2020 began in a fearless fashion, as BlackBark Productions hosted the first Rising Star – Making it Happen – Cross Sector Female Forum on the 28th February 2020 at Henley Business School, Johannesburg.

This forum is dedicated to creating an empowering space for young businesswomen to gain their confidence, trust in their voices and own their creative power and through this process unleash it in those women around them. It is a place where our future leaders can realise they are not alone in their struggles and lean on the collective power of other women.

We were honoured to feature an incredible panel of professionals who have travelled the road and who took the time to inspire, motivate and encourage a room filled with passionate and hardworking ladies in various industries, drawn from our Rising Star Alumni – ladies who have made the finals and have won awards within previous Rising Star Awards programmes over the past 8 years.

Guest Speakers:

Dr Puleng Makhoalibe, Head of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship: Henley Business School, Africa.
Bridget Mokwena-Halala, CEO: Assupol Life.
Matsi Modise, Founder & CEO: Fuhara Afrika.

Debbie Merdjan, Owner & CEO: Camelot Group.

Facilitated by: Elsie Pule, Group HR Executive: Eskom.

Fire Side conversation: Fazlin Swanepoel, CSO: Executive EOH.

Each and every lady who participated came with a mind-set to learn and share, to empower and be empowered, to inspire and be inspired, allowing them to return to their work spaces and help nurture and grow this incredible corporate sisterhood. Fazlin Swanepoel said that when she listened to the women at the Rising Star Female Forum and took in their incredible journeys to success sherealized, “Why limit yourself, just because people won’t accept the fact that you can do and be anything or just simply do something else!”

The energy felt in the room was phenomenal!

The atmosphere was amazing and so many powerful moments were shared, with many solutions having been provided for overcoming the obstacles we face as ladies in the corporate world. Claudia Sefatsa, the People and Culture Business Partner for Britehouse had this to say about her morning atthe forum: “Thank you so much for the insightful, empowering and thought provoking session that you offered me the opportunity to be part of.”

We would like to thank Henley Business School for being a phenomenal venue sponsor and being such gracious hosts at their beautiful venue.

Our incredible gift sponsors for the forum were: Essence Cosmetics, Boschendal Wines, Henley Business School and Mondelēz International.

You can find us on social media:

Facebook: @Rising Star

Instagram: @risingstar_sa

LinkedIn: Rising Star South Africa

Twitter: @RisingStarSA #RisingStarSA #RisingStarFF

Please make sure to spread the word about entering the Accenture Rising Star Awards 2020 and who knows, maybe YOU are the next Rising Star! You can either nominate yourself, or someone else you believe deserves this opportunity.


Please click this link for the Highlights video for the Rising Star – Making It Happen – Female Forum –

Cross Sector 2020 (created by DreamStream).
https://youtu.be/F5b0ha71j4M – For you to distribute to whomever and where ever you would like.

All the pictures of the event are viewable on Facebook on the Rising Star page: https://www.facebook.com/RisingStarSA

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