I Engage

I Engage

One of the things I enjoy is to engage with young women. So, once a quarter, I host a "Girls Lunch with Dr Lulu". We sit, eat, talk, question, laugh, and share experiences about life in general.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 02, 2017|The Marion On Nicol


Venue review by Andisiwe Nakani

The elegant Marion on Nicol

 

The Marion on Nicol truly is a piece of paradise located in Sandton, the financial and entertainment heartbeat of Southern Africa. In keeping with its locale, it embodies luxury, bliss and all things nice.

Driving into ‘The Marion on Nicol’ has that “out of town resort” feel to it. With no hassles and sufficient parking, you soon step out into a scenic field of serenity. The beautifully landscaped and manicured grounds lets you know that; here, you can breathe easy. The grand architecture of the hotel on its own is a piece of art that invites you in with its beautifully furnished interior. You step in and are ushered into a space that effortlessly flows into its garden exterior highlighting the tranquillity of the entire space. What a treat! That is a definite star.

Even the most beautiful spaces can be suffocating especially for a sit down session, not this space. The calm, neutral colour palette of the walls opens up the space, accentuating the easy flow between interior and exterior. The décor wraps you up in its eclectic and extravagant fabrics and unique pieces without being ostentatious. With its aristocratic and yet modern air, you definitely can breathe with ease. A super star for that.

With the fusion of African and French cuisine the menu is of an elite standard. The tastes are so rich, zesty, tangy and absolutely divine. They will leave your taste buds dancing for a little bit more. The entire menu is peppered with mouth-watering delicacies. I loved the portions, oversized portions can easily spoil a good appetite. Another star.

One can dine well, finely and in splendour yet it all comes to naught without warm and attentive service. For me, this was the cherry on top for the space and entire experience. A well-deserved star for the ladies and gentlemen who were our hosts.

Besides the occasional fear that one may tip into the water, what better way to wrap up a beautiful day filled with new insights and rejuvenation of the spirit, than sundowners and dessert by the poolside? The perfect ‘au revoir’ to old and new friends alike, and that star brings ‘The Marion on Nicol’ up to 5/5.

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Special guests’ feedback


Pulane Kingston

The gods conspired to create a perfectly intimate environment for reflection, learning, teaching, sharing and giving - all underpinned by the spirit of acceptance, laughter and respect. The backdrop to the girls lunch was the slick professionalism with which it was organised and run. I was intrigued by this from the moment I received the invitation. The level of engagement by the participants, the structure of the afternoon as well as the diversity of personalities added real depth and substance to our sometimes challenging discussions. The open and forthright manner with which most of the women expressed themselves, and the safe space created enabled us all to be vulnerable and to share in a manner that was authentic and purposeful. This had to be the most significant memory for me of the lunch. The contribution of the special guests was practical, accessible and easily digestible. I walked away from the afternoon feeling reenergised and armed with a toolbox that would enable me to navigate the various spaces in which I operate with greater intention and clarity of purpose. In sharing you give and in giving you share

Nozipho Mbanjwa

I am grateful for the opportunity to have been privy to the conversations of an inspiring group of young women under the mentorship of Dr Gwagwa. I’d like to share my reflections through the lens of what I heard and what I learnt in these conversations. I heard three conversations taking place. Dreams remain dreams unless they are deliberately translated into action . The workshop on creating individual vision boards for 2018, was a pragmatic way of nudging the ladies to move beyond their dreams and to begin thinking about the actions that would need to be taken to reach these dreams. It was interesting to learn that our dreams as young women remain as divergent as our personalities and experiences. We are in an interesting era where being a successful woman can mean absolutely anything. This means we are learning to define success on our own terms and owning that the journey through each of our milestones is ours to live as we see fit. We don’t always have the language to share and fight for our dreams. The session on “narrative” helped to surface the challenge of not always having the language to share our dreams with others. For young women entrepreneurs this may mean they are unable to attract the right clientele or investors as the storyline underpinning their business is not well crafted. For young professional women this may show up as not having the ability to articulate our value to the decision-makers within the organisations we work for. I walked away from this session convinced that young women must be exposed to the power of storytelling and how to leverage those narratives to their stakeholder community. We need to confront who we are so we develop the courage to own and share our experiences. At the end of my talk, having listened to the engagement that followed, I was even more convinced that young women need to be afforded the space to have conversations to confront and own who they are. The pressure of having to fit into social profiles is creating a generation of woman who choose to live and project versions of themselves that are convenient for the world and in the process delegitimizing their own experiences. I hope that the talk challenged the young women in the room to discard their social posturing and instead learn to embrace their lived experiences, and to work towards finding and using their voice to share their lived experience in a way that empowers them and others. Again, I am grateful to have been privy to these conversations. I am richer in my mind and spirit.

Mimi Kalinda

The Girls Lunch with Dr Lulu Gwagwa was an incredible experience for me on many levels. Even though I was invited to share my experiences and advice on communications and branding, I found that the insights, courage and willingness to be vulnerable which the girls displayed taught me more than I had bargained for. Dr Gwagwa's initiative plays a vital role in giving the girls a platform to ask questions, express their fears and uncertainties, and make important resolutions at a critical time in their journeys. For this session, the girls worked on their vision boards for 2018. I have no doubt that with conversations like the one offered at the Girls Lunch this past Saturday, all of their dreams, and ours, will come true!

Nothemba Mxenge

I recently had the pleasure to facilitate a Vision Board Workshop at a "Girls Lunch with Dr Lulu” event, and was blown away by the power of women in conversation. Dr Lulu Gwagwa has created a platform where women from diverse backgrounds and professions can come together to share thoughts, experiences and ideas. I was particularly impressed by the honest, generous and courageous sharing of self by all. I remain a strong believer that much of our generational wounding can be lifted, shifted and alleviated in safe spaces where our stories can be heard. I therefore salute Dr Lulu for creating such containers where women can own their truth by telling their story.

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