UMHLANGA WOMEN ACHIEVERS – EST. 1994
To grow together through networking,
sharing and enthusiasm.
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Welcome to UWA
The Umhlanga Women Achievers fondly referred to as UWA, is a non-profit organisation established in 1994.
Our primary focus is networking which is our platform to market our businesses, to connect and engage with firm business contracts and, by doing so, to build and develop meaningful relationships and friendships.
Our members enjoy the benefits of various activities and offerings that are created and designed with our slogan as our inspiration; “to grow together through networking, sharing and enthusiasm”.
UWA Networking is vital for our progress and growth, and our UWA members are part of a sisterhood who are like-minded, passionate and grateful for where we are and what we do.
We inspire and motivate each other as we aim for better business results and success. We support each other as we all follow a journey to grow and evolve into greater versions of ourselves as businesswomen 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.
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.”
Message from our president – Robyn Meloni
Take a look at these lovely ladies… They are our UWA 2023 committee.
We represent our members who are from the wider Durban area and include entrepreneurs in various industries such as Health and Wellness, Insurance, Banking, Estate Agencies, Social Media, Branding, Hospitality, Law etc.
We are a dedicated committee already working towards making this term another successful year for all our members through our various activities: UWA networking breakfasts and dinners, the UWA coffee club, our UWA book club, UWA Achiever of the Year programme as well as advertising on our UWA ads group.
This year we celebrate UWA’s 29th anniversary, and we have plans to transform one of the rooms at Granny Griffs Sugar Shack in Durban North into a UWA meeting room. This meeting room will be available to our members to host meetings, presentations, and consultations and will also be the permanent ‘home’ to showcase 29 years of events, pictures and press releases, history, and memorabilia. In addition, other visitors to Granny Griffs will also have an opportunity to see what we are about and encourage new memberships to our well-established organisation.
We are all passionate about UWA, and the feedback from guests confirms the warmth and energy that they feel at our events, something that our members already experience, and we want to carry this forward into the new year. But without the inspiration, hard work, commitment and passion of our committee and our members, this would not be possible.
We look forward to a positive membership renewal rate and welcoming new members to our community. If you would like to renew or join us this year, click on the Membership tab.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s take a minute to get to know Bev!
Bev is the proud owner of Bev’s Beauty & Wellness, situated at 3 Tetford Circle, Hirsch’s, Umhlanga.
It can be confirmed that Bev doesn’t only spend her hours taking care of her customers inner and outer beauty, but she extends this innate passion for wellbeing to her family, friends and the UWA committee members. If you peruse her Facebook page, you will notice that most of the posts are based on promoting and supporting other individuals and local businesses!