Fashion & Lifestyle

Friday, 27 September 2019 10:40

Recognising your own value for change

Written by 
illumi.Nation panellists Palesa Mobukung and Carl Wastie.

What is authenticity? Humility, connection and value.

The inaugural Illumi.Nation event powered by Strawberry Lips recently hosted an insightful panel discussion about authenticity, empowerment and breaking the cycle of gender conditioning in the 21st century.

Whilst the event began with an abundance of welcome activities where attendees had their fill at a harvest table, enjoyed Strawberry Lips treats and had fun at Illumi.Nation photo and Strawberry Lips video booths; there were also many thought provoking takeout’s from the open dialogue between the audience and panellists – one being the need to recognise your own value in order to begin being authentic.

Panellist Palesa Mobukung espoused the virtues of putting yourself first “not in a selfish way, in a healthy way” and a member of the audience educated listeners on the ‘Law of Lesser Pissers’, which states that if you're given the choice between upsetting someone else or disappointing yourself, choose them.

Panellist, Lelemba Phiri, commented on having the courage to be true to who you are – no matter where you come from or what your background – because not doing so is robbing people of your real value. Phiri said that there is a misconception of value in society but that all elements, all backgrounds and all interests offer value. “If we were all like each other what would be the point?”

Both speakers agreed that learning to be authentic is not an overnight process but rather a course of continuous development throughout one’s life. They advised that to work on being more authentic we should be grateful, appreciate ourselves, own our circumstances and introduce people to our real lives.

Fittingly these insights were shared just ahead of Heritage Month, when the country comes together to celebrate our nation’s diverse cultures and appreciate each other’s value in our rainbow nation.

In a similar vein, panellist, Dave Duarte, raised an important point that authenticity is about human connection and the humility to show the world who you really are – echoing Phiri’s advice on introducing others to your life.

Lastly, panellist Carl Wastie added that although it’s safer to have a construct, preconceived ideas of the world are stereotypical in nature and right now we have a very important opportunity to change the narrative from being predominantly masculine to fully inclusive.

Strawberry Lips Marketing Manager, Vanessa Nel, says, “The inaugural Illumi.Nation event was intended to provide a platform for dialogue, and we achieved exactly that. Together we challenged the status quo, unlocked pertinent conversation points and encouraged both men and women in attendance to stay true to themselves. By investing in Illumi.Nation we’ve created a three-dimensional brand identity that demonstrates its passion for encouraging empowerment and authenticity”.

Illumi.Nation co-founder, Claire Alexander, concludes, “The outcome of our inaugural Illumi.Nation event was more than we ever imagined it would be. We’ve had some amazing feedback from guests, many of whom are already asking when they should pencil in the next event. We are hugely grateful to Strawberry Lips for making this event possible, as well as to other sponsors who added to the festivities on the evening. Of course, we mustn’t forget about everyone who took an evening out of their busy schedules to join us, so to our MC, panellists and guests – thank you.”

For more information visit Illumi.Nation on and Strawberry Lips on on Facebook, and Instagram,

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