Experience the power of authenticity Illumi.Nation and Strawberry Lips

August 26, 2019

Participate. Share. Reflect. These are the intentions you need to bring with you to fully immerse yourself in one of the most anticipated events this August. This Women’s Month, Strawberry Lips have teamed up with Firecracker Events & Marketing to launch the inaugural Illumi.Nation conference, taking place tomorrow on 29 August 2019.

Conceptualised by women for women, Illumi.Nation is designed to be an interactive experience, collectively exploring ways of breaking down barriers and creating new ways of being. The goal is to feel inspired and motivated to be the best you can be, irrelevant of your journey – provided the destination is #authentic.

“It was always about the power of authenticity”, says Firecracker spokesperson, Claire Alexander. “We wanted a concept that was fresh and developed in a manner that resonated with today’s society and sentiments. And when it comes to the young professional women that are shaping today’s landscape, we wanted to partner with a brand that was already invested in this market. Strawberry Lips was the obvious choice.”

Led by captains of industries from various sectors, Illumi.Nation is set to be an evening of constructive conversation and networking combined with fun and interactive experiences; the highlight of which will be a panel discussion with industry leaders on ‘The Power of Authenticity’ where speakers such as Lelemba Phiri will share their stories of how authenticity helped them achieve success in their business and personal lives.

Panellist Lelemba Phiri is an award-winning educator, writer, entrepreneur and angel investor with a focus on advancing women. She is passionate about women leadership and entrepreneurship development in Africa and has committed her life’s work to progress equality and empowerment for women. Phiri says that although it’s a personal bugbear that in 2019 we still need to have a ‘Women’s Month’ for women to be celebrated and feel empowered, “These events are important as they give participants unique opportunities to network and access people they would not ordinarily meet in everyday life. In the context of South Africa, where the history of segregation along racial, social and economic lines can still be felt, this kind of event gives people the opportunity to grow and create personal, career and business connections without barriers.”

Another fierce believer in the collective interests of women, the panel discussion will be moderated by well-known SA personality, sports presenter and journalist Sibongile Mafu. To Sibs Women’s Month means “being resolute in our fight for gender equality. It means fighting for the safety of women in a country with a high rate of femicide. It means fighting for women who don’t look like us to also have a seat at the table,” adding that “as much as women share a lot of similar challenges, there’s also a conversation to be had around the importance of intersectionality because everyone experiences the world differently.”

“These conversations are important because they show us how we’re not alone in the challenges we face as women from different backgrounds. They demonstrate how talking, connecting and empowering each other through tangible support structures can be the first step in pulling ourselves out of the darkness,” Mafu explains.

Phiri also adds, “While it’s great to brand t-shirts and talk about what to do, let’s rather put words into actions, acknowledge the gaps and work on filling them. Let’s take stock of what we’re doing to action change, not only in August but all year round. Actions speak volumes.”

Impassioned by the narratives of women in the 21st century and constantly looking for opportunities to make a difference, Strawberry Lips is celebrated for encouraging and supporting a culture of strong, empowered and successful South African women. It is a brand that thrives on partnering with great SA initiatives and positively contributing to the future of the country.

By connecting a group of inspirational young people with powerful role models, Illumi.Nation and Strawberry Lips expect the outcome to be truly illuminating.

Palesa Mobukung was recently announced as the first African designer to collaborate with retail giant H&M. Mobukung is looking forward to the discussion as she feels that these events are important in the context of South Africa. “Girls need role models that they can identify with, who have lived in the climate they do and can check in on them on all levels. They are impressionable. These events are an opportunity to help young women and make a positive impact – we all want to raise strong and confident girls”, she says.

Popular media personality and the host of Kfm’s Flash Drive, Carl Wastie comments, “I believe that any event that brings about dialogue on gender issues and aims to create a solutions-based approach is vital for the country. We need to have more open conversations and invite different narratives to the discussion to get a full picture of the situation. I would like to see absolute equality in the home, the community and the workplace”.

As one of only two male panellists, Wastie will offer a snapshot of his life as a man in modern society. He says, “I’ll be talking about rising above the stereotypes ingrained in society and focussing on actions to better the world. Gender equality and motivating for young women to see themselves as an asset in any field of life is a conversation for everyone. It is everybody’s responsibility to advocate for social change, to spotlight areas of improvement and work together to find solutions”.

Dave Duarte, one of the panel speakers, echoes these thoughts, “I think we need to have tough conversations about behaviour change, and the specific things that people can DO to end patriarchy and bring about a more inclusive culture. Too many men see gender equality as a women’s issue – or that it is simply about achieving gender parity in hiring – when it’s actually cultural. It’s a conversation that needs to keep happening and that we all need to be involved with if we’re going to make change”.

Duarte is an educator and speaker on digital age leadership and social marketing. He notes, “We need ways to be inspired, to find causes to be hopeful about, and ways to connect with each other. Undoing patriarchal systems and blazing a new, more inclusive way forward is a win-win for everyone”. As a man of marketing, Duarte will also touch on communication and what it means to build an authentic personal brand.

Hosted by two local brands that are intent on making a difference; Illumi.Nation and Strawberry Lips are bringing together a group of young people and insightful facilitators to participate, share and reflect on the future generations of strong and empowered South African women.

Proudly South African, Strawberry Lips is famously known for its gold tequila laced with strawberry cream liqueur; and in many circles, is also known for encouraging and supporting a culture of strong, empowered and successful South African women.

“We feel it’s important for us as a brand to play a role in contributing to the shaping of future South Africa,” says Strawberry Lips Marketing Manager Vanessa Nel. “To partner with a platform such as Illumi.Nation gives us the opportunity to inspire, connect and motivate all women in South Africa to step into their unique power.”

Led by captains of industry from various sectors, Illumi.Nation will guide you through an evening of conversations, debates and networking. “The structure of the event has definitely taken all personality types into consideration,” continues Alexander. “Besides being inspiring and insightful, we want this experience to be all-inclusive so everyone who attends ends off Women’s Month spirited and geared up for the next part of their journey.”

Tickets are limited to 200, so get yours now at Quicket and track the conversations on all social media platforms by using the hashtags #IlluminationSA #ShineBrighter #Authenticity 

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