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Empowamen Annual Summit 2024
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DISCLAIMER | EmpowaMen fosters open dialogue on issues impacting men, encouraging diverse perspectives in respectful conversation. Opinions expressed belong solely to participants and don’t reflect platform views. We acknowledge the complexities of men’s experiences and delve deeper into the root causes of harmful expectations surrounding masculinity. Our aim is to empower men to share their challenges and contribute to positive societal change, not to attack feminist movements or gender equality.

Empowamen is a platform that enables frank and honest conversations with men so that they can explore and discuss the issues facing them in today’s world, with a focus on bringing about change

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Here are some of our confirmed speakers for this year – we have an incredible line-up and can’t wait to dive into deep conversations with them.

bishop mosa sono

Bishop Mosa Sono

Presiding Bishop of Grace Bible Church

Presiding Bishop Mosa Sono, born in Soweto, initially aspired to be a teacher but answered God’s call to become a pastor. He founded Grace Bible Church in 1983, focusing on turning irreligious individuals into devoted Christ followers. Under his leadership, the church has grown to over 70 branches, offering diverse programs and community outreach. Bishop Mosa is actively involved in national and global church leadership initiatives, emphasizing justice, reconciliation, and mentoring fellow leaders. He is married to Overseer Gege Sono, and they prioritize keeping God at the center of their 34-year marriage

Milton-Nkosi

Milton Nkosi

Former BBC News Africa Bureaux Chief & Correspondent

Milton, with a background in civil engineering and teaching, ventured into journalism, freelancing for prestigious media outlets like Visnews (now Reuters TV), NBC News, and BBC News. Joining BBC Johannesburg in 1990, he covered pivotal events during apartheid’s end, including Mandela’s release and Hani’s assassination. Milton rose to become BBC’s Africa Producer and later Bureaux Editor, earning accolades for his contributions. He remains active in journalistic associations, shaping African media landscape

Lindiwe-Zulu

Hon Ms Lindiwe Zulu

Minister, National Department of Social Development

She is a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC)

Ms Zulu was educated in Swaziland whereupon she joined the ANC after the 1976 student uprising. In exile, Ms Zulu lived in Morogoro in Tanzania where she was offered a scholarship to study journalism in Russia. She obtained a Master’s degree in journalism.

After her studies in Moscow, she joined the liberation army Umkhonto we Sizwe Once her military training was complete, Ms Zulu joined the PAN African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) in Angola where she was appointed as the co-ordinator of the communications committee.

She has held several communication positions. In 1989, she was appointed the Head of Communication in the ANC’s department of Religious Affairs. Ms Zulu also served at the Head of Communication in the ANC’s Uganda office.

In 1991 she returned to South Africa and became the Head of Communication in the ANC Women’s League. Ms Zulu was elected to the ANC’s team of spokespersons for South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.

After the elections, she was elected a member of the Gauteng Legislature and was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature in 1995. Four years later, Ms Zulu was appointed the Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2001, she was appointed Chief Director for Western and Central Africa

In 2003, she left government to join the private sector where she served as the Executive Head of Government and International Relations at Vodacom group, a mobile phone services company based in South Africa.

In 2004 she became the South African Ambassador to Brazil. She was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee first in 2007 and again in 2009, Ms Zulu was elected to Parliament as a Member of Parliament representing the African National Congress. After 2009, Ms Zulu was appointed Special Advisor to the President of South Africa on International Relations.

In 2014, Ms Zulu was appointed as the Minister of Small Business Development.

In 2019, she was appointed as the Minister of Social Development. Ms Zulu is particularly interested in issues relating to the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups (women, children, youth, and people with disabilities amongst others.)

Professor Shingai Mutambirwa

Professor Shingai Mutambirwa

Head of Department of Urology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU)

Prof. Shingai Mutambirwa, a distinguished urologist, heads the Department of Urology at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in South Africa. He’s a founding member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and leads various academic committees. With over 80 peer-reviewed articles and numerous memberships, he’s a prominent figure in urological research and academia.

Hakeem Anderson-Lesolang

Hakeem Anderson-Lesolang

Transformational Therapy Specilaist

Abdul Hakeem Lesolang, an esteemed hypnotherapist, life coach, and entrepreneur, empowers individuals and teams worldwide to reach their full potential. Co-founder of FOLA Wellness & Healing, he offers transformative sessions, retreats, and workshops globally. A 2-time best-selling author, captivating speaker, and a recognized presence on TV and radio. My expertise as a mental and emotional health panelist and marriage solutions expert enables me to deliver transformative insights for holistic growth.

Martin Pelders

Martin Pelders

Founder of Matrixmen

Founder of MatrixMen Africa, an activist and public speaker, advocates for male survivors of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Provides support groups, educates schools and organizations on prevention, trains therapists to recognize signs, and advises partners of survivors. Committed to raising awareness and facilitating healing for male victims.

Linda Yende<br />

Linda Yende

Public Speaker & Author | Wakeup Woman

Linda, a multifaceted talent, excels as an author, actor, radio personality, musical artist, events facilitator, brand influencer, voice artist, entrepreneur, MC, and inspirational speaker. With a sales and marketing background in multinational corporations, he’s also made strides in network marketing. Linda is renowned for his motivational events, particularly on gender issues and relationships post the success of his book “Wakeup Woman.” As the Relationships & Lead on EmpowaYouth, he drives impactful initiatives to empower township and peri-urban youth, facilitating mentorships, job opportunities, and education.

