30 June 2018|Ribonville Boutique Hotel
Venue review by Nyamu Makhuvha
Ribonville Boutique Hotel
What would be the fitting venue for our much anticipated Girls Lunch with male guests? It was clear that the venue had to be a physical embodiment of the characteristics of “woman”. Bold, elegant, distinguished, tranquil but with a touch of sass. The owners of Riboville Boutique Hotel state that “the legacy of the Sinovich family has been one that echoes a sense of striving, with a touch of very good timing and something that might be considered akin to appreciation for living up to destiny.”
A sense of striving, legacy and destiny are exactly what each one of the young women in Dr. Lulu’s circle of mentorship hope to live out and fulfil. This equestrian themed hotel tucked in the growing urban jungle was thus the perfect venue for us to boldy ask some tough questions of the “stronger” sex…made easier of course by the wide selection of wines. Personally, I quite often enjoy having my food brought to me however lunch was a decadent buffet with healthy salad options for the girls counting down until summer, a beef curry to warm the heart on a chilly Jozi winter’s day and delicious kingklip that made one feel like you were at the Mozambique fish market. Unfortunately, dessert was a let-down. The staple favourite that this malva pudding was the obvious choice for a winter’s day but it didn’t live up to expectation on taste and texture. Even the cheese board couldn’t revive the last course.
The private facilities we occupied, which could accommodate a television crew, were the perfect escape to have tough discussions with our male counterparts; away from distractions but close enough to the public should any of the men have needed to cry for help. Despite the little longer than average wait for drinks, the service from the waiters was generally good enough for one to make a return visit. Fortunately, the golden hour approached and this little haven in Jozi redeemed itself with a majestic view of the sunset and cemented itself as the ideal choice for sundowners. Of course, what this meant for us girls was that the selfies we could take during this golden hour were “on fleek” and a fitting end to another beautiful afternoon. A solid 4 out of 5 for the opulent venue.
I can only say WOW, what an amazing bunch of dynamic, driven and smart group of young black women you have assembled! What you are doing is exemplary and must be supported by every established black senior leader and executive who cares about developing strong black women leaders of this country. I was also hugely impressed by the quality of the speakers I heard. Please feel free to shout if there is any contribution you think I can make at your future gatherings.
It was an absolute honour to be a part of the conversation this past weekend. Thank you so much. I think I took more from it than what I could have possibly given.
We need a truth and reconciliation between men and women of this nation. This requires us to start from a place of forgiveness, with intent to love each other to a place of unity. We desperately need each other which is completely undeniable. Right now, we are at odds which leads to us using tactics of manipulation to get what we need from each other. Whether it is in professional setting, friendships or romantic relationships.
Unity requires us to focus on goals we can achieve together, whilst investing in engendering environments that ensure our individual and corporate wellbeing. We really can achieve more together for each other. We need to be intentional about caring for each other’s wellbeing. Humanity is a principle that needs to come back into our rhetoric. The evolution for a better future needs us to put the measurables down and pick up the heart.
Thank you for the opportunity to be able to engage with the ladies at THE GIRLS LUNCH. The room was filled with strong, powerful women who each had clarity about themselves and the lives they continue to build for themselves. As a strong and powerful man, I will continue to make it my life purposes to use my gifts to teach and empower others to tell their stories without fear or shame. My wish is also for men to not cower at the sight of strength but to stand firm side by side to build a society that has an equal space for women and men to exist.
I wish you and your team, the very best in all your future endeavours, and thank you for creating a space for dialogue that is much needed today.
Thank you for inviting me to be part of the Girls Lunch this past Saturday. I had a wonderful time and my spirit was uplifted. It is a day I will always look back on with great fondness.
It's impractical to think that we will all meet a partner we are compatible with in our late 20s or early 30s and then spend the rest of our lives with them. Observing other relationships shows that people who manage to find a lifelong successful relationship are the exception rather than the rule. We will not all be the exception. We live in a time of impermanence. People no longer live in the same place, work for the same company, drive the same car etc for their entire lives. It has become normal for us to change any of these things (and other things) when circumstances change. Why do we still hold on to the notion that a successful relationship is one that lasts forever? We should learn to measure the success of relationships by what each partner gained from the relationship rather than by how long the relationship lasted.
Once again, many thanks for risking having us mere-mortal men amongst your Queens. Like I said to you Dr Gwagwa, we derived just as much value... and that leads to my brief reflections:
The need for frank, honest, sincere, respectful, guided, purposeful dialogues between men and women, blacks and whites, lovers, friends, is ever so needed today in South Africa. It seems like we are missing each other right from departure, talking in different language - using the same words. These lunches are absolute gems in correcting this. Not only was it a safe space to share deeply held views, which were so well received, it was refreshing and reassuring to see that we can indeed, as people, have these candid discussions and come out the better for it. We need more of these, with even more focused discussions, with a larger mix of men and women, between youth and our elders, between the political class and the technocrats. Finally, as a society, we need a massive room where we can talk as humans, judgement aside, understanding at centre-stage.
Wishing you all the very best on this journey with our sisters, mothers, friends, wifes and Queens.