The night of 25th March 2021 will indeed be remembered for many reasons, the first being that the IIG made history by hosting its very first Presidential Inaugural ceremony virtually with a record attendance of almost 600 people who signed in online to help us celebrate.
Based on lockdown limiting indoor events, a digital inauguration was more appropriate, where the ceremony itself was an intimate dinner within the filming studio that was attended in person by all Council members whilst maintaining and being mindful of all social distancing and sanitary protocols.
Our master of ceremonies was none other than Santam’s very own dashing and hugely popular Letlhogonolo Tau, who continued to dazzle everyone throughout the evening with his charm and eloquence. It was also quite fitting that Tau should host, as he is also a close friend and former colleague of our incoming President.
The ceremony was opened with a prayer recited by Council Member, Jabulile Mtimkulu who currently represents the Impact & Transformation Portfolio. IIG’s current President elected over 2020, Darryl Grater, was then welcomed onto stage. Darryl took us through the journey of the IIG during an unprecedented time where the world itself was plunged into uncertainty and potential disaster whilst trying to navigate its way through the Covid-19 pandemic. Through its sheer tenacity and a formidable team who volunteers tirelessly to ensure that the insurance industry remains relevant and informed through educational programmes and legislative updates, the IIG was able to shine a light through these dark times and often provide comfort to those seeking a light and hope at the end of the tunnel.
Education played a huge role during 2020 and with so many people working from home and in confinement, our IIG Insights webinars broke several records in terms of attendance and interest raised. We were also able to secure national and international expert speakers as the virtual webinars provided a far broader platform. It then seemed quite fitting that Darryl’s announcement of Councillor of the Year 2020, went to Daphne Peter who headed up the Education Portfolio for several years before ending her term as IIG Councillor. Always generous with her time and knowledge, Daphne is still a part of the IIG, now in the capacity of an Ambassador. Daphne also broke a record last night for being the only Councillor to have won this award two years in a row.
Before officially handing over the Presidential reins, The Managing Director of Sasria and boss to our incoming President, Mr Cedric Masondo, was called onto the stage to say a few words. It was very apparent that a special relationship and deep respect was shared between Mr Masondo and our incoming President. Our incoming Madam President was then announced, and huge congratulations go to Sasria Executive, Mrs Tshepiso Chocho. Tshepiso made her way to the stage amidst ululation and jubilation and we were all extremely fortunate to be blessed with the melodic tones of South African artist, activist, poet and actress, Gcina Mhlophe as her poetry paved the way in celebration of Tshepiso and all future female leaders. Tshepiso, looking every bit the African Queen that she is, thanked all in attendance both in–person and online. She provided an overview of what the IIG has planned for 2021 as well as unpacked her unique hashtag #BeTheDifference and how that will resonate for everyone during this year. Thereafter, Tshepiso gave us a sneak peek into her personal life and what makes her tick, with an emotional montage of photos of her family and the role they have played in the successes she continues to enjoy. Tshepiso was supported last night by her cheerleader and number one fan, her husband as well as her two young sons.
Throughout the evening we were entertained with a live band, The Associates, as well as the talented acapella band called Vocal03. Despite their harsh realities, Jabulani Mazibuko, Njabulo Mflathelwa and Tshepiso Sithole use their talent to realise their dreams of completing high school and making it in the music industry. Tshepiso specifically chose Vocal03 as these young men are an example of what it takes to #BeTheDifference despite any obstacle and they appreciated the opportunity to perform at this memorable occasion.
Tshepiso further thanked her predecessors for their guidance, support and continued mentorship through this journey. She also thanked all in attendance before closing the formalities.
Congratulations again Madam President Tshepiso Chocho, we look forward to your unique brand and are in support of your vision for 2021 to #BeTheDifference.
The article was written by Asiya Swaleh