Craig-Wilkinson

Craig Wilkinson

Founder & CEO | Father a Nation

Craig, a bestselling author and award-winning social entrepreneur, is dedicated to empowering men and fathers. Founder of Father A Nation, he mentors men to become positive role models, receiving accolades like the GQ South African Humanitarian Man of the Year. Craig’s impactful speeches cover parenting, masculinity, leadership, and gender-based issues.

Gogo Skhotheni

Gogo Skhotheni

Artist, Reality TV Star and DJ

Patricia Motsoeneng, also known as Gogo Skhotheni, gained fame through a reality show, showcasing her vibrant personality and controversial traditional practices. A multifaceted personality, businessperson, Sangoma, and Gobela, she founded Gogo Skhotheni cosmetics, offering traditional herb-based solutions. Notably, she practices polyandry.

Dr Tim Grage

Dr Tim Grage

Pastor, City of Zion
Abner Mariri

Abner Mariri

Author & Motivational Speaker

Abner, a versatile professional speaker, spent seven years in the US, earning a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA. Engaging in entertainment projects, he collaborated with notable figures like Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, and Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. Returning to South Africa, he co-founded Empowa Investments, focusing on local investment opportunities. Abner’s presentations are customized to suit diverse settings, from boardrooms to shop floors.

joshua Mtanyelwa

Joshua Mtanyelwa

EmpowaMen Spokesperson
Paul Nzimande

Paul Nzimande

Life Coach

A highly adaptable leader, previously with Ithala Limited from 2006 to 2014, held various senior and executive roles, successfully establishing and transforming departments within budget constraints. Notably, he served as Divisional Manager of Marketing, overseeing brand strategy, budgets, and staff. A champion of brand integrity, he advocates for purpose-driven brands, contributing to both business and community boards. Currently Deputy Chairperson of Umlazi Township Tourism, he actively promotes sustainable tourism. With a BA degree from the University of Zululand, he’s a vocal advocate on social media, radio, and co-authored a book with a motivational speaker. His debut book is forthcoming.

Joshua Maponga

Joshua Maponga

Author

Maponga Joshua III, a dynamic figure in corporate, religious, and social spheres, is CEO of Farmers of Thought Institute, dedicated to elevating human consciousness. With a global perspective and diverse talents including music and writing, he’s a pragmatic leader and social entrepreneur. His extensive experience spans branding, banking, and non-profits, offering expertise in motivation, crisis management, and strategic consultancy.

dr-gugulethu-xaba-

Dr Gugulethu Xaba

Director Student Governance and Leadership - Tshwane University Of Technology

Dr. Gugulethu Xaba, a renowned speaker and leadership expert, inspires audiences with real-life insights, urging focus on meaningful life and work aspects. With a Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership and extensive experience, he advocates for men’s involvement in community development. As Chairperson of various boards, including the Hospital Board at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, he demonstrates commitment to societal advancement. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Student Governance and Leadership Development at Tshwane University of Technology, contributing significantly to student affairs for over two decades. He’s actively engaged in community activism and serves as a pastor, embodying a holistic approach to leadership and community service

Phinah Kodisang

Phinah Kodisang

CEO & Executive Board Member | Soul City Institute

Phinah Kodisang is currently the Chief Executive Officer and an executive member of the Board of Directors of the Soul City Institute NPC, Board Chair for Tiko Africa, and a board member for IPAS USA. She is a feminist leader who is experienced in organisational development and advocacy, programme management and grant management, with over 20 years’ experience in the development and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. Phinah is a passionate advocate for gender equality & equity, and champion for women empowerment who believes in creating a world that is equal for all who live in it. Her passion has been recognised through different national awards. In 2021 She was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s 50 Powerful Women, she received an award again in 2022 as the Quote that Women Voice of 2022 in the GBV category. Phinah was named and awarded the title of Justice Champ, an award given in recognition of the social justice work she champions in relation to GBV at the 2022 African Women’s Summit, which took place in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2022. Phinah holds a master’s degree in social development from the University of Wales (Swansea) in the United Kingdom.

Sandile Memela

Sandile Memela

Journalist, Writer, Cultural Critic & Public Servant

Sandile Memela, a prominent journalist, novelist, and public figure, known for his thought-provoking columns at City Press and founding Sunday World. He’s authored books like “What Mother Told Us” and “Zenzele: Young Gifted & Free,” advocating Black Consciousness. Memela’s works address societal issues, including HIV/AIDS and post-apartheid trauma, showcasing his critical perspective

Sicelo Zwane

Sicelo Zwane

Chairman, Stratosphere Group

Chairman of Stratosphere Group: consisting of Stratosphere Publishing, Stratosphere Legal, Stratosphere Apparel and Stratosphere Supply. A published and celebrated author. Specialist and topical writer and speaker on social issues focusing especially on the upliftment of black men, and offers commentary on current affairs. In addition to his professional accolades, Mr. Zwane is an entrepreneur, mentor, and facilitator. He extends his expertise to the personal realm as well, serving as a marriage counsellor and relationship specialist. Above all, he is a devoted father and husband.

Siv Ngesi

Siv Ngesi

Comedian, Television Presenter, Actor, MC, Producer, Acclaimed actor and GBV Activist

Sivuyile “SiV” Ngesi, a multifaceted South African entertainer, excels as a comedian, TV presenter, actor, and producer, captivating audiences locally and internationally. With a string of accolades and diverse roles, from stage performances to blockbuster films, he’s established himself as a dynamic force in the industry. His company, “Our CompanY,” ventures into various creative projects, showcasing his versatility and ambition.

