Our Londolozi women’s circle has been in existence for five generations. International Women’s Day allowed for the perfect opportunity to celebrate this diverse sisterhood of ages, cultures and backgrounds but we also wanted to share with you the women who are inspiring us out there in the world. These are women doing big and small things, creating waves of change that we can begin to feel and that inspire us to do more. Ultimately all of us in this global sisterhood are contributing to a shared voice whether it be huge waves or small daily acts of living.
At Londolozi we know first-hand the influence an empowered, successful woman has on the future of a family, a village, and an entire generation. Today we celebrate and appreciate the strength, love and union between the 137 women that work at Londolozi, and who make up 53% of the Londolozi family, and we celebrate the women of the world making waves and smashing glass! Guided by the feminine at our core, living inside new models for power and presence, we know it will be women that create the transformation of all ecosystems of life and business that we are a part of…
Happy International Women’s Day!
Heres to the Women Who Inspire:
1. Amanda Gorman
“The way forward isn’t a road we take, the way forward is a road women make” – a line from Amanda Gorman’s poem she shared at the 2019 Forbes Women’s Summit. Amanda, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, spoke about the power and possibility of a future that’s female. Through her poetry Amanda inspires hope and a collective sense of purpose for young girls and women.
2. Shan Varty
Shan Varty dedicated 47 years to the never-ending campfire story that is Londolozi. She has pioneered too many things to mention but one thing has remained constant: everything she does is done with kindness and a deep sense of care. Shan is someone who constantly reminds us about strength through sisterhood.
“One woman is a tiny divine spark in a timeless sisterhood tapestry collective; all of us are Wild Women” ~ Jan Porter
3. Mama Connie
Mama Connie works in the Londolozi Kitchen, and is a women who has had great influence on the women in the Londolozi Village. Connie has worked for Londolozi for 25 years demonstrating exceptional work ethic, leadership, team work and enthusiasm in the Londolozi Choir. She is a true custodian in the Londolozi Kitchen and to the Londolozi Family and is a role model to the ladies of Londolozi.
4. Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur was born in Punjab, India and as a child moved with her family. Rupi was interested in writing at a young age and today has sold over 8 million copies of her two poetry books that have been translated into over 42 languages. “Rupi’s work touches on love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, and migration” – Colorado State University. Her poetry has challenged social norms, revealed deep emotion and as been something many women can identify with.
5. Jess MacLarty
Jess MacLarty has worked at Londolozi for 14 years in many departments. She started by running the children’s Cubs Den programme, then moved to guiding and now helps run the Londolozi Village. Her moves within Londolozi helps put together a clear list of her traits which make her a woman within the Londolozi community to aspire to be like. She is kind, maternal, gentle, strong, a teacher, a mother, natural, compassionate, a leader, an influencer, an advocate for sustainability – she’s a woman who inspires us.
6. Pat Mitchell
Pat Mitchell has been a long time friend of Londolozi, and an ambassador to the Good Work Foundation. She has been an incredible guiding spirit and someone who has taught us so much about the rights of women. “Pat Mitchell is a lifelong advocate for women and girls. At every step of her career, Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer to tell women’s stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off. Transitioning to an executive role, she became the president of CNN Productions, and the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media. Today, her commitment to connect and strengthen a global community of women leaders continues as a conference curator, advisor and mentor.”
7. Lilian Ngwenya
Lilian was born and raised in a community just outside of Londolozi. She is the head of department for our laundry team as well as our moving spirit for the Londolozi Ladies Choir. Lilian is a natural leader and someone who has worked hard to be where she is now. Her work ethic, enthusiasm, strength and passion are admired by all of us and are an inspiration for success. Lilian is a treasure to our Londolozi community – she also ensures that the Shangaan culture and traditions are kept alive in our village. She is the organiser for our Heritage Day and is often teaching all of us about traditional wisdom as seen below as she ties a ‘duku’ onto Jess MacLarty.
8. Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan and from an early age had wanted an education, the same education provided to her male peers. Malala’s father ran a school school for girls which was shut down by the Taliban as they believed girls should not receive an education. While continuing to pursue her love for education she was shot by a Taliban gunman in a school bus. “Now age 23, she and her family live in the United Kingdom and Youfsafzai founded the Malala Fund, a nonprofit whose aim is to give girls everywhere a chance at the future they deserve. She received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in 2014. ” – Reader’s Digest. Malala is truly an inspiration of bravery and fearlessness, and her persistent efforts to educate girls is truly admirable.
9. Kate Groch
Kate has had a long career in teaching and is a true educationalist at heart. Early in her teaching career, she was employed by Dave and Shan Varty as a private tutor for their children, Boyd and Bronwyn. She travelled with the children throughout Africa, teaching them in what she referred to as her “outdoor classroom”. “It was an incredibly rich, wonder-filled time,” she adds. “Those years shaped many of my views on learning and on life and, in fact, much of what we do at Good Work Foundation is steered by what I experienced during my time with the Varty children.” Today Kate is the Founder and CEO of the incredible Good Work Foundation, ensuring children and adults in rural communities have the power of education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
10. Kamala Harris
Recently we all watched the inauguration of the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. This position holds many first: the first Black American woman to hold that office, the first South Asian woman to hold that office, and the first woman to hold that office. Kamala states that her mother nurtured her strong sense of justice, “My mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’”
11. Jane Fonda
12. Great Thunberg
From the age of 16, Great Thunberg has played an important role in the climate change movement. In 2018 Greta started skipping school to strike against climate change. These strike were initially solo and over time grew to large numbers. Recently Great delivered a viral speech where she criticised world leaders for their treatment of the environment. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she said. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth – how dare you!”. In 2019 Great was named the Time magazine’s Person of the Year, making her the youngest person to ever receive this recognition.
We couldn’t make a blog long enough to highlight the inspiring acts by women in the world. These are just a few women who are doing huge things and small things, creating waves of change that we can begin to feel and that inspire us to do more. Ultimately all of us in this global sisterhood are contributing to a shared voice whether it be creating huge waves or small daily acts of living. We encourage you all to be women who inspire.