UMHLANGA WOMEN ACHIEVERS – EST. 1994

Welcome to UWA

As a member of Umhlanga Women Achievers you are part of a well-established, stable, consistent and professional non-profit organisation that was formed in 1994. With a rich history, character and distinct reputation for effective networking, promoting and, most importantly, recognising and supporting women in business.

Your journey will follow a path on an active, organised platform to network, market and promote your business through various networking activities and offerings designed and created on the backdrop of the UWA slogan as our inspiration “to grow together through networking, sharing and enthusiasm.”

You will connect and engage with firm business contacts and share leads and referrals to increase and strengthen your business prospects while building and growing meaningful business relationships and friendships within the organisation.

Our members are not just a number; we know each other by name. You will be welcomed into our networking community that is like-minded, passionate and grateful for where we are and what we do.

You will experience the ripple effect to encourage, inspire, motivate and support one another, to strive for better business results and success while we follow this journey to grow and evolve into greater versions of ourselves as business women and individuals.

Highlights from our 2023 Networking activities – shared at our UWA Year End Soirée – Fire & Ice

2023 ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

By Nasiha Khan – Durban North News

The uMhlanga Women Achievers hosted their annual year-end soirée recently, aptly themed ‘Fire and Ice’ with a bash befitting the iconic group and their slogan of growing together through networking, sharing and enthusiasm.

President of the Achievers, Robyn Ann Meloni said: “These harsh elements can present many challenges to exist and thrive, although the theme was chosen as a fun and unique idea; it also serves as a reminder to our business owners that despite our own challenges and obstacles, we can inspire and support each other to grow together through networking, sharing and enthusiasm.”

This year marked 29 years of the Achievers and their sisterhood, and as per the annual tradition, three ladies were recognised for their commitment to hard work and growth over the past year.

“Towards the end of each year, our members are invited to submit an entry into our annual Achiever of the Year competition. It is an opportunity to reflect on the past year, to measure and acknowledge our growth, to recognise our hard work, our courage, attitude and drive for success, to better business results and to realise our worth! Ultimately, we are all achievers, and we need to believe this”, said Meloni.

UWA-Achievers-2023

Debbie Becker was awarded second runner-up, with Natasha Lee as first runner-up. The Achiever of the Year title was scooped by Senta Seele who wrote a self-published book, ‘My Epic Fairy-tale’, this year.

Seele is known for her passion to motivate and is inspired and driven when women are happy, successful, healing and thriving. “I joined the Achievers in 2010 to network for my dance studio and have brought many new members along with me over the years because I believe in networking, collaboration and support. I believe as women, we need each other, for our businesses and also personally. The group surrounds us with like-minded women who lift each other up, support each other and celebrate each other.”

“Personally, some of my closest friendships have come out of my years with them. Although I will help where I can for most NPOs, I choose to be an ambassador for, and give the majority of my support to, The Robin Hood Foundation, SPCA Durban, and Drinkerbell”, said the 2023 winner.

Other members were celebrated with the Ad of the Year awards, the President Award, in which the president would select suppliers and committee members who’ve stood out over the past year, and the Long Service awards, where members part of the organisation for ten years or more were acknowledged.

Holding steadfast in their passion for extending a helping hand to the wider community, a fundraising segment for The Association for the Aged (TAFTA) was also held during the festivities. “We identify various charities to support on a monthly basis and this year we contributed to eXpose Hope, the Jess Foord Foundation, Reach for Recovery, The Open Door Crisis Centre and Hospice, amongst others.

At this time of the year, we feel that the young and the elderly members of our communities need a little more attention and support, so our focus in November was split between collecting toys that were distributed through uMhlanga Aotary’s formal outreach programme and raising funds for TAFTA at our year-end soiree,” said Meloni.

TAFTA CEO Femada Shamam, who was in attendance, expressed her gratitude. She said: “We are truly honoured and overjoyed that the uMhlanga Women Achievers organisation has selected to champion the cause of supporting elders through TAFTA in their fundraising endeavours. Their benevolence and spirit of generosity showcased at their event resonate deeply, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for their kindness.”

Our 2024 Committee Members:

UWA-Committee
  • Robyn Meloni – President
  • Natalie Burne – Vice President
  • Louise Davies – Secretary
  • Ray Till – Treasurer
  • Glenda Finegan
  • Michelle Dolly
  • Gia Maestrami
  • Candice King
  • Claudette Whitehead
  • Veronica Peacock

We look forward to forging ahead with our combined skills and dedication to make our 30th year of networking, supporting and recognising women in business a ‘pearl’ of a year for all our members by preserving the positive UWA culture, leading, representing and sharing our narrative which is to GROW TOGETHER THROUGH NETWORKING, SHARING AND ENTHUSIASM.

Networking opportunities

Coffee Club

Our Coffee Club is held monthly, a week after our UWA networking breakfast. It is limited to 20 attendees, so it is a more focused and intimate networking platform.

Book Club

Our book club collection has a space in our UWA Boardroom located at Granny Griffs.

There are a number of business, leadership and motivation titles on offer to our members to enhance their knowledge and boost ideas and new thinking. These are offered on a limited loan basis.

UWA Cares

The primary focus of UWA is networking; however, we also create awareness and support charities within our communities.

We raise funds at our monthly events by selling raffle tickets to attendees who stand a chance to win prizes sponsored by our members and guests.

The money raised is donated to the charity of choice. Throughout the year, we also schedule UWA Blood Drives to create awareness and support the need for donations.

Achiever of the year

This annual programme is designed for UWA members to reflect on the past year, measure their growth and motivation, acknowledge their hard work, fortitude, and attitude and realise their worth.

As UWA ‘achievers, ‘ we need to believe in who we are, what we do and why we do it. ALL our members are invited and encouraged to submit an entry into this competition.

An overall winner will be announced at our Year End event.

Breakfast and Dinner

Monthly event, Unlimited bookings. A guest speaker is invited to talk on business-related topics, trends, skills, coaching, etc.

Networking takes place throughout the event or you could be selected in the business feature to promote during extra time. Exhibition tables can be booked to sell or market products.

There is an opportunity to be a meeting or gift sponsor and allows that business to display their banners and extended time to promote.

WhatsApp Ads

An active Ads ONLY WhatsApp platform that is open to UWA members every Thursday from 7 am – 8 pm. Members have an opportunity to be recognised, showcase, advertise, and promote their businesses and specials.

It can be used as a ‘directory’ to refer and endorse UWA businesses.

Each month, the BEST Ad that is fresh, creative and impactful is chosen. An overall winner will be announced at our Year End event.

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