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Actress and businesswoman Connie Ferguson wanted to be a producer to change the male-driven narrative of local stories.

“When I started acting, my biggest dream was to become a producer because I wanted to change the narrative (that women can’t drive stories),” she said on Saturday at a Sowetan Women’s Club event themed Lifestyle Experience.

“I was involved in so many projects and in those projects I was always somebody’s girlfriend, a teacher that had to answer to a male teacher, or someone’s daughter. I was always somebody’s something and not the person,” she said.

She joined Sowetan Women’s Club members to celebrate Freedom Day on the roof of Hill On Empire in Parktown over champagne and finger foods.

Ferguson, who was the main speaker of the day, had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand.

Dressed in a red dress and black heels, Ferguson talked to the women about what freedom meant to them.

“Personally I feel your freedom is up to you, it begins with you

“We have every right to make demands and have expectations from our government. But at the end of the day, as an individual, do you ever look at yourself and ask yourself: ‘what am I doing to improve my situation?’ instead of waiting for someone else to improve it for you.”

Ferguson said her dream had always been to be an actress or model.

When she came to Joburg from Botswana, she pursued that dream. She started acting in the 1990s and back then, there were hardly any female lead actors, which is what ignited her interest in producing.

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“I want to make a difference in people’s lives in a small way and that is my freedom. “I feel free because I am able to make decisions that are not only beneficial to me, but to the next person.”

Other speakers included former Mrs South Africa Hlengiwe Twala, health and fitness
guru Mapule Ndlovu and The Lazy Makoti’s Mogau Seshoene.

Twala spoke about misconceptions about beauty. She said beauty comes from within.

“We put so much emphasis on the outside, though it is important to take care of ourselves, we do not give enough attention to the inner beauty. Every single day we need a moment to sit still, enjoy, celebrate and honour who we are.

“As women we give of ourselves so freely and honestly, but we forget to give to the most important person – us.” said Ndlovu.

“We walk around with this facade that I am fine instead of saying today I’m not okay. Vulnerability is beauty, open yourself up and share.”

Ndlovu, spoke about how to stay fit and healthy. She said a person’s size was not an indication that they were healthy.

“Today, I want you to adopt the mindset that I want to be a better version of myself because I want to live longer. Exercising is important,” she said.

Ndlovu said eating healthily, drinking water and exercising make a big difference to one’s body.

“Going to the gym might be hard, but eating healthy might help you lose unnecessary weight. If you are more consistent, it becomes a part of you,” Ndlovu said.

Source: Sowetan

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