Dr Steven Molakeng

Dr Steven Molakeng

Bishop - Kingdom Dimensions Ministries

Bishop Dr. Steven Molakeng, a seasoned minister with 15+ years in ministry and 30 years in Christ, is ordained as a Pastor, Apostle, and Bishop, serving with Impact College of Bishops. He leads Kingdom Dimensions ministries network, imparting hope and healing with powerful messages. As a certified Chaplain, therapist, and trauma counselor, he specializes in empowering individuals and facilitating growth. Passionate about music industry development, his driving force is “Impact,” inspiring purposeful living. Holding a PhD in Christian Counseling and Law, Molakeng’s mission is to awaken God-ordained destinies and facilitate holistic healing

Anele-Siswana

Anele Siswana

Clinical Psychologist; African Spiritual Healer
Dr Daniel Mokwena

Dr Daniel Mokwena

Relationship Guru

Dr. Daniel Mokwena brings something unique and fresh in all his talks. He is a former mobster turned inspirational speaker, facilitator, mentor, coach, family therapist and a successful entrepreneur under the leadership of Dr David Molapo.

Sthembiso-Phakathi

Sthembiso Phakathi

Founder & Executive Producer - Single Dads Network

Sthembiso Phakathi, the Founder and Executive Producer of the Single Dads Network, is a dedicated single father of four and a staunch advocate for the rights and responsibilities of single fathers. With 29 years of personal experience in single parenthood, Sthe has uniquely positioned himself as a leader and a mentor within the community through the creation of the Single Dads Network. This platform not only serves as a repository of knowledge, information, and personal stories but also as a beacon for single dads striving for better engagement in their children’s lives and improvement in family relationships. Speaking at the upcoming Empowamen event on the topic of “Rights of Dads,” Sthe will share his journey and the profound insights on love and truth he has gained from raising his children. His goal is to foster a deeper understanding and provide support to single fathers everywhere, enhancing their ability to love unconditionally and participate fully in the complex landscape of modern parenting.

Nyimpini-Mabunda

Nyimpini Mabunda

Author & Chairman - Schindler Lifts South Africa

Mr Mabunda currently serves as Chairman for Schindler Lifts South Africa and non-executive board member at Lombard Insurance, The Bevco Company and Octodec Group. Before that he was CEO for GE in Southern Africa with responsibility for 14 markets and also served as a board member for American Chamber of Commerce South Africa and chairman of South Africa-United States of America Business Council, a division of US Chamber. Nyimpini also held key positions as a Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), CEO for Consumer Business at Vodacom Group, and Managing Director at Diageo’s Uganda Breweries Limited. His sectors of expertise include Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Telecom, Energy, Health Care, and Financial Services.Nyimpini Mabunda is a 2022/23 best-selling author for his book: Take Charge: Life Lessons on the Road to CEO.He earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Cape Town, Finance for Sr. Executives from Harvard Business School, and Advanced Management Program (AMP) from INSEAD Business School

Loyiso-MacDonald

Loyiso MacDonald

Actor & Voice Over Artist

Loyiso MacDonald, a renowned South African actor and voice artist, gained fame as Kagiso Khoza in “The Queen,” earning a SAFTA in 2020. His career includes roles in SABC3’s “Those Who Can’t,” Intersexions Season 2, Netflix’s “Happiness Ever After,” and “Love, Sex and 30 Candles.” Beginning his journey in theater in 2006, MacDonald’s diverse portfolio spans stage, television, and film, with notable performances in productions such as “Tata maChance” and “Othello.” After eight years on screen, he returned to theater in 2021 at The Market Theatre. MacDonald’s versatility extends to television commercials and films, including appearances in BET’s “Madiba” and the German film “Das Wunder von Kapstadt.” Currently, he stars as Principal Mthembu in the Showmax original series “Youngins.”

Thabo-'T-Bose'-Mokwele

Thabo ‘T-Bose’ Mokwele

Author, Director: TBose Productions

Thabo “T-bose” Mokwele, a veteran broadcaster with over 20 years in the industry, still sees himself as the boy from Tembisa who seized an opportunity in entertainment. Despite initial skepticism from his parents, he transitioned from chemical engineering to radio at 23. Now, with a Masters in Strategic Marketing, he’s launching a Marketing/Brand Strategy Think Tank. Recognized as a relatable role model, he embodies success while remaining grounded, juggling roles as an entrepreneur, emcee, award-winning broadcaster, businessman, philanthropist, husband, and father, all with his signature velvet voice and infectious energy

Apostle-Kabelo-Moroke

Apostle Kabelo Moroke

Overseer, Kairos Relationships of Churches
Felix-Hlophe

Felix Hlophe

Comedian, Radio Jock and Businessman, Gagasi FM

Felix Hlophe, a renowned comedian, radio host, and TV personality, has entertained audiences with his wit on popular shows like Gagasi FM and VUMA 103 FM. Based in Durban, he’s a heavyweight in South African comedy, rising to prominence among Mzansi’s first-generation comedians. Family-oriented, Felix effortlessly brings laughter to people’s lives, influenced greatly by his parents

TT-Mbha

TT Mbha

Founder, Amatyma Wellness Network

TT Mbha, a revered 45-year-old social entrepreneur, renowned real estate expert, and chartered marketer, boasts a 25-year award-winning career. With diplomas in clothing and marketing management, plus a postgraduate diploma in project management, he excels in various fields. He’s also a TV host, executive producer, and family man, known for his vibrant personality and community-focused endeavors, heading entities like Black Real Estate and Mzansi Cribs. Mbha’s collaborations with corporations align with his diverse projects, including TT Mbha Community Drive NPC and his subscription-based online TV channel. His impactful work garners admiration from the public and brands.

