Constance van Niekerk, Vereeniging, S.A
Pomp, ceremony and expectation filled the air with something almost tangible. Almost everywhere you looked the feeling was the same. Not all roads in Vereeniging led to Dickinson Park on this day, the 23rd of September in the year of Our Lord 2017. One road led to The Bon Riviera Hotel on the serene banks of the Vaal River, where a group of entrepreneurs and motivational speakers took turns to talk to a group of attendees. It was the occasion of the third installment of the Seeds of Greatness annual event and the ladies had come in their numbers. This year’s theme was ‘From Greatmess to Greatness’.
The panel of speakers was eloquent and impressive – orators all of them! The panel was like a ‘Who is who’ list: Memorial Moreki, Mohau Mercy Makola, Paula Maleka, Mosele Maloka and John Laiti Dlamini. Cynthia Morisi was the event M.C and she chaperoned the occasion with distinction. As if all the glamour and glitter were not enough, Stanley Gaba, motivational speaker and writer was also in the house.
In his presentation, Mr. Dlamini made a curious but thought-provoking observation about women. It was his view that most women willingly and knowingly get themselves into great messes only to cry foul when they get hurt. He went on to explain that there were different types of messes and that these were: a mess that you get into all by yourselves with your eyes wide open, a mess of your own doing; a mess that happens in order for you to be elevated and a mess that is brought into your lives by other people.
“The company you keep determines how deep in a mess you are going to be,” was Laiti’s contribution. “Not everybody who borrows you lipstick, laughs with you, smiles at you, holds hands with you, sends you SMSs and calls you is a good friend.”
His poser to the audience was, “Who do you listen to?”
Mr. Dlamini advised that before you take any advice from anyone you should ask yourself if the person who is prescribing remedies to you also takes them herself. He encouraged women to walk away from what does not serve them. Women should walk out of unhealthy relationships. His inspired almost 30-minute talk was enlightening and encouraging. His words made you believe you were ready for big decisions and defining moments.
Mercy Makola began his speech by telling the attendees that he was not there to speak but to have a conversation with them. He introduced himself and went on to talk about the importance of knowing the person who you sit next to. It doesn’t matter where you are: in a public place, at an event, in the boardroom or at sports functions. Know the people you are sitting with. Introduce yourself, compliment others as a matter of course. At times the person you ignore might be the one who can assist you or help you in your career, business or studies.
Mercy had a thirty-minute conversation with the ladies, where he also spoke about the importance of learning among other things. He said women must be people who are willing to learn. It is only by learning that they can move up.
“In the great mess that you are in, learn,” he said.
Paula spoke about her ministry which is restoration. She brought tears to many eyes. She spoke for almost fifty minutes during which she took listeners through part of her journey. She ‘dissected’ her life and got ‘raw and naked’ before all and sundry. Her slot was to many in the audience perhaps the most touching part of the event. Souls were moved, lives were changed and none who attended this event went back home the same as when they came.
The last speaker was the young, multi-talented Memorial Moreki. She began with Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror. Among many issues she spoke about was the need to know one’s worth. If a person knows her worth, she will not share a table with just anyone, just as you would not find vagrants and paupers at a royal ball. Everyone has a seed of greatness in them, but must be careful who they entrust it to. Someone can water your seed at the wrong time and another can over-water your seed. Only the owner of the seed and the ones who share the same vision with her can nurture the seed.
Memorial, the founder of Seeds of Greatness explained how she came about with the theme, “The theme came after looking at people, our thoughts and the social ills that we tend to accept just to fit in,” she said. Memorial went on to define what a mess is. According to her, a mess is a situation in which an individual finds it so hard to shift or move away from. Men and women are all walking in messes, emotionally, psychologically, financially, spiritually and in many other aspects of life. This event is an effort to lift someone up out of their greatmess into greatness.”
One of the attendees, Mpho Mosikidi commented, “The event was life-changing. It is one of those events that produce women of noble character. It reminded us that it is from the mess that we find ourselves in that our greatness is revealed. Not only did the speakers encourage the audience but they also instilled self-worth and kindled the spirit of determination to follow one’s given purpose. To top it up, the main speaker who was not shy to narrate her touching life story changed the atmosphere of the day to a prayerful atmosphere with her articulacy and her vision.”
John Donne’s well-known metaphysical poem, For Whom the Bell Tolls clearly states that no man is an island. Everyone needs a bit of motivation from others on this journey on earth. It is good to attend such events as the From Greatmess to Greatness event in order to prompt a woman to take action towards a positive change in her life. This event did just that and more. It provoked a spirit of striving for greatness and willpower to make a difference in the community. For everyone who is blessed is blessed to be a blessing. It was interesting to note that even though the event was not for women only, it was only women who attended.
The food was a delicious, three-course meal with plenty of soft drinks to accompany it. There was a live performance by Gospel artist and radio personality, the Psalmist Boiki Modise.
Written by Constance van Niekerk – firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by David Mungoshi