Naomi Campbell makes her first appearance at the Forbes Woman Africa Leading Woman Summit saying that she is passionate about promoting the continent.
In the coastal city in Eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, it is all hands on deck at the International Convention Centre (ICC), in Durban.
There’s a buzz in the air, and it is not the sound of the warm summer waves hitting the coast line, it is the chatter of Forbes Woman Africa’s most anticipated event, the annual Leading Woman Summit.
It takes place on March 8, in celebration of International Women’s Day.
It is expected to host over 500 people and on the agenda, women are in the forefront.
The headlining speaker is supermodel, philanthropist and cultural innovator, Naomi Campbell.
She has just traveled in straight from Paris and told media at the ICC that she couldn’t wait to be part of the Summit.
“This is my second time at a Forbes Woman Summit, but I am especially happy to be here,” she said.
Campbell who is very passionate about the African continent said that she is all for supporting Africa.
“Africa means a lot to me, and right now I feel that it is a time where in my industry that this continent is recognized by the fashion industry in having their footprint here,” she said.
Campbell said she is particularity interested in the tech, fashion, business, music, culture, architecture industries.
“[I’m] not afraid to approach anyone on these subjects in trying to open their minds to see that they need to recognize that this continent is one of the leading continents in the world,” she added.
When asked what makes the Summit different, Methil Renuka, FORBES WOMAN AFRICA and FORBES AFRICA editor said the event is much bigger this year.
“In terms of scale and magnitude it is big, and also in terms of both the panelists, the speakers of the day, and also the audience. So we have the best people coming, the CEO’s and all the top women from the industry,” she said.
The event, which is hosted in Durban for the first time, also has a lot to offer the coastal city.
MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala said that he welcomes Campbell with open arms and noted her as the honorary granddaughter of Nelson Mandela.
EThekwini Mayor Zanele Gumede said “the agenda is clear, this summit is a platform to celebrate female excellence while we inspire, empower and unite as women.”
Gumede also told Campbell to visit more tourist attractions around the province.
One notable site would be the Mandela Capture site, where he was captured 56 years ago.
Coincidentally, KZN also happened to be the province where Mandela first cast his vote.
There for it is only fitting that Campbell, the honorary granddaughter is to speak at the Summit for the first time hosted in the province.
For many, it is one of the most anticipated part of the Summit.