Samsung Celebrates Women Who ‘Do What They Can’t’Share open/close
Women’s Month presents a special opportunity to honour and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of women who have broken stereotypes, defied societal norms, and achieved the seemingly impossible. Over the years and throughout history, women have proven time and time again that they are forces to be reckoned with, breaking barriers and trailblazing paths in their various chosen fields. From engineering, science and technology to sports and social activism, a women’s never-say-die attitude and determination continues to inspire generations.
Samsung celebrates the power and spirit of women from all walks of life, particularly those who have done the work to positively change their circumstances and make a significant impact in their respective fields. These are women who share Samsung’s philosophy of ‘Do What You Can’t’, which calls for never being complacent and achieving the impossible. Aimed at empowering consumers to realise their ambitions. Samsung stops at nothing in its quest to create innovative technologies to help people do more and enjoy life.
Soweto-born Innocentia Nkopane is a recent graduate of the 24-month SETA-accredited Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Technician Apprenticeship programme sponsored by Samsung and the Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre (EASTC) in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
The apprenticeship programme develops Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills in Artisans Training, and creates a portfolio of practical experience and skills in the fight against unemployment. Nkopane is passionate about technology and fixing things and when this opportunity came, she didn’t think twice, despite it being in a male-dominated industry. While on the course, the 37-year old’s husband passed away but she opted to continue studying. It proved to be difficult as she had to juggle it with looking after her children while also grieving her husband, but she was determined to finish what she had started. Besides the hard skills, some of the lessons Nkopane drew from the course are communication skills, being a team player, active listening and working under pressure.
“Before I got the opportunity. I couldn’t use any tools, now that am a qualified technician, it has opened doors for me as I can now be employed by major companies, build my career or even start my own business, create jobs and share my skills and knowledge,” said Nkopane. She uses her skills to help fix broken refrigerators in and around her community. She also plans to register a company and open a training centre to empower the youth.
Back in 2018, Chiropractor, Dr Mulalo Magodi, left her practice to join forces with her husband, Tshifhiwa Magodi, in their family business, Matongoni Group, which has four subsidiaries, Matongoni Recycling, Matongoni Plastics, Matongoni Polymers and Matongoni General Trading. The company, which boasts a workforce of 250 people at its headquarters in Muldersdrift (Johannesburg) and a plant in Polokwane, is one of the largest recyclers of post-consumer plastic waste in the country, specialising in the recycling of electronic waste and materials from shopping centres, industrial and agricultural activities and landfill sites. They also supply polymer throughout South Africa and many other African countries. They also produce kids’ plastic bikes, bowls, basins, chairs, which they sell to other businesses and retailers like Shoprite.
As director and a 51% shareholder in the company, Dr Magodi is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business including production, procurement, human resources, finance and training. Alongside her husband, Magodi is passionate about the environment and firmly believes, “we need to leave it in a better condition than we found it.” The mother of three boys plans to ensure the business is stable and in steady waters before returning to her chiropractor job. “This business is a legacy we would like to leave for our children and the environment that we were so fortunate to inhabit.”
Skateboarding is something usually associated with boys/men but for 17-year-old Boipelo Awuah, it’s something she picked up when she was only five years old. Curiosity was all it took for her to try it on the streets of her hometown, Kimberley. Despite reservations from her family because of the potential dangers associated with the sport, Boipelo was determined and skated on.
She stopped at age ten because of the skate park in her town closing down. She then tried her hand at martial arts to substitute her first love. Four years later in 2019, she realised something was missing in her life and that was when she went back to skateboarding. She immediately started competing and in December of the same year, she won the National Championships. In 2020 she was entering competitions as far afield as Italy to try and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. An injury to her pelvis while training may have killed her Olympic dream but it didn’t destroy her bigger dream and passion. Boipelo says bailing in skateboarding (falling off the board) has taught her so much about life including persistence, hard work, consistency and how to never give up.
Being female, young and ambitious, Boipelo is fully aware of the impact she’s having on other young aspirant athletes because she’s making waves in a predominantly male sport. Naysayers have tried to put brakes on this young athlete but have failed with flying colours as she plans on conquering the 2024 Paris Olympics, France. She’s currently in the qualifying phase and is pleased with her progress thus far and well on her way to doing more of what she can’t.
Samsung proudly supports Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030.