Women’s Month culminates in Celebration of Phenomenal Women

Building on the inaugural success of the Phenomenal Women of the Cape Winelands District Awards last year, the Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM), in collaboration with the Historium Trust and the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM), once again honoured 16 phenomenal women from the community.

The award ceremony was held in Paarl on Wednesday, 23 August 2023 during which the nine winners and seven runners-up were announced and the amazing achievements of these wonderful women were celebrated.

In her keynote address, the Executive Mayor, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, stated, “It brings me immense joy to extend a heartfelt congratulations to our phenomenal women winners of the Cape Winelands District, as well as the outstanding runners-up. Your remarkable achievements and contributions have brightened our community, inspiring us all to do better. This accolade does not only recognise your individual successes but also highlights the collective strength of women who continue to break barriers and redefine what is possible in our communities. Your stories serve as a beacon of hope and empowerment for future generations, reminding us that there are no limits to what we can achieve. As we honour you and your accomplishments, may you continue to shine brightly and inspire those around you. Your journey is a testament to how phenomenal you are.”

The call for nominations opened in June and the public had the opportunity to nominate the unsung heroines who do inspiring work in the Cape Winelands communities.

The judging process concluded in July by a panel of three women who are phenomenal in their own right: (1) Christynn Jacobs, a qualified food technologist and the co-owner of Jacob’s Jam Company based in Ceres; (2) Heidi Erdmann, an independent curator and art historian; and (3) Anetta Mangxaba, the director/owner/publisher of Dizindaba Media (Pty) Ltd. These judges had the difficult job of determining the winners and runners-up out of more than 60 compelling nominations.

“National Women’s Day in South Africa is highly regarded and serves as a reminder of the significant contribution of women in South Africa. At the same time, it is an opportunity to reflect anew on the rights of women. The role of women in society is crucial. They make remarkable contributions to communities, families and society as a whole. Women are the backbone of families and communities, which is why it is important for us to uplift and celebrate women in our communities on this scale. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up,” stated Michael Jonas, Director of the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument in his opening address.

The awards ceremony, led by TV presenter Heinrich Wyngaard who is currently known for hosting the popular Klop! programme on KykNET, was attended by winners and runners-up accompanied by a loved one, often the person who nominated them, members of the partner organisations and special guests. Two motivational speakers shared their inspiring stories: Charlene Elliot, founder of Fit me Fitness and Life of Giving Charity Shop as well as a principal of an ECD and aftercare centre from Paarl, and Felicity Fransman, Phenomenal Woman in Tertiary Education for 2022 and founder of Passion Abundance Angels (NGO) from Worcester.

The winners and runners-up received gifts from the CWDM and partners, the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en ‑monument and the Historium Trust, Jacob’s Jam and Old Mutual.

Phenomenal Woman in Agriculture
WinnerDenise StubbsPniel, Stellenbosch
Phenomenal Woman in Early Childhood Development
WinnerJesika JonesVlottenburg, Stellenbosch
Runner-upYvonne JafthaDe Doorns, Breede Valley
Phenomenal Woman in Basic Education
WinnerAnelma JohnsonAshbury, Langeberg
Runner-upTertia Davids-MinniesWorcester, Breede Valley
Phenomenal Woman in the NGO/CDW Sector
WinnerZenani MithiKayamandi, Stellenbosch
Runner-upSienna CharlesKylemore, Stellenbosch
Phenomenal Woman Entrepreneur
WinnerAdele KitshoffWorcester, Breede Valley
Runner-upFallon Fion TaffPaarl, Drakenstein
Phenomenal Woman in Support
WinnerMarizaan BredenkampWellington, Drakenstein
Runner-upLeezil LaubscherWellington, Drakenstein
Phenomenal Woman in Management
WinnerJanine MyburghPniel, Stellenbosch
Runner-upNina SchumannStellenbosch
Phenomenal Woman of Passion
WinnerValerie FernandezCloetesville, Stellenbosch
Runner-upPaulina BassonWolseley, Witzenberg
Phenomenal Woman in Promoting Afrikaans /Fenomenale Vrou in die Bevordering van Afrikaans
WinnerVeronica BothaPaarl, Drakenstein


All our winners and runners-up have inspiring stories to tell and are doing amazing things in and for our communities, and we really hope you will consider sharing this feel-good story with your readers.

Please contact me for individual photos of winners and runners-up.  We have other visual material available on each winner and runner-up as well.

Description of the categories and brief bios of our speakers and judges also provided.

Media contact: Anesca Roodt

021 888 5167 / 079 765 9225

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