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KwaZulu-Natal born-and-bred Nolwazi Reneé Ntshingila, the regional finalist for the Natal Region, has been named the 2013 MISA Woman of the Year.
As a campaigner for the equal rights of women in the retail motor sector, the MISA Women’s Forum instituted the annual MISA Woman of the Year award in 2010 to pay homage to the role that women play in this important economic sector.
But the award aims to do more than that: it is an important opportunity for the winner to grow and develop personally and professionally during her tenure as the MISA Woman of the Year.
They judge’s don’t necessarily look for the most senior, most successful woman in the retail motor industry, but for someone who has the potential to develop far beyond her current job title and role. Another important criterion is the difference the particular person makes in the lives of others, whether it’s through community involvement, or by simply touching and enriching the lives of colleagues at work or in the community.
Reneé is PA to Emma Demmer, dealer principal at McCarthy Volkswagen Umhlanga, and has initiated and organised various community upliftment projects in Umlazi, where she lives with her family. She is currently working with the Department of Agriculture and with the principal of Zandile Junior Primary School to start a garden project that will provide the community with a sustainable food project.
She is part of Prevention in Action, an organisation that campaigns against gender-based violence in the community. She is also an “activator” with Activate Leadership for Public Innovation, and says she uses the skills, tools and networks from Activate to change people’s lives in the community. Earlier this year, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2013 Activate Leadership and Public Innovation Programme.
“This vote by the judges is confirmation of the belief they have in Reneé’s potential,” says Martlé Keyter, MISA’s CEO of Operations. “We at the MISA Women’s Forum have no doubt she will be a worthy MISA Woman of the Year and that she will make a valuable contribution.”
Each regional finalist was worthy in her own right. They were:
• Eastern Cape – Crystal Slabbert. She runs a cleaning company that serves Maritime Motors in Port Elizabeth, creating and supporting her staff members with their personal development of.
• Free State/Northern Cape – Annelize Venter. The financial manager at Central Nissan, Bloemfontein, Annelize was tragically killed in a car accident a few days after her nomination was announced. “She was a lovely person and had so much potential,” says Martlé. “We are deeply saddened about her untimely death.”
• Northern/Highveld – Renée Swanepoel. The group HR manager at Lindsay Saker has a real passion for people’s development and was instrumental in helping to mentor a female employee who became a dealer principal and, 18 months later, the top DP in the Lindsay Saker Group.
• Western Province – Kim de Villiers of Motorport Table View has the motor industry is the third generation of this family of petrolheads. She has a strong focus on empowerment, the development of people, and community involvement.
Photo: Martlé Keyter (left), Renée Nolwazi Ntshingila (MISA Woman of the Year 2013) (middle) and Louise Bennett (right)