IIG News

An ode to women

As Women’s month draws to close we would like to honour the women that walked before us and those who will walk in our footsteps one day. Some insights, advise and favourite quotes from your IIG president and council members.

Thabo Twalo – IIG President 

Why I want to #ShowUp for Women’s Month

I remember when I was applying to go to a new primary school. I had to take an entrance test to determine whether I should repeat Standard Three (Grade Five) or progress to Standard Four (Grade Six). I must not have performed well in the entrance exam because the school was insisting that I be placed in Standard Three.

My aunt immediately rejected the suggestion that her “talented” nephew should repeat a grade and instead insinuated that there must have been something wrong with the test. She was so adamant that the school eventually agreed that I should take another test. I did well enough that I was admitted to Standard Four.

This episode has stuck with me because it was the first time I was conscious of how the women in my life lifted me to heights I could not have scaled on my own. How they #ShowedUp for me.

Looking back now I see many such examples of women #ShowingUp throughout my life. Whether it is how my wife has supported my career or how an American woman decided to help pay for my varsity fees at a time when going back to school seemed like wishful thinking

I owe so much to so many women, who not only raised me but believed in me, it is only right that I also pay homage to them in this women’s month.

What makes their support particularly poignant is how it often came at the expense of their own progress. That seems to be the hallmark of women across the world.

As we celebrate women this month I am also reminded that at the height of the black liberation struggle the movement found an ally in the women’s liberation movement. Later the LBGTQ+ community would find common cause with this same group. In fact, many a marginalised community, from people living with disabilities to people living with HIV have found solace in this this group who have opened their arms despite their own unfinished struggle. I think it is time we all #ShowUp for women

Asiya Swaleh 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

Maya Angelou

Antonia Oakes

What does it take to be a leading lady in the 21st century?

I would describe it as being superwoman, juggling all the balls with grace and poise. Being a leading lady in this world means having a voice, standing strong in my convictions, the ability to influence a world that is still male-dominated, yet still being caring and empathetic. To never lose sight of the fact that we are all human and experience the same emotions and challenges on a daily basis.


Being one’s true authentic self. In whatever you do, allows people to trust you better. “Humanocracy” is a big one in the 21st century. Being a leading lady does not require you to change who you are. I firmly believe that showing up as Antonia is who I need to be..loving, caring, standing firm, not shy to speak my mind, being vulnerable, accepting defeat when necessary, being bold and strong to challenge and ask the difficult questions.


My observations of the “corporate” world is that people will strategically build relationships with people whom they believe will get them to the next level in their career or because they have an underlying agenda or intention. Unfortunately, this is the cut-throat world we have created in “corporate”. Some words which spring to mind when describing a female leader in the corporate world are resilience, tenacity, working hard, unfairness, keeping your head up and doing what’s best. My motto has always been doing things for the greater good.


Good intentions always trump underlying selfish gain. I decided to walk the path of learning how to unlearn certain things and take lessons from our GenZ and Millennials who are relentless in pursuing their passion and helping each other grow. Empowering and equipping people to excel is my mission. Mentoring other females who aspire to grow and lead in the 21st century is something I do through programs like IIG (Insurance Institute of Gauteng) Roots and Wings and in my personal circles.

Wilmien Prinsloo

To all the strong and empowered women, August is our National Woman’s month, where we celebrate women, our achievements, and also the important role we as women play in the South African society. My message to you: be great, be good and be comfortable in your own skin. Your purpose is to walk in your power and in your magic. The sky is the limit and who said we can’t be greater

Caryn Solomons   

“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish”

Michelle Obama