A network of inspiring Matie women
As coordinator of the Stellenbosch Women Alumnae Network (SWAN), Sindiswa Jamba is not only ploughing back into her alma mater, but is also giving a voice to fellow Maties alumnae.
SWAN was launched by the Development and Alumni Relations Division in 2020. It brings together female Matie graduates from diverse backgrounds and industries and from across the world through mentorship programmes, leadership training and roundtable discussions.
“Matie women are doing remarkable things in various fields in South Africa and internationally, so it was important to identify them and celebrate their achievements,” says Sindiswa. “SWAN also helps inspire young and prospective students, showing them that success can be achieved if you put your mind to it.”
She adds: “Now also being an employee of the University, I have come full circle. It has provided me with a complete perspective on the functioning of the higher education space as a place of learning and growth. My studies also exposed me to critical conversations on issues that were difficult to address, which prepared me for the challenges in my line of work. Apart from more technical skills, my studies also equipped me with the skill to listen, understand and be compassionate.”
She highlights some of SWAN’s successful events since the initiative kicked off. “We hosted discourses on both International and National Women’s Day, as well as sporting events such as the SWAN Women’s Golf Day during the 2022 Homecoming weekend in September. The golf day brought together alumnae from different generations in a social setting for the purpose of networking. It was also important to highlight the fact that women do indeed play golf!”
They also have some exciting future events lined up, says Sindiswa. “We plan to launch a SWAN Leadership Book Club, which will be hosted by SWAN members in our alumni chapters. We also intend putting together a SWAN advisory board to mentor our female students. And then we would like to join the 2023 International Women’s Golf Day, an annual global initiative where current players can engage with women and girls experiencing the sport for the first time.”
Ultimately, she would like SWAN to make a difference in how women are seen in society. “I would like to change the perception that women do not uplift or support one another,” Sindiswa says.
“I would like SWAN to be a networking and support space where women from different fields connect and assist one another to grow professionally.”
International Women’s Day
On international Women’s Day we honour, celebrate, and reflect on the monumental achievements of Matie women globally. In a panel conversation, guest speakers will discuss a topic that is important to alumnae. You can join the conversation virtually during the lunch hour.
Three Sisters’ Alumnae Network
Saturday, 4 March
The three sister residences, Serruria, Nemesia and Erica are launching a network that aims to advance the leadership potential of these residences’ alumnae. Not only will we celebrate their positive impact in the residences, we will also raise funds for undergraduate students.
SWAN Golf Day
Saturday 7 October
We have partnered with a golf club close to you. The aim? To raise awareness for breast cancer, we will be hosting golf bootcamps for alumnae which will be accessible to women from all walks of life. These four-hour golf experiences will allow for women to network and tee-off for a good cause, regardless of your skill level.
SWAN Leadership Book Club
SWAN leadership Book Club is taking shape and we cannot wait to get you reading. The Book Club will cover lifelong learning, personal growth, fiction, leadership development, and any other books that may interest participants. Moreover, we will be connecting alumnae in our chapters with various authors. Joining is free, and you are only required to obtain a copy of the book to enjoy the journey. The group will read one book every two months so that you will have plenty of time to get ready for the discussions to follow.
Connect with fellow Matie women: Joining the SWAN Leadership Book Club will help you connect with fellow alumnae through a learning community.
Be a lifelong learner: A book club expands your perspective while we read new books and learn from each other. We will read books that will challenge us, inspire us, and motivate us to grow.
Reading is good for you: Reading improves your mind and reasoning ability.
Become part of the network
To be part of the SWAN network, join the SWAN group on www.matiesconnect.com.
Connect with old friends, form new relationships, and mentor young and future alumnae. As we connect past, present, and future alumnae, we hope that the network will grow and flourish regionally and globally into a platform where women can engage on issues and interests that matter to you on a personal and professional level.