One of the things I enjoy is to engage with young women. So, once a quarter, I host a "Girls Lunch with Dr Lulu". We sit, eat, talk, question, laugh, and share experiences about life in general.
My Personal Reflections: Lulu Gwagwa
And so it’s done. We have our 2020 Girls Lunch Cohort. The journey of self-discovery, self-correction, self-generation has begun in earnest. I was overwhelmed by buzz and vibe in the room. The commitment of these Girls to self- development is very real. But I also know that through this long journey true and deep friendships and relationships will be formed. These are the relationships that will be valuable and firm bridges when rivers and gorges will need to be crossed.
I am eternally grateful to the Coaches that given of themselves to tenderly but firmly hold the space within which these Girls will drive their own growth. Thank you Nothemba Mxenge, Pam Yako, Phetsile Dlamini, Ngao Motsei, Yoliswa Makasi, Dipuo Nkaunyane, Lulama Tlakula and Lungile Mvuyane. It truly takes a village to raise a child!
10 Bompas Hotel, Hyde Park • March-07-2020
Tenda Fiona Magada
Reflections of the venue
We wouldn't have enjoyed ourselves in any other venue like we did at the 10 Bompas Hotel. Easily accessible with clear directional sign boards. We were received with a choice of warm and cold welcome drinks and snacks. The reception area was great. The hotel looks fantastic from the outside to the inside. It is well decorated, with beautiful the patio sitting cushions, and tidy bathrooms. Our conference room was cosy, and with refreshing music. The lovely garden was perfect for beautiful pictures.
The food looked good from the presentation and taste really great. We truly enjoyed our meals, all thanks to the team that prepared it.
A great choice for a great our Inaugural Girls Lunch. The overall experience was great, and we really enjoyed spending the day 10 Bompas. The beautiful weather was just a cherry on top!
Leading up to the first session as part of the 2020 cohort I was not sure what to expect. I was looking forward to finally unpacking the mysterious enneagram but somewhat nervous to meet everyone. I’m glad to say that my nerves were not necessary, and that the enneagram was demystified, in a good way. I am now able to articulate and understand the base reasoning for my thinking, my feeling and my actions.
The day was filled with some much learning, upliftment and gems of wisdom, not only from our coaches and head mentor, Dr Gwagwa, but from our phenomenal guest speaker Thando Hopa. I was also inspired and awed by the rest of the cohort and further motivated by our shared quest for self-mastery and growth. My key phrase from the session was ‘contextual intelligence’ which was shared by Ms. Hopa. The reason this phrase resonated with me is because, as a young black woman, navigating the corridors of corporate and the streets of life, it is something that I have innately been doing.
I’m feeling very positive and excited to continue this journey, particularly along side my fellow Feral Unleashed sisters, as we unchain ourselves from the captivity of society’s and our own unrealistic expectations of who we are.
The girls lunch with Dr Lulu Gwagwa held on the 7th March 2020 at Ten Bompas hotel was heart-warming and spectacular. It was such an honour to be in a room filled with so many incredible women (some of which have become friends) and the coaches who were so welcoming and pleasant. The mood and atmosphere in the room was so delightful and was truly a day well spent.
I’ve learnt so much about myself during the enneagram part of the day which was about discovering ourselves and learning more about our biggest motivators and the reasons behind why we do what we do. Going through the different enneagram core types and their integrations with coach Nothemba Mxenge and Pam Yako was a great way to start the show because we needed to learn how important it is to accept ourselves for who we are and that every trait we possess has a purpose not only for ourselves but to the environment as a whole.
To say having Thando Hopa as our guest speaker was icing on a huge cake is an understatement. She holds so much power and her presence in the room was felt more than one could explain. Hearing her share her story and motivations in life was inspirational. My biggest take away from her speech is to never doubt yourself. Regardless of your background, you are put where you are for a reason and at times were you feel doubting and not good enough, you need to remind yourself of those reasons.
I honestly can say I’ve learnt a lot from everything that was said and taught on Saturday. It’s only been a couple of days but the impact the meeting had on my life was enormous. I’ve learned to accept myself and to walk in my intended purpose knowing that my presence matters and no one can ever take away my true self.
“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”- Graham Greene
This quote beautifully encapsulates my first encounter of Girls’ Lunch Cohort. The journey leading to the initial meeting was rigorous - and in my opinion - an introduction to the process of becoming. The application form, commitment letter and Enneagram test, gave me a sense of “fetching my life” and mental preparation for what I was about to immerse myself.
The moment I arrived at the venue, there was a discern of possibility in the atmosphere. And I was captivated from that very moment. I did not just show up as an intense creative, I was eager and open to absorb and bask in the ambience. I was inspired by how every women in the room held to their individual truth and power and by virtue of occupying the same space. I received the assurance that I too was that woman.