Dumisani-Rebombo

Dumisani Rebombo

Community Education & Mobilization Manager, Sonke Gender Justice

Dumisani Rebombo, Sonke Gender Justice’s Provincial Community Education and Mobilization Manager, holds a theology degree. He’s been pivotal in gender activism, serving as the first Regional Coordinator for the MenEngage network. A founding member of Sonke Gender Justice, his expertise spans research interventions, gender toolkits, and collaboration with various stakeholders nationally and internationally

Tebogo-Edward-Lerole

Tebogo Edward Lerole

Chairman, Act Now
Chaplain-General-Ernest-Thabo-Masweu

Chaplain General Ernest Thabo Masweu

SANDF

Brigadier General Ernest Thabo Masweu, born April 2, 1972, in Benoni, is the youngest of eight children. He completed his Diploma in Theology in 1999 and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Ordained in 1999, he has served in various capacities within the Anglican Church and the South African National Defence Force. Masweu’s military career highlights include deployments to the Democratic Republic of Congo and receiving the Special Chaplain General merit award. He was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed Chaplain General of the South African National Defence Force in June 2022. Masweu has been honored with medals for his 10 years of loyal service and participation in UN operations, and has successfully completed multiple military courses.

Thabo Motloung

Thabo Motloung

Lawyer and Business Leader
Naye-Lupondwana

Naye Lupondwana

Award-winning Broadcast Journalist, SA FM

Naye Lupondwana is a multiple award-winning broadcast journalist, talk show host, conference facilitator, key note speaker, master of ceremonies, writer, book editor and media strategist. Naye is a child of the revolution, born in the 70’s, raised in the 80’s and started his activism in the 90’s. Naye is a radio junkie, having started radio broadcasting in 1999 at a university radio station, over 25 years he worked for, Radio Ciskei, True Fm, Channel Africa, SA fm, and now he has transitioned from national radio to do international radio. His daily shows are now with an international radio station, Adventist World Radio.

As a broadcast journalist he has covered stories around the world like the Middle East Peace Process from 2007, the ANC’s recall of Thabo Mbeki in 2008, the Malagasy political crisis in 2009, the rise and spread of the Arab Spring in 2010, the exit of Julius Malema from the ANC in 2011, the renewed hunt for Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2012, the confirmed death of Nelson Mandela in 2013, the Chibok girls school abductions by Boko Haram in 2014, the American president Barak Obama legalizing gay marriage in 2015, and the list of historic stories he covered goes on over the years.

Naye has interviewed three of South Africa’s former heads of state, President Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma, and President Kgalema Motlanthe. He has interviewed captains of industry, world religious leaders in almost all major faith groups in the world. In his personal and private library of books, Naye has collected all religious texts from the major religions of the world, which has
equipped him to have a grip on faith as a social construct as well as it is a social contract. This summary gives you a glimpse of what Naye is up to, and all this because he is trying every day to understand things better by asking questions from those who know better. He is hoping a better understanding of issues will help him be a better father to his children, a patriotic and responsible citizen of this Republic and at the very least, a competent journalist of world affairs.

Dr-Frank-Magwegwe

Dr Frank Magwegwe

Executive for Financial Wellness & Advisory, Nedbank

Dr. Frank Magwegwe, popularly known as “Dr. Mags,” is the Executive for Financial Wellness & Advisory at Nedbank and teaches at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria (GIBS). His research focuses on employee well-being, mental health, and resilience and he consults widely in these areas. Dr Mags is a certified financial planner, certified financial risk manager, and chartered alternative investment analyst. He received his PhD from Kansas State University in the United States and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Dr. Mags has worked in the financial services industry for a total of 25 years. He has served in several executive capacities, including Head of Institutional Business, CEO and COO, at different financial services firms, before joining Nedbank as the executive responsible for financial wellness.

Buti-Kulwane

Buti Kulwane

Deputy Director: Victim Empowerment and Prevention of Gender Based Violence: National Department of Social Development

Grew up in Ga-Rankuwa and matriculated at Modiri High School. Studied at Wits University where I completed a social work degree and later a Master’s Degree in Public and Development Management.

Current Employment – Social Work Policy Manager – Transnational Organised Crime (Human Trafficking) at the Department of Social Development.

