Celebrating the Women Who Inspire Us

Amajoya

To celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, we ask three team members at Amajoya to share a little about the women who have inspired them in life and work.

On 9 August every year, South Africa honours the strong, determined women of our country’s history. To pay tribute to these resilient women – and all women – we chat to three Amajoya team members about the influential mentors in their own lives. We also ask them how they’ll be spending their Women’s Day, what’s their go-to winter escape, and which Amajoya candy they love the most.

Elmarie Fourie: “The women who inspire me are the so called ‘ordinary’ women”

Elmarie Fourie has been with the company for 12 years and she is the Finance Executive. She is the custodian of the company’s financial health, ensuring the company performs according to its budget.

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you in your life or career.

There are a lot of inspiring women out there who have achieved success and/or fame, but the women who inspire me are the so called “ordinary” women. Women who make use of their talents and potential, who raise their children and create a home where their families feel loved and cared for every day. They get up before their families are awake and go to bed after everyone is asleep, and then still go to work and give 100%.

They are not recognised and revered in public, but they are the glue holding society together.

How are you going to celebrate Women’s Day this year?

On the 9th, I am going to have breakfast with my 89-year-old mom. Then, on the 20th, I will attend the Durbanville Children’s Home fundraising breakfast.

What would you say to a younger version of yourself to inspire her to believe in herself as a woman?

Tough times are periods of growth. They are not a sign of failure but an opportunity to learn and grow. Be patient, be consistent and always give and do your best.

What is your go-to treat or “escape” during winter?

Reading in front of the fireplace with good music, good coffee and an unlimited supply of pancakes.

What is your favourite Amajoya candy?

I am so incredibly proud of all our products that it is a bit like choosing a favourite child, but my favourite at the moment is the Creamy Toffee Milk Éclair.

Ilse Frieslaar: “My mother showed exceptional work ethic and pride in everything she did”

Ilse Frieslaar has worked for Amajoya for almost 10 years and is our Food Quality and Safety Manager. She ensures that customers enjoy a safe, premium quality product and that the brand integrity is maintained.

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you in your life or career.

My belated mother Mary Anne Fredericks. She showered me with love, support and motivation. She gave me advice on how to handle certain situations in the workplace and how to manage people. My mother showed exceptional work ethic and pride in everything she did and that inspired me both as a child and a grown woman.

She was a strong woman and role model in the community. She was someone that believed in a balanced lifestyle; that there is a time and a place for everything in life.

How are you going to celebrate Women’s Day this year?

My daughter asked to have a “girls’ day out” so I’ll be taking her to the movies.

What would you say to a younger version of yourself to inspire her to believe in herself as a woman?

You will make mistakes and that is okay. We are all a work in progress and not perfect. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve.

What is your go-to treat or “escape” during winter?

A weekend at a spa.

What is your favourite Amajoya candy?

Creamy Toffee Milk Éclair.

Ingrid Mabusela: “Actress Connie Ferguson’s perseverance, focus and dedication has been my source of motivation”

Ingrid Mabusela is an Amajoya Sales Representative and has been with the company for just over a year. She helps to drive sales, oversee retail stores, and ensure that our brand is well represented.

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you in your life or career.

Connie Ferguson, an executive producer and entrepreneur. She was first known as an actress who had a lead role on one of the most popular soap operas in South Africa. She is a God fearing, strong and independent woman. Her perseverance, focus and dedication has been my source of motivation. At her current age she’s a true example of life beginning after 40. Her active and vibrant lifestyle gives hope to those whose lives fade away in their elderly years.

Faith and prayer have always played a role in her achievements. She has created jobs through her production company and body care range, and continues to give back to the less fortunate through the Ferguson Foundation. This on its own is motivating for our youth.

Women like her give us hope that it’s possible to achieve your goals while being true to yourself. Success is a choice; we just have to rise and work on it.

How are you going to celebrate Women’s Day this year?

I am going to a Women’s Day celebration at church. Special guests have been invited to share inspirational speeches and motivate women.

What would you say to a younger version of yourself to inspire her to believe in herself as a woman?

Have self-confidence and always believe in yourself. Use the opportunities available to build a strong foundation for yourself. Set goals and commit to them. Have self-discipline and focus in everything that you do, and make sacrifices where necessary. Surround yourself with people who are hardworking and have a vision for their lives. Always invite God into your plans. Remember that failure is an opportunity to begin again – never let fear or doubt keep you from staying true to your vision.

What is your go-to treat or “escape” during winter?

I always keep myself busy and like treating myself to a bowl of wholesome soup.

What is your favourite Amajoya candy?

My favourite Amajoya candy is the Sugar Free Creamy Coffee Candy. It has the most outstanding aroma.

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