Culture Conversations: Female self-empowerment in the professional world – Powered by Reebok South Africa


Culture Conversation is Sportscene’s talk-show dedicated to having meaningful discussions on relevant social issues. Hosted by Lerai Rakoditsoei, we invite panelists to engage in topical discussions on narratives surrounding gender, race, identity, empowerment and social politics.

For this month’s episode of Culture Conversation — Powered by Reebok South Africa, our host Lerai Rakoditsoe (@l.e.r.a.i) who describes herself as a creative entrepreneur and social changemaker invites guest panellists Kim Jayde, Bongiwe Sithole, Lulama Mnisi and Sonia Tona to discuss female self-empowerment in the professional world.

Lerai questions the panel on a range of issues concerning women in the workplace such as the obstacles they’ve faced and how they overcame them; confidence in the professional world; and how social media helps their careers.

Let’s first introduce our amazing guests and look at their professional backgrounds. First up is Lulama Mnisi (@lulama_mnisi), the brand manager of Sportscene who has a background in marketing and retail.

Bongiwe Sithole (@onlyexceptional) is a former journalist and founder of Joy Media, a PR and communications company.

With a background in social work, Kim Jayde (@kimjayde) is a model, TV host and founder of media company, KJ Productions.

Last but certainly not least is young creative entrepreneur Sonia Tona (@soniatona_) who is a model, designer and content creator.

Here’s a recap of what went down:

How social media helped their careers:

For Sonia, Instagram has been a key element of building her brand. “Think about it, you have so many people in the world put in one place for you. It just makes it so much easier.”

Kim has a similar experience, “I started using social media and my PR contacts to get me to events. I told them I would post and post.” Soon she was contacted by someone at Viacom who saw how active she was on Instagram and offered her a place on a show on MTV Base.

Dealing with discrimination in the workplace

Bongiwe reveals that there were many times that she felt unfairly treated on the basis of her race and gender. “It can really drain your confidence”, Bongiwe responds. “I saw that there was no room for a woman like me to grow here.” This became one of the reasons for starting her own company.

Working in male-dominated spaces

Kim explains, “It’s not a man’s world. It’s the world and we [women] are here. We’re owning our space and our power.”

Luluma reminds us that it’s important to learn from men; and that they can learn from women. “That’s a collaboration and part of being true and authentic to what you’re trying to achieve.”

Our panelists are making big waves in their industries. Their stories of self-empowerment are nothing short of inspiring.