Conference Papers Research and other Achievements

  • Developed and documented the “Integrated Model of Home & Community Based Care and Support” and published an article on the model in the SABSWA journal of 2000.
  • Research titled “Civic Competence in Khutsong” in July 2002. The research focuses on the historical development of the civil society in the township of Khutsong near Carletonville. Master of Management (MM) research report at the Wits School of Public & Development Management
  • Presented a paper titled “Evaluating the Impact of the Informal Victims’ Charter Education on Selected Residents of the West Rand Region in the Gauteng Province” at the International Conference on Victim Empowerment at Polokwane in October 2010.
  • Wrote a paper titled “Evolution of the Victim Empowerment Programme in South Africa – A Developmental Perspective” in preparation for the Gauteng Victim Empowerment Summit that was held on 5 December 2012.
  • Organized the Gauteng Men’s Consultative Conference in May 2013. Participating men’s organisations included community men’s forums, men’s forums in government departments, men’s advocacy groups, men’s groups in faith-based organisations and men’s social clubs. Conference resolved to unite Gauteng men to enable them to speak with one voice and collectively influence government social policy in the fight against social ills in the province.
  • Published book titled “Navigating Through A Dense Forest” about the first two decades of my life from conception until I completed my university studies at Wits University. Self-published with assistance from the Reach Publishers in June 2020.
  • Delivered, jointly with Dr Matshemo Moganedi, a paper titled “Promoting positive role models in gender relational contexts” at the September 2023 conference of the ASASWEI in Durban. The paper focuses on the role played by South African men in the country’s efforts to achieve gender equality and reduce societal ills such as GBV, HIV, toxic masculinity, harmful gender norms and practices. Men’s activities were inspired by the gender transformative approaches which came into existence following Gita Rao Gupta’s 2000 lecture and the UN Office on the Status of Women’s session of March 2004.
Chrizelda-Coetzee-Groenewald

Chrizelda Coetzee-Groenewald

Deputy Director: Victim Empowerment and Prevention of Gender Based Violence: National Department of Social Development

Studied at the North West University and finish my BA(Social Work) degree in 1996.

Started to work for Gauteng DSD in 1996 in the Ekurhuleni Region. I have experience in many fields of Social work. I was fortunate to work in statutory services, Adoption, Substance abuse, Probation services, Restorative Justice, Intermediary services, School Social work, Employee wellness program and Victim Empowerment Program.

During my 26 years as working as a social worker I did do many courses but the following can be highlighted: Restorative Justice, Intermediary services, School social work and Employee wellness program.

I have been employed in the Government sector, NGO sector and Private sector. I was privilege to be part of news projects like the GBV Command Centre.

I believe that I am very lucky to have gain experiences of the different field in social worker and different environments. This have given me knowledge and assist me to deliver a quality services.
My passion is victim empowerment and probation services.

Velenkosini-Nsibande

Velenkosini Nsibande

Social Work Supervisor: Victim Empowerment and Prevention of Gender Based Violence: National Department of Social Development

Velenkosini Nsibande is a Social Work Supervisor, currently employed by the Department of Social Development / Gender Based Violence Command Centre.
He has over 20 years’ experience in the field of social work and research. He has also worked in programmes aimed at working with men / boys both in government and private sector.
He is currently part of the management team of the Department’s Gender Based Violence Command centre, a 24-hour service which renders services targeting all the provinces.

Lesego-Mohlala

Lesego Mohlala

Senior Mentor: Access Chapter

Lesego Teddy Mohlala, currently serving as Senior Mentor for the Gay, Bisexual, Men who have Sex with other Men Project at Access Chapter2, that aims to improve health, psycho- social well-being, and education of Gay, Bisexual, Men who have Sex with other Men and their families and is designed & mandated to shift mindsets regarding lived realities of GBMSM and PLHIV; while also functioning as LGBTIA+ Sector Chairperson and Resource Mobilization for the Tshwane Aids Council Civil Society Forum.
With a National Diploma in Language Practice from the Tshwane University of Technology, Lesego also furthered his studies with a training course offered by the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) of Specialized Translation: Subtitling with the Vaal Triangle University. Furthermore, he proceeded to the University of South Africa, where he obtained a National Certificate in Office/Business Management, and again with the Red and Yellow Creative School in 2019 studying towards a National Certificate in Digital Consumer Marketing Management. He then continued with a training course for PrEP with Impact ITPC – Generating demand and Increasing Uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) among Gay and Bisexual Men.
Working as Client Communications Laison Manager and CALL4CARE Navigator/Agent and Brand Ambassador for the WETHEBRAVE.CO.ZA funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation in the Marketing Department at Anova Health Institute, his work for the MSM/LGBTQIA+ community is echoed in his implementations with For the Boys Brunch, Feathers Awards National Dialogues and Feather Awards Ceremony, Cape Town Pride, Johannesburg Pride, Pretoria Pride. Along with this, he has also worked with OUT Wellbeing, where he was MSM Coordinator for the Viral Hepatitis Study.
With extensive experience working for, and with the MSM/LGBTQIA+ community, he has implemented multiple

Siyabulela-Jentile

Siyabulela Jentile

Founder and President, Not In My Name International
Kgaugelo-Habyane

Kgaugelo Habyane

Director, Manned up Foundation

Kgaugelo Habyane welcomes men and boys of all backgrounds to join a growing community of open-minded individuals seeking personal development and emotional empowerment. I believe that conversations enhance human connection and understanding. It’s not about fixing people; rather; it is about treating them as experts in their own experiences by asking open-ended questions and allowing individuals the space to speak and reflect, which I believe is a self-awareness building process.
Kgaugelo is the host Manned Up Conversations, an Ontological Coaching community member and independent male psychology researcher.

Launched in 2019, EmpowaMen has become an important platform for men to share and confront the issues they face in today’s world – from ‘men are trash’ to perfection pressure.

With an audience of over 400 men, all with influence in their diverse industry sectors and communities, it was clear that EmpowaMen is a vital and much-needed platform.

