We are excited to announce that WOS has extended its reach to Cape Town, and Cherise Vermeulen has come on board as Cape Town Chapter Director. Cherise is Executive Producer, Writer, Founder and [...]
WELCOME FROM OUR FOUNDER
AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
I am proud to introduce you to Woman of Stature.
Woman of Stature is a platform for women from all walks of life.
Woman of Stature is committed to empowering women to live their purpose and reach their full potential; a source of opportunities and information where women connect and share knowledge and skills.
As a Member or Strategic Partner you will have access to all of this and more!
“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.”
– Charlotte du Plessis.
WOS Community News
“I decided to do an Executive PA Secretarial course after school but no institutions would accept me because I would only be able to type with one hand. Eventually a college in Bellville accepted me and by the end of the year I passed my exam with 96% accuracy and exceeded the 35 words-per-minute count by 10 wpm! Unfortunately, companies weren’t keen to employ a one-handed secretary but by that point I was also suffering from ‘frozen shoulder’ due to the immense lopsided effort I was exerting.
I then applied for employment equity jobs but was also not successful because I wasn’t disabled enough haha. I was a border-line case – not completely normal physically but not physically disabled enough either! My only option was to apply for ‘able-bodied’ positions and hope that they saw that my potential outweighed my disability.
In my personal time, I enjoyed sports and found that table tennis was the most suited to me. I got my Western Province and South African colours in table tennis and had the wonderful opportunity of participating in the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000.”
OUR ‘WOMAN OF THE MONTH’, MARTHE-MARIE KOHNE
We are thrilled to introduce Marthe-Marie, the newest member of our team at WOS Head Office
Marthe-Marie was born 2 months prematurely due to an emergency Caesarean having to be performed due to the fact that her heart had stopped beating because the umbilical cord was strangling her. She had experienced the ‘Slow Death Syndrome’ which resulted in the brain valve being underdeveloped.
Miraculously they were able to resuscitate her and put a shunt in her brain to drain the fluid. She had brain surgery when she was a year old because of this and suffered from epileptic convulsions which could only be stopped with Valium injections. “Thankfully I outgrew this by the age of 12,” she says.
She was also born with cerebral palsy (hemiplegic) where all the muscles in the left hand duplicate those of the right, so if she makes a fist with her right, her left hand will automatically do the same. She has a great sense of humour and jokes about the challenge of learning to tie her shoe laces and tie her hair into a ponytail by herself. “Slicing tomatoes was a big challenge for me. I couldn’t hold the tomato in my left hand and cut it with my right so I’d end up with juice and not slices most of the time.”
As if these physical challenges weren’t enough to cope with as a child, Marthe-Marie underwent surgery to lengthen her left leg which was a lot shorter than her right. She was just 5 years old at the time. Her last extension was in her matric year at the age of 18.
This extraordinary woman is possibly one of the most light-hearted and upbeat people you will ever meet. She is always looking for opportunities to help those less fortunate that herself. Besides supporting and fostering puppies from the ‘Dachshunds In Need In South Africa’ NPO, Marthe-Marie and her (rescue) dog, Jolie, visit the ‘West Rand Association for the Physically Disabled’ every month. She also received the ‘Woman of Substance’ award in 2014 in recognition of the philanthropic work that she does.
Marthe-Marie is fully supported by her wonderful husband, Von Zeuner, who she met through sport and who has represented South Africa at the Para-Olympics games between 2000 and 2016.
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