Thando Hopa was the highlight of the lunch! She incredibly articulated her existence. She dropped numerous gems of knowledge and epiphanies. She encouraged me to be daring greatly. She taught me to decipher between confidence and courage. And she demonstrated contextual intelligence. And when imposter syndrome and self-doubt has you at its mercy...just start and be kind to yourself and never forget that you are held! This was a very power note to self for all black women.
I am impressed with the level of professionalism this programme has offered. The food was absolutely delicious and an entire experience on its own! Infact, I did not eat anything for the rest of the day.
It is not on a regular basis that one gets to embody balanced levels of integration in your centres of intelligence. Without reservation, I can admit that I consciously experienced this on Saturday. Needless to say, I left the lunch on cloud nine. I am ready to conquer whatever challenges I’m faced with. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity for self development.
Reflecting to the 7th of March 2020, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was expecting but the 1st 2020 Girl’s Lunch exceeded my expectations. I think I can speak for all 60+ girls when I say that we were all ecstatic and to some extent, curious, about our first gathering. So much so that we all arrived super early, to the surprise of the Girl’s Lunch faculty. The Bompas Hotel, which is conveniently located in Dunkeld West, is beautiful and serene – fitting for a girl’s power lunch.
The morning started with some tea, coffee and mingling. It was so refreshing to see so many driven young women from different paths of life connect and relate so effortlessly. We began by taking our seats with our peer groups and respective coaches. Dr Gwagwa – the phenomenal pioneer behind this amazing initiative – officially opened the Programme with a warm welcome to the Girl’s Lunch, introductions and overall rules of engagement. A key takeaway from her introduction speech is the power of engagement and, in turn, she challenged each of us to grow and make meaningful networks going forward.
It was truly stimulating listening to everyone’s background - from the mentors to the mentees, I was in the presence of power and greatness, so powerful I almost felt out of place until coach and Enneagram Specialist Nomathemba Mxenge reminded all of us that we are all here for a reason and to use this opportunity to find out why.
Our amazing guest speaker, the vibrant and powerful Thando Hopa, shared her personal journeys of courage which were instrumental towards her development and influence in shaping social, political and cultural constructs. A critical lesson gained from her speech was the importance of contextual intelligence – understanding in which contexts to apply or address certain issues. Furthermore, Miss Hopa’s personal journey was a strong embodiment of the Identity Workshop’s theme of self-discovery and embracing your true, authentic self. This resonated strongly with most, if not all, of us as we all have such unique qualities that may at times oppose the status quo. Miss Hopa reminded us that nature’s beauty lies within its diversity, because if it is unnatural, it cannot exist. This was reinforced by coach Phetsile Dlamini when she spoke about letting go of versions of ourselves that no longer serve us and allowing ourselves to access our true nature.
In closing, I think it’s safe to say that the main takeaway from this lunch is to show up and to do so with intent and the willingness to do the work. This is strongly demonstrated by the entire Girl’s Lunch faculty of phenomenal coaches and mentors that continually show up for their mentees and invest so much time, resources and energy towards this programme. We are eternally grateful for the guidance we will be receiving on this pathway to integration and alignment. Thank you to the Girl’s Lunch faculty and all its contributors.
- Reabetswe Dithung
- Peer group: Generation Impactors (GI)
- Coach: Lungile Mvuyane
In a world where we as young women are constantly force fed all kinds of narratives about both ourselves and the world it becomes difficult for one to realise their true self and potential. The fast paced demands of our goals leave no room for inner reflection as we are always focused on achieving our next milestone. Consequently we find ourselves engaging in negative forms of self-preservation when faced with obstacles both in private and professional quarters in an effort to keep our heads above the water.
I equate #Girlslunch2020 Day 1 to the feeling of Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland where she confronted with unanswered questions, uncomfortable truths and heavy-hearted decision making as she tries to appropriately relate herself to the world around her. Through an adventure of self-discovery purposed for self-restoration she is empowered to use the past not to define her but rather as a springboard into the person she seeks to become. The deep dive into enneagrams was the beginning of such a journey for me. As I put together the puzzle that is myself, I learned to not look at my short comings as a glass ceiling but rather areas where I need to restore my agency and begin my evolution. I’ve embraced “self” not as a destination but as a journey.
#Girlslunch2020 Day 1 left me with a great deal of anxiety and anticipation for what’s to come - Exposing me to a unique approach to a creating well-rounded individual by starting from within ourselves and each other. This program has opened my eyes to the process of learning through unlearning and becoming one through others. Gone are the days of over compensating in self to deter from needing others. Thus I left with a real sense of community – not based on dependence or independence but rather interdependence amongst a tribe of superstar women.