During the national lockdown due to COVID-19, EmpowaMen created and hosted numerous digital conversations that were exceptionally well-attended – via Zoom as well as social media platforms.

With smaller gathering throughout the years, the EmpowaMen Annual Summit in February 2023 was a resounding success, with over 2,000 men and over 30 exceptional speakers; the prevailing feedback was that these types of conversations needed to continue.

empowamen-header-img
Empowamen Annual Summit 2023

We asked, ‘how can we bring about lasting and positive change in both men’s perception and their actions?’

The answer lies in open and extensive dialogue – a dedicated conversation that resonates far and wide.

The term redefining lends itself to a process – EmpowaMen is a platform that enables frank and honest conversations with men so that they can explore and discuss the issues facing them in today’s world, with a focus on bringing about change.

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Empowamen Annual Summit 2023

Issues impacting society are systemic – EmpowaMen conversations address numerous social issues through the lens of different aspects of life

our purpose

Together, we can forge a path towards a more inclusive and harmonious future.

community

Shifting the narrative from blame to collaboration, inviting men to actively contribute to sustainable solutions in tackling the social challenge of equality.

tools

Equipping men to transcend stereotypes and break free from the confines of the status quo, enabling them to embrace holistic greatness and embody their fullest potential.

fire

Igniting a fire within men to champion noble causes, boldly defend righteous ideals, and fearlessly embrace the multifaceted essence of manhood without reservation.

tools

Creating an inclusive platform that dares every individual identifying as male, regardless of their position in life, sexual preference, stature, or nature, to become proactive change agents within their homes, workplaces, and communities.

our speakers last year

Below you’ll see some our exceptional speakers from the 2023 EmpowaMen Annual Summit – you’ll quickly realise that each of our speakers, whose input was fundamentally impactful, can easily command a stage on their own. But they chose to participate in conversations to ensure each discussion was comprehensive and deep.

boy-child-panel
comedy-isaac
gbv-panel
identity-panel
keynote-address-abner
mental-panel
programme-director
wounds-panel

By talking about it relentlessly, we can unravel the complexities, challenge stereotypes, and pave the way for men to embrace a holistic masculinity that meets the demands of the 21st century and contributes to a truly egalitarian society.

empowamen-header-img
empowamen-header-img

themes

There are nine key focus areas that effectively address the redefinition of modern masculinity

family

MAN & FAMILY

In this focus area we explore how the role of men has changed and the importance of healthy relationships with partners and children, as well as taking responsibility for their part in the whole, by embracing holistic masculinity.

identity

MAN & IDENTITY

This focus area explores the concept of identity and how man’s perception of self shapes the man he becomes and his contribution to society.

health

MAN & HEALTH

Opening up dialogue about issues that affect men and why is an important part of holistic masculinity. We equip and empower men to take charge of their health in totality – physically and mentally.

wealth

MAN & WEALTH

This focus area explores wealth creation, entrepreneurship, business and other factors that contribute to financial stability.

spirituality

MAN & SPIRITUALITY

Awakening a consciousness of a reality beyond one’s immediate experience opens up a space for greater possibility; no matter how this consciousness is perceived or felt, it assists the holistic man in responding positively to the internal and external environments of his world.

violence

MAN & VIOLENCE

This focus areal explores ways in which man can understand and champion the crusade against violence in general, and GBV in particular.

MAN & THE LGBTQI COMMUNITY

MAN & THE LGBTQI COMMUNITY

This focus area provides insight into this integral yet marginalised part of society and aims to destigmatise LGBTQI people, leading towards a non-prejudicial attitude towards people based on their sexual orientation.

substance

MAN & SUBSTANCE ABUSE

This focus area explores the phenomenon and looks at ways in which men can stand together to create a society where alcohol and substance abuse is, if not eradicated, at least frowned upon and controlled.

future

MAN & THE FUTURE

In this focus area we look to the future and ways in which men who embrace and embody holistic masculinity can be agile and equipped to manage and positively respond to change.

disclaimer

EmpowaMen is a platform that fosters open dialogue and discussion on various issues affecting men and their environments. The opinions and statements expressed by participants in EmpowaMen discussions are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the platform. EmpowaMen is committed to providing a space for diverse perspectives and encourages constructive conversations that delve into the complexities of men’s experiences. Participants are encouraged to express their views responsibly and respectfully, acknowledging the diversity of opinions within the community.

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Facilitator |
Sechaba Motsieloa – Co-founder EmpowaMen

Program Director |
Milton NkosiFormer BBC News Africa Bureaux Chief & Correspondent The Speaker’s Firm

MAIN STAGE

08:00 – 08:15 Poetry Item |
Zewande Bhengu, Poet

08:15 – 08:30 Welcome address |
Simphiwe Masiza, Co-founder EmpowaMen

08:30 – 08:45 Opening address |
Mr Buti Kulwane, Deputy Director: Victim
Empowerment and Prevention of Gender Based Violence: National Department of Social Development

08:45 – 09:15 Keynote Address |
Mosa Sono, Bishop Grace Bible Church

09:15 – 10:15 Panel Discussion | Gender Based Violence – GBV |
Mr Siyabulela Jentile, Founder and President Not in my name international
Siv Ngesi, Comedian, Television Presenter,
Actor, MC, Producer, Acclaimed Actor and GBV Activist
Dumisani Rebombo, Provincial Manager –
Community Education Sonke Gender Justice
Tebogo Edward Lerole, Chairman Act Now

10:15-10:45 Masterclass: Financial Abuse | Dr Frank Magwegwe, Executive for Financial Wellness & Advisory Nedbank

10:45 – 11:30 Masterclass: Fatherhood | Thabo ‘T-Bose’ Mokwele Author, Director TBose Productions

11:15 – 11:30 Keynote Address |
Hon Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister National Department of Social Development

11:30 – 12:30 Panel Discussion: Future of a Boy Child |
Facilitator: Sechaba Motsieloa Co-founder EmpowaMen
Nyimpini Mabunda Author & Chairman Schindler Lifts South Africa
Loyiso MacDonald Actor & Voice Over Artist
Chaplain General Ernest Thabo
Masweu South African National Defence Force

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themed conversations

Delegates choose which conversation they would like to participate in.

