On A Point – Welcome Edition

25 January 2018

Issue # 363


On A Point – Toastmasters Southern Africa – District Newsletter

Editor’s Note

Dear Members of District 74,

We cannot get excited enough of the new year, therefore we compiled another edition to welcome 2018! The contributors to this newsletter share with us, amongst others, how they were welcomed to Toastmasters and how they welcomed a new era in their lives due to Toastmasters.

Kind regards,

Gerson Veundja Kamatuka, DTM – On A Point Editor


Let’s give the members of Allan Gray Toastmasters In Johannesburg & EvolvIing Ladies Toastmasters Club in Harare a hearty WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY. 

I’m sure that every day a new member joins an existing Toastmasters Clubs somewhere in the world. Everyone of those members is warmly welcomed into our organization. 
When a new club starts, at least 20 charter members of the new club deserve an extra special welcome into the Toastmasters family. Not only are they starting their own journey but they are giving many others the opportunity to start their journey too. 
Thank you, to the sponsors and mentors of the two newest additions to the District 74 Toastmasters family, for your Service !

Nikki Quinn, DTM – Club Growth Director

Welcome to the Presidential Citation Club!

In August 2017 Lois Strachan, DTM, PDG was honoured with a Presidential Citation by Toastmasters International President Mike Storkey. Lois is the first Capetonian Toastmaster to be awarded the highest honour Toastmasters offers.

Since losing her sight at the age of 21, Lois has achieved a Bachelor of Arts and an Honours degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, an HR Management certification from UNISA and a Diploma in Practitioner Coaching Skills.

In 2008 she served as District Director of Toastmasters Southern Africa, District 74.

Lois Strachan is a speaker, facilitator, disability consultant, musician, author and blogger working to enhance inclusion of persons with disabilities into society and the workplace. She is the author of the illustrated children’s books, The Adventures of Missy Mouse, and the memoir, A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘’Ordinary’’ Life in an Extraordinary Way.

Welcome to the Presidential Citation Club!

Merryl Jubber, DTM – PR Manager

Welcome to your future!

A gentleman of distinction, Dr Ian Bratt

greeted me at the door with a tip of his hat.

I found what I was seeking

and soon started speaking!

I was welcomed at Toastmasters as easy as that!

The people at Toastmasters are ever so kind.

They help you to keep your goals aligned.

Whatever you are seeking –

whether leading or speaking –

your road to success is well-defined!

We welcome the future with arms open wide,

because friends at Toastmasters are always on your side.

You will never come short

for they’ll guide and support

each and every member of the Toastmasters Pride!

Judi Smit, ACB, CL – President: Refined Raconteurs Toastmasters Club

Welcome back!

My toastmaster’s journey began back in 1997. I found myself being lost at a new school and neighbourhood. Being an introvert and bullied at just 12 years old I found it difficult to adjust.

My parents encouraged me to join the Toastmasters Junior club at my new school. I was welcomed into a club that groomed me into a strong and confident leader. In a span of 3 months I became Impromptu champion and my fear became my passion! 20 years later I found myself starting a Corporate Toastmasters Club at MAN Automotive. I was welcomed again by club sponsors, mentors, club presidents and was invited to Executive Committee Training to give us the skills required to build our club.

I am proud to say that I welcomed 20 members to our club in 2017 and I look forward to seeing many more new members start their life changing journeys in 2018.

Sasha Gajoo, ALS – President: MAN Automotive Toastmasters Club

Welcome to my world!

On the 25 January 2017, I suffered a debilitating stroke. With damage to the left hemisphere of my brain, I was paralysed on the right of my body, partially blind in my right eye, unable to speak meaningfully and more critically unable to use my right limbs. My short term memory was a sheer blank. I was at a total loss, or was I?

With over a third of victims succumbing to this ailment and still many more who live their lives as a shadow of their former selves. I was determined that my story would be inspirational and educational. WELCOME TO MY JOURNEY OF RECOVERY….

I came face to face with my potential demise, losing myself as it were, all that I dreamt of capsized by a single sliver of fate.  I spent 4 months in a wheelchair on this journey of physical and emotional recovery, a path which I am still traversing. I spent many nights crying in agony and days staring blankly at walls and emptiness. Somehow, I convinced myself that my work on earth was not done. I was meant for something more than this mundane existence. With a broken body but definitely not a broken spirit, I began my journey of teaching.

