Buyi Daweti, 60, author of Victory & Justice at Last, is a motivational speaker, caregiver and community minder, entrepreneur and director at Buhlali Construction and Projects.
Her book details how she had fought a 12-year battle with the doctor culpable for her 22-year-old daughter’s death during childbirth. This led to depression and miscarriages.
Buyi’s husband left her during the protracted legal battle. As a teacher from Port Elizabeth, she rose up the ranks to become a district head. She left teaching to join the Eskom chief executive programme where she enrolled for a master’s degree in engineering.
Now retired from a 20-year career at Eskom, Buyi has received numerous awards, and was a senior contracts manager in charge of 24 power stations. A powerful voice against gender-based violence, she says that although society has made strides in recognising women in various fields, the battle against GBV is far from being won.
Children are at times left to fend for themselves. Buyi identified the need to guide, protect and provide for child-headed families.
She runs a soup kitchen and provides clothes for those in need. In addition, she has initiated a project to encourage and teach residents in outlying areas to start their own vegetable gardens, an effort she believes will go a long way towards reducing hunger and human suffering.
“I step in faith and trust God in everything I do. Women together can build the nation by giving support, mentorship and advising small business groups and co-ops,” Buyi says.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
When you fall, rise up, brush off the dust, and continue to run the race till you finish it.
Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?
I step in faith and trust God in everything I do. Women together can build the nation. Giving Support, Mentorship, advising small business groups to form Co-op avail women conferences.
If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?
I will create more jobs and business opportunities and improve the medical fraternity to avoid more deaths and bring back the dignity of our economy.