13:30 – 16:15

Health | Depression and Mental Health

13:30 – 14:45

Hakeem Anderson-Lesolang, Transformational Therapy
Specilaist – FOLA Wellness & Healing
Facilitator: Paul Nzimande, Life Coach
Kgaugelo Habyane, Director – Manned up Foundation

Health | Sexual Health: Consent

13:30 – 14:45

Facilitator: Linda Yende, Author & Public Speaker
Phinah Kodisang, CEO & Executive Board
Member, Soul City Institute
Lt Col Jika Zukile Lt, Colonel, SAPS Diepsloot
Michael Benevolent, Masina Senior Intervention specialist, Tears Foundation
Ms Chrizelda Coetzee-Groenewald,
Deputy Director: Victim Empowerment and Prevention of Gender Based Violence, National Department of Social Development

Health | Substance Abuse

13:30 – 14:45

Abner Mariri, Author & Motivational Speaker

Conversation | The Wounds That Men Carry

13:30 – 14:45

Craig Wilkinson, Founder & CEO Father a Nation

GBV | Man Abuse

13:30 – 14:45

Sechaba Motsieloa
Mr Velenkosini Nsibande, Social Worker, Supervisor – Gender Based Violence
Command Centre National Department of Social Development
Martin Pelders, Founder, MatrixMen Africa
Dr Gugulethu Xaba, Director Student Governance and Leadership Tshwane University Of Technology
Sandile Memela, Journalist, Writer, Cultural Critic, Public Servant When Tigers Cry

How Spirituality Impacts You

13:30 – 14:45

Facilitator: Naye Lupondwana, award-winning broadcast journalist, SA FM
Dr Steven Molakeng, Bishop Kingdom Dimensions ministries
Anele Siswana, Clinical Psychologist; African
Spiritual Healer
Dr Tim Grage, Pastor, City of Zion

themed conversations

Dialogue | Society | Inclusivity – addressing attitudes to the LGBTI+ Community

15:00 – 16:15

Lesego Mohlala, Senior Mentor, Access Chapter 2

Masterclass| Sexual Health

15:00 – 16:15

Professor Shingai Mutambirwa, Head of Department of Urology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU)

Fatherhood | Dad Rights

15:00 – 16:15

Mr Sthembiso Phakathi, Founder & Executive Producer, Single Dads Network

Family | Divorce: Navigtaing the complexities of Divorce

15:00 – 16:15

Facilitator: Tshepo Maseko, TV Host, One Gospel
Leslie Sedibe, CEO, Leslie Sedibe Inc. Attorneys
Thabo Motloung, Lawyer and Business leader
Dr David Molapo, CEO & Founder, I Can Leadership Institute Africa; I CAN 4IR

Family | What constitutes a family

15:00 – 16:15

Facilitator: Milton Nkosi
Felix Hlophe, Comedian; Radio Jock; Businessman, Gagasi FM
Sicelo Zwane, Chairman, Stratosphere Group
Gogo Skotheni, Artist, Reality TV Star and DJ

Dialogue |Family | The Changing role of men in society – a man’s place today

15:00 – 16:15

Mr Buti Kulwane, Deputy Director: Victim
Empowerment and Prevention of
Gender Based Violence: National Department of Social Development
Dr Daniel Mokwena, Relationship Guru

Family |Your roots and how they impact you

15:00 – 16:15

Facilitator: Sechaba Motsieloa, Co-founder EmpowaMen
Joshua Maponga, Author
Apostle Kabelo Moroke, Overseer of Kairos Relationships of Churches

Closing Address

16:15 – 16:45

Sum Up

16:45 – 17:00

Milton Nkosi, Former BBC Correspondent, The Speaker’s Firm

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We will soon be launching our podcasts, so listen out for us and join the conversation!

media

EmpowaMen Summit 2024: Redefining masculinity and fostering positive change

It’s about diving deep into the tough conversations that are needed for real change to take place

Empowerment of men takes centre stage

Participants in these male empowerment forums are encouraged to heal themselves and society by engaging in topics and sharing the feelings they would normally internalise.

Unleashing potential of african male activists who are re-defining the present and future

THERE has not been a time in the history of black people in this country when so large a number of African men have been possessed by a spirit of self-reliance and determination.

