RLabs Start-up Women Date Night

by Chanté Classen

Who said we weren’t Enough…and more?! 😊

Exactly a week ago (28th August 2019) was a great time in the life of Chante Classen. But also, in the lives of soooo many other powerful women!

It was the RLabs Women Entrepreneurship event, a date night created for women to come together, share and pitch ideas as well as draw support and inspiration from one another! the event was held at the UCT Graduate School of Business, Breakwater Lodge. Sistergirrrrllls… let’s have more of these date nights?!

These ladies are doing wonderful work in the community!

RLabs, for those of you who may not be familiar, is an organization on the Cape Flats which aims to impact the lives of the youth from surrounding communities to better themselves, their lives and their futures. RLabs Women is a division of RLabs but it is intentionally driven by women for women. #WomenEmpowerment!

René Parker is the CEO and Director of RLabs as well as one of the founding members of RLabs Women – what a dynamic woman?! She was recently nominated as one of the 50 most inspiring women in the country!

“I have a rebellious spirit. We’re not to be trampled on. So, as a woman, I wana go against that”.

René Parker

Last week, she spoke, with the humblest heart, and stated the above quote. This woman, in all of her fearlessness and fierceness, possesses the gentlest spirit too. But the rebellious spirit she spoke of was one that goes against the grain. One that says YES to DOMINATE IN EVERYTHING. Not that we ought to outweigh men, but we ought to just show that women, too, can do all things. We are not to be trampled on – in a relationship, in the workplace, anywhere! Although we ought to use our strengths to work with one another, not against. 😊

She said many great things, but I think the most interesting thing for me was when she said, “I just started doing what I love doing and that’s… working with people”. She was authentic in her thoughts and words and I believe that that is the place we, as women, need to get to. We need to start doing what we love!

“I didn’t quite understand how I’m supposed to act or what I should do once being nominated as the fifty most inspiring”, she said with a smirk. “All these books about great leaders were written with men in mind or from a male perspective – how does a woman act?”, she questioned.

Then the realisation of another question dawned. she said, “I don’t mean to preach, but…

Q: “What was the first problem in the bible?”
Answer: “That man was alone!”

Q: “And what was God’s solution?”
A: “To create a woman!” [*Yaaaasss! lol*].

Women came as a solution to the problem… not the problem to a solution.

Mrs. Parker said that “we need to change our minds so that we can change our realities” and that is such a true sentiment because our thoughts become our actions and our actions become the realities in which we live.

As women, we always have a choice to make. We’re all leaders. We lead ourselves, if not anybody else. Thus, as leaders, we ought to change the way we think. Think about others, our jobs, our futures, and most importantly – ourselves! Who do you say you are?!

You become the average of the 5 people you hang out with every day.

Scary thought? Isn’t it? If your average 5 people are not growing you, inspiring you or challenging you – get a new circle. It has been said that it is also okay to have outgrown others. If that happens, move on to other circles you can learn from! 

Date Night – Guest Speaker

Then the guest speaker of the night – Genevieve Mannel – a vibration of a woman! Her key things mentioned were: 

  1. Ensure that your skills stay relevant. Back up your views.
  2. Learn to code! Any language. Build things!
  3. When you make it into the industry, do not be apologetic about your role.
  4. It starts at home! ‘technology is taught to be a boys’ activity. Whatever you teach (your kids) at home, will be displayed in the public. 
  5. Pay it forward. Sometimes it helps by just showing young girls that someone who looks like them, has a background like them, is and has achieved what they are dreaming of. Go back to your previous schools and give hope! ❤

This Start-up women Date night was inspirational! We got an opportunity to network with the other ladies. The women were also given the opportunity to pitch their business models and receive funding from a trust called The Junk Fund to help with their start-up. I firmly believe that we need to have more opportunities like this and more women should know when and where these events are happening. Our country is in an uproar. Our men need to protect our women but I also believe that our women need to support our women! It’s about uniting and rising for the next generation! 

Thank you RLabs Women for this initiative and for creating the space for Women in Business!  

“It is our duty, as women who have journeyed and are still journeying this path, to serve as a candle for the young women who are following us. There certainly is a new dawn on the horizon!”

Genevieve Mannel

#TheAfricanWoman #IAmFearless

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