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1997 1st Annual SAWW Awards

Ten South African women who made outstanding contributions to the community over the years, were honoured at the first SAWW awards ceremony held in  the Arts and Letters Club in August 1997.  

Gwen Michaels-Coffen

Gwen Michaels-Coffen

Goodie Tshabalala

Goodie Tshabalala Mogadime

Vuyiswa Keyi

Vuyiswa Keyi

Barbara Hall and Fatima Dike

Toronto Mayor, Barbara Hall
and Fatima Dike

This year’s South African Women for Women award recipients included raconteur and poet, Fatima Dike, who was the guest of honour from Langa Cape Town. Her story about election day in South Africa brought laughter and many a tear to the big crowd at the Arts and Letters Club in Elm Street.

One of the recipients was Gwen Michaels-Coffen, who became the first person of color to grace the hallowed halls of the University of Cape Town as a ballet student. Gwen emigrated to Canada in 1967. 

Another stalwart to be honored by the South African Women for Women organization was Carol Abrahamse who has been a committed volunteer for various bodies.

These include Second Harvest, Centennial School for Infants with Special Needs, Meals on Wheels, Touchstone Youth Center, the Alan Dearie Charitable Foundation and the South Peninsula Alumni Association.

Carol's contribution to these organizations has involved both fundraising and hands-on service. 

Among the other recipients were Goodie Tshabalala Mogadime, Joyce Harris, Dr Marcia Blumberg, Priscilla de Villiers, Vuyiswa Keyi, Dr Winifred van der Ross-Charles and Janice Dembo.  

Toronto Mayor, Barbara Hall, was on hand to make the presentations and she rightly pointed out that the recipients deserved the awards.