Mute lyrics projecting women as objects of sexual pleasure for men

In our quest to detoxify masculinity there is a host of men, steeped in traditional ideas of manhood, who must be brought into the conversation.

team

Simphiwe Masiza

Simphiwe Masiza

Founder and Executive Producer

Mr Simphiwe Masiza is an accomplished entrepreneur, distinguished business leader, and the Chief Executive Officer of Empowaworx Group. Holding qualifications from WITS and GIBS, among other esteemed institutions, Masiza is proficient in project management, strategy, organizational development, organizational management, event management, reputation management, business management, governance, and executive leadership. As the founder and dedicated leader of Empowaworx, he is deeply passionate about driving the organization’s success.

jessey-matlou

Jessey Matlou

Events and Leadership Lead

With a BA in Media studies and Phycology, and a Certificate in Strategic Brand and Marketing Management, Jessey is an events specialist and strategist with over 15 years of experience, serves as the Speaker’s Management and Project Coordination lead at Empowaworx. Demonstrating passion and excellence in her role, Jessey contributes significantly to the success of the organization.

Joshua Mtanyelwa

Joshua Mtanyelwa

Lead Coordinator and Spokesperson

A born leader with a passion for developing people to reach their fullest potential, Joshua is a thought-leader and motivator that has spent much of his career focussing on mentoring and capacitating boys and men to realize their purpose in society. As seasoned facilitator and speaker, Joshua is the epitome of integrity.

Kirsten-Alexander

Kirsten Alexander

Senior Communications Specialist

Kirsten, with qualifications in Marketing Management, Creative Writing and Psychology is a seasoned communications professional and marketing strategist with over 25 years of experience. She plays a crucial role at Empowaworx in creative strategy, content creation, event ideation and marketing.

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PARTNER WITH US

We will be hosting 3,000 men of influence across all sectors of industry, influencing resources, people, policy, strategy – towards creating fundamental change to the narrative and behaviours attributed to toxic masculinity.

We have a number of different ways in which you can partner with us – to activate your brand within the context of EmpowaMen, showcasing your commitment to making a difference in this world, and highlighting that you are not afraid to have the tough conversations needed in today’s world.

Get in touch with Kirsten Alexander for more information about how you can partner with us – kirsten@empowamen.co.za

Call us

+27 (0) 11 482 7256
+27 (0) 11 482 7257

Visit us

364 Pine Avenue, Ferndale,
Randburg,
2196

 

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EMPOWAYOUTH

EmpowaYouth is a highly effective platform that brings real and relevant opportunities to where the youth are, across the nation. We know that our young people desire to be viable contributors to society and their communities – all they need is an opportunity. In addition to the EmpowaYouth Week, where we host 20,000 youth, with over 200 speakers, the EmpowaYouth Weekends that are activated nationally, this platform offers insight and trends within the context of semi-rural and peri-urban township youth, bespoke youth activations and campaigns and so much more. We know what the youth of our country want and need, and we know how to deliver it to them in a way that resonates with them – fundamentally transforming their lives. We have numerous case studies and testimonials from the young people we have impacted, which you can view here: https://shorturl.at/dfgmv

To date, EmpowaYouth has impacted over 60,000 youth around the country with real and relevant opportunities for jobs, training, and entrepreneurial funding through our dedicated partners. EmpowaYouth’s success lies in the fact that we bring opportunities to where the youth are, not just giving them inspiration and information, but connecting them to people, organisations and opportunities that will fundamentally transform their lives.
To find out more, visit the website: www.empowayouth.co.za

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EMPOWAWOMEN

The EmpowaWomen Summit aims to break barriers, shatter glass ceilings, and inspire change by providing a space for women leaders to connect, learn, and amplify their voices. The underrepresentation of women in key sectors not only hinders progress towards gender equality but also deprives these industries of the diverse perspectives and innovative ideas that women bring. By addressing the specific challenges faced by women in diverse industries, this summit seeks to foster a collective determination towards creating a more inclusive and equitable future.

With day one reaching 1,000 women leaders and focussing on leadership, our gala dinner will host 1,000 women, and day two is an exploration of 20 different industry sectors, enabling the 8,000 women in attendance to unpack their industries in terms of transformation, as well as network across industry sectors. Our speakers will inspire the audience and galvanize change. To get a sense of what can be expected, please view this short video from the 2023 Annual Leadership Summit, where we focussed on eight industry sectors with an audience of 1,000 women: https://n9.cl/rk3b6

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EMPOWAENTREPRENEURS FUNDING SUMMIT

The summit provides a unique platform for 1,500 vetted entrepreneurs to explore funding avenues such as Venture Capital, Angel Investment, Development Finance Institutions, Women-centric Funds, Impact Funds, and more. Through interactive exhibitions and dynamic pitching sessions, attending entrepreneurs will have unparalleled opportunities to secure funding for their ventures, from funders with a collective value of over R500 Billion. Beyond facilitating funding opportunities, the EmpowaEntrepreneur Funding Summit aims to enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with over 200 speakers, all experts in their fields. Networking opportunities will empower entrepreneurs with the connections they need to propel their ventures forward, contributing to the overall vitality of the entrepreneurial landscape

The Speakers Firm

The Speakers Firm

The Speakers Firm represents the country’s leading thought engineers.
This includes professional key-note speakers, facilitators, motivational speakers, academics, coaches, consultants, best-selling authors, CEO’s and executives of multi-national corporations, internationally acclaimed thought leaders, entrepreneurs, celebrities, comedians, economists, and analysts. All are able to speak on topics across all industry sectors and within specific themes.
In short, we deliver. Whatever you need.
The Speaker’s Firm is your partner in creating a memorable event that is exceptionally valuable to all who attend and ensures high audience impact.
To explore our exceptional speakers, or to book a speaker, please visit www.thespeakersfirm.co.za