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July 22, 2017

Our academic program director at GSU – Dr Sharon Hill – held an Afternoon Tea at her lovely home for us – the ladies of the GSU Fellow Cohort. The theme: PHENOMENAL WOMAN! Dr Hill informed us that she regularly hosts afternoon tea events at her home for her friends, colleagues and family and they use the afternoon tea event as an opportunity to celebrate, encourage and support each other as a women. At the afternoon tea we each had an opportunity to read parts of Maya Angelou’s poem – Phenomenal Woman – which we identified with. It was such a special event and I am now inspired to start hosting my own regular afternoon tea event back home in Cape Town, South Africa. We, as women, really need to actively support, encourage and motivate each other on a regular basis. We live in a society that is particularly unkind to us and sometimes all a woman needs is to have someone remind them that they are AMAZING – JUST.THE.WAY.THEY.ARE.

Thank you Dr Hill for an incredible afternoon. Here are some of my favourite highlights from the afternoon tea:


And if you need a little reminder about how phenomenal you are, here is Maya Angelou’s Poem “Phenomenal Woman” which I would advise you read every morning before you start your day:

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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Silindile N. Buthelezi