MOT Women’s Month stories


August is Women’s Month in South Africa. It is the month dedicated to remembering the struggles of women, celebrating what we have achieved and continue to fight for what’s to come.

During Women’s Month and beyond, we have had the privilege to profile and interview our incredible and courageous MOT women and hearing their thoughts on what it takes to be a strong woman these days.

Christine Thomas, MOT Coach, MOT Coordinator and the winner of our Are Hovstad Award shares that her motto is: I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Here is her full interview:

Fun Facts:

What do you do in your free time?

Quality family time and me-time.

What famous women celebrity/ies do you admire and why?

Michelle Obama

What is your motto in life?

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This is a verse from the Bible – Psalm 139:14


How did you win the Are Hovstad award?

I was nominated by one of my students, Pamela Jako who is also a Young MOTivator.

The Are Hovstad award was given as the first of its kind of our MOT AGM and Awards Ceremony in 2019. Jarl Are Hovstad was a founder Board member of MOT SA and was knighted by HRH King Harald of Norway, for his work in education and health on the Cape Flats. He was also awarded Western Cape Provincial Honours in the form of The Order of the Disa, including many more inspiring works.

In tribute to his legacy, the MOT SA Board decided to award a MOT Assosiciate who whole-heartedly displayed similar characteristics of our beloved Are Hovstad.

Christine received the award as she portrays the MOT values: Courage to Live, Courage to Care and Courage to say No, in her daily life and her interaction with others and continually displays the following:

  • Living life by being herself and by being proud of who she is
  • Shows respect for herself and others
  • Cares for herself and others
  • Spoke out when it was most needed
  • And above all, stood by her values

In her interview with the People Post journalist – Siphesihle Notwabaza in 2019, Christine shares that the award was unexpected because her work is driven by true passion. “I was humbled by the honour. It came as a surprise. It shows that I am doing good work and that it’s worth recognition.”

How do you use this award and your position at your workplace to bring about a positive influence in youth’s lives?

By sharing various inspirational and motivational posts on social media, through presentations and radio interview as well as enriching the lives of youth through the MOT programme as a MOT coach.

Who was your role model growing up and why?

My grandmother who was a humble spiritual woman, giving her all and laid the best foundation I could ask for.

What personal challenge(s) did you face as a young person and how have those shaped you?

Financial constraints that made me appreciate the sacrifices my parents made.

What advice would you give to our youth?

Never allow your circumstances to define who you are and always remember that the opportunities are out there, all you need to do is tap into it and stay focused and committed.

Julia Duminy our Country Director shares that she conquers her fears through the people who lift, motivates and empowers her! Julia ends off with an encouraging message: “lean on one another and leverage off the relationships we already have to give you that boost you need to overcome your daily fears and challenges!”

Read her full interview below:

Fun Facts

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Resilient. Kind. Loving

How do you conquer your fears?

I use the people around me (mentors, family, friends, colleagues) to lift me, empower me and motivate me to overcome my fears. They are all my guiding lights and where I draw my daily strength from.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Love spending time with my family or reading a good book.


Tell us a bit of your life right now?

A lot going on and tough to remain focused and positive. I wake up with an attitude of gratitude for each new day and new opportunity to move towards my goals.

For those who don’t know, with studying and a day job, how do you find balance in your life and how do you manage your time?

It is tough to create balance when it comes to family, career, and relationships. I always find that one will take preference and the others receive less attention. I give the attention where it’s needed the most at the time, but I do believe finding balance and peace is necessary and honestly, I am still figuring that out as I go along 😊

Who do you consider to be your hero or inspiration and why have you chosen this individual?

Trish van der Merwe; she is an ex MOT SA Board Member. She is strong in her faith, unapologetic about who she is and what she wants out of life. She is kind, loving, honest and sincere and I truly admire her and appreciate her advice and guidance. She always finds the good in others and focuses on strengths and this is what I admire the most and how she inspires me every day to be a better person.

What are you still hoping to accomplish in the next couple of years?

Activate the youth’s power to really make a change in our schools, colleges and in their communities.

Lastly, if you could leave one message of inspiration to all woman for this Women’s Month what would that message be?

No woman is an island. I too find it hard to lean on others and reach out when I need help. I would like to encourage all women to lean on one another and leverage off the relationships you already have to give you the boost you need to overcome your daily fears and challenges. We were blessed with family, friends and so many other wonderful people in our lives. They love us and care for us, let us help one another walk this journey, in good and bad times.