With August celebrating Women’s Month, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa had the privilege to chat to some of SA’s most influential woman, and gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level by delving into their property insights and preferences.
Jewellery Designer, Founder and Creative Director of Jenna Clifford Designs
Q]What impact do you think woman's right to vote had on our country?
A]It has made a significant difference. Equality of rights is instrumental to balancing gender disparity and ultimately improving the overall welfare of society. Democracy requires that citizens' interests be heard, deliberated and legislated on. Women are half of the world's population, and as such their voice should be heard in the democratic process. Democracy needs women in order to be truly democratic, and women need democracy if they are to change the systems and laws that preclude them, and preclude societies as a whole, from attaining equality. Most of the world's issues are caused by an imbalance of power which results in an abuse of power and with women's rights changing, this imbalance is correcting itself. Perceptions of women's abilities are shifting -look at Thuli Madonsela, Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton – the list goes on. The world is beginning to become more conscious and there is a conscious awakening occurring for the first time in 3000 years. Women's rights and their access to education and higher learning is vital to save South Africa's future and the world.
Q]What is your motto in life?
A]Be kind, be conscious and always give out joy and love in abundance. I also live by these words spoken by Gary Player - “The harder I practise the luckier I become.”
Q]Describe yourself in 3 words?
Q]How do you conquer fears?
A]I was given an analogy for fear a long time ago which has stuck with me – fear isfalse evidence appearing real. Once you recognize this – you realise that the fear itself is the inhibitor you need to break through. Therefore, I choose to go through fear - whatever I'm scared of, I face. Once I make my mind up, I trust my Maker and I go for it. The words of a motto which was commonly found on the walls of homes in England and America generations ago reads, “Fearknocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there” and isn't that the truth?
Q]What has been the biggest risk you have ever taken?
A]My life has been full of risks, leaving home at an early age, starting a business on my own, operating a business in a high risk industry. Risks are necessary but must be carefully considered.
Q]What is the best advice you have ever been given in business, and who gave it to you?
A]My father taught me a great lesson when I was three years old. He put me on the kitchen counter and told me to jump off, saying that he would catch me. I leapt off the table aiming for his outstretched arms and he moved away, I fell to the floor. I got a huge fright and felt confused and disappointed. He followed by telling me that in life you can't trust anyone, not even your own father.Through years of being in business I have witnessed that sadly you cannot trust anyone - people are largely untrustworthy and history is all the evidence we require of this truth.
Q]What is your take on property investments?
A]Property is a safe financial investment if you know what you are doing. It is generally a sure investment, like gold. If you buy right, at the right price and in the right area, then you can only go one way – upwards.
Q]Which room in your home is most important?
A]My kitchen. I love to cook and when we designed our home we made sure that the kitchen was large enough to be a spacious family room that could become the central hub of the house – it's where we spend time and bond as a family and with friends.
Q]Do you have any interior style tips you can share with us?
A]I allow what I have to influence my décor style and I would recommend that people do more of this. My great grandparents lived through World War One and taught me the value of money and how to recycle what others might perceive as junk. As a result, I never throw anything away and I have been labelled a hoarder by my husband and my three daughters! Whenever I feel like a change I prefer to repaint or reupholster an old favourite than to start anew. I don't buy things because they're fashionable, I buy only what I love.