CRWN On the Move: Agenda Women in Johannesburg
Earlier this month, 50 industry-leading, conversation-starting, ever-evolving and future-focused women gathered on a quiet Saturday morning at Botanist, on the fashionable 4th Avenue of Johannesburg’s Parkhurst neighborhood. We arrived in response to a personal call to action put forward by our sister and change catalyst Nomndeni Mdakhi: to launch Agenda Women, a platform for women to reflect on and transform in their roles as founders, leaders, and dynamic human beings.
Mdakhi, a communications and brand specialist, has been inspiring people for years. As the Founder of Edits Communications, she’s collaborated with countless companies and individuals to build global brands. Realizing through this work that a broader conversation about Africa and its human potential needed to be fostered, Mdakhi created a space just for that: Edits Talks.
When her work with DJ Zinhle illuminated the underrepresentation of women disc jockeys and music industry leaders, the two of them launched a DJ school and mentorship program for girls. Recognizing people’s needs and filling voids by bringing people together is perhaps what Mdakhi does best.
Yet, as she shared openly and honestly ahead of its launch, Agenda Women was an idea formed when Mdakhi attempted to fill a void in her own life. Faced with career challenges and the end of her marriage, she allowed herself to be publicly vulnerable; she shared thoughts and questions with her network as she tried to grapple with life-changing events. And the responses spoke volumes. Women affirmed that not only was she not alone, but that we also yearn to have these difficult conversations and to help each other through. So, along with Timothy Maurice Webster, we gathered to have the first of those conversations. Mdakhi and Webster led us through discussions from brand building to neurobiology to break-ups, but we all had a chance to grab the mic, drop knowledge and speak our truths.
In this time of leaning in, red shoes, #metoo, and Time’s Up, women’s empowerment seems as trendy as our champagne brunch at Botanist, but if there’s one thing that the #metoo movement showed us, it’s vulnerability and transparency that catalyze real change. And as a new female face in the South African society and business landscape, it was inspiring to see that such safe spaces for Black women are opening up all over the world.
Agenda Women’s South Africa tour dates have recently been announced. Photos by @mothowalebowa