves as an asset in any field of life is a conversation for everyone. It is everybody’s responsibility to advocate for social change, to spotlight areas of improvement and work together to find solutions”.

Dave Duarte echoes these thoughts, “I think we need to have tough conversations about behaviour change, and the specific things that people can DO to end patriarchy and bring about a more inclusive culture. Too many men see gender equality as a women’s issue, or that it is simply about achieving gender parity in hiring, when it’s actually cultural. It’s a conversation that needs to keep happening and that we all need to be involved with if we’re going to make change”.

Duarte is an educator and speaker on digital age leadership and social marketing. He notes, “We need ways to be inspired, to find causes to be hopeful about, and ways to connect with each other. Undoing patriarchal systems and blazing a new, more inclusive way forward is a win-win for everyone”. As a man of marketing, Duarte will also touch on communication and what it means to build an authentic personal brand.

Hosted by two local brands that are intent on making a difference; Illumi.Nation and Strawberry Lips are bringing together a group of young people and insightful facilitators to participate, share and reflect on the future generations of strong and empowered South African women.

For more information visit Illumi.Nation on and Strawberry Lips on

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