Stellenbosch Municipality

By: Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Women and girls should stop thinking "if only" and live in the now.

This was the message of Ms Michelle Aalbers, Manager: Community Development; Planning and Economic Development on Friday (7 August). She spoke to a group of girls at the Franschhoek Valley Community Sports Centre in Groendal as part of a programme of events for Women's Month.

Nazlee Engelbrecht (12) and Jamy Carolus (11) attended a Women’s Month talk by Ms Michelle Aalbers at the Franschhoek Community Sports Centre

Nazlee Engelbrecht (12) and Jamy Carolus (11) attended a Women’s Month talk by Ms Michelle Aalbers at the Franschhoek Community Sports Centre.

"We do not have power about the past – which has already happened. And we do not have power over the future. We only have power about this very moment. We have to value this moment," Aalbers said.

She said that woman and girls do not often experience feelings of "awesomeness", "magic" or "fabulousness" because they focus on thinking "if only".

"We believe that if only we were richer, or thinner, or cleverer we would be happy. We need to focus on what is happening right now. We can decide to be fabulous and feel fabulous every day. We can choose how we feel. Whether they are young or old, women do not need other people to make them feel wonderful."

Ms Michelle Aalbers talking to a group of girls

Ms Michelle Aalbers talking to a group of girls.

After her talk, the girls had to write down decisions they believed could have a long-term impact on their lives.

Juliana Sterkse wrote that she decided that she would study harder so that she could succeed in life.

Chelsey Davey said that she wanted to rise above her circumstances while for Davidene Adonis it was important to practise hard at sports so that her school, Groendal Sekondêr, could win the sports derby.

Some of the teenage girls who attended the talk by Ms Michelle Aalbers

Some of the teenage girls who attended the talk by Ms Michelle Aalbers: Audrey Sterkse, Stacey Follet, Mbasa Mayana, Anthea Chrisian, Abigail Fortuin, Marlene Cornelissen, Jay-Nique Claassen, Juliana Sterkse, DavideneAdonis, Tristan James, Roche Bezuidenhoud, Heidine Brickers, Frendeline Davids, Hazel Brown, Nicole Mntuyedwa and Chelsea Davey.

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