I am a SETA accredited corporate facilitator/assessor/moderator in the electronics engineering field and Toastmasters youth leadership facilitator, having graduated many youth over the last 8 years. I believe in the tenacity of the human spirit and that each student is a vessel of hope in these challenging times. I literally dragged myself to class, and with the help of Toastmaster videos delivered the life changing program.

The students were inspired by my condition and gave off their best in performance and spirit. I did not only give them a more effective voice but the silence was deafening by their spirits speech of understanding. I continued unabated with my duties and protocol as chairman at the youth leadership semi-finals and finals because Toastmasters has taught me that single lesson of utmost importance: leadership

Toastmasters is my beacon of light in this, my darkest hour. I salute the all the members Toastmasters for being indomitable voice of hope. This journey is tumultuous and stands on the razors edge of danger but I must continue to fight with tears from my soul. Remember!  Find your purpose in life, make a difference … a tangible meaningful difference as a TOASTMASTER?

Dinesh Maharaj, DTM – Youth Leadership Facilitator: Umhlanga Toastmasters Club


I initially joined Toastmasters to hone my speaking skills. I discovered not only did I become a better speaker but my communication skills when interacting with other people improved too. I was introduced to an amazing group of people who welcomed me right from the beginning. 


Observing fellow members’ growth an achievements within the club inspired an encouraged me to dream bigger, aim higher an strive for newer goals such as achieving my triple crown and developing leadership skills. As a result my confidence has grown and I now welcome my role as President of Egoli Golden City.

Meetings are a learning and fun-filled experience which I gladly welcome. All this I owe to an incredible organisation…TMI.

Michelle Yenson, CC, ALB – President: Egoli Golden City Toastmasters Club


I re-joined Toastmasters in 2014 after a break of 20 years.  What an amazing welcoming experience the second time around.  Besides being on the Starcon team, leading my club to President Distinguished for three consecutive years, and having won the Southern Africa Afrikaans Contest in 2015, I have made numerous fantastic and dear friends.  In 2017 I took up the challenge of being Area i4 Director in so doing developing my communication and leadership skills.

In 2018 it would be a welcome achievement to complete my Advanced Communicator Silver Award.

The aim for the 2018 New Membership Drive is to grow this amazing organization by welcoming many new members at each meeting.

Joy Stander, ACB, CL – VPE: Egoli Golden City Toastmasters Club

Toastmasters, a welcome companion!

When I joined Toastmasters in 2013, I had just welcomed back time on my hands and was looking for something to do. Lilongwe Toastmasters club gave me such a memorable welcome. During my very first visit I made a table topics speech for which I was voted Best Speaker.

Over the years, Toastmasters has been a welcome companion (second to my husband of course!). I have welcomed the intellectual stimulation of working through education awards and leadership positions – Club Vice President Membership, President and now Area Director.

What I know for sure is that as I go into 2018, Toastmasters will continue to be my welcome companion.  

Patience Jongerius, ALB, ACS – Area I1 Director

Welcome Applause!

If you have ever attended a Toastmasters meeting you will be very aware that we clap a lot. For a visitor or a first-timer this is always quite a surprise but soon the method in this seemingly crazy behaviour becomes apparent.

This is our way of welcoming a speaker! Whether you are standing up to introduce yourself, doing the “mile long walk” toward the podium, or scrambling to order your thoughts for a Table Topics speech, the “welcoming applause” uplift you along that way.

Applause is usually a sign of appreciation and acknowledgement, but additional to that, in Toastmasters, the applause says “Welcome to our club, Welcome to the lectern, we Welcome your speech and your ideas, Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.”

Nikki Darteh, CC, CL – President: Crocodile Toastmasters Club

Welcome to beyond tomorrow!

The new year is pregnant with potential. The rollout of the Pathways Programme by Toastmasters International is reflective of the relevancy and transformative nature of the programme. Since 1924 when the first Club had its first meeting in Santa Ana California, the vision of Ralph. C. Smedley has stood the test of time. He recognised that maintaining skills requires regular practice.

The new year welcomes us with exciting opportunities and challenges. Area I3 looks forward to club growth and the fulfilment of individual member needs. The spirit of camaraderie and generosity which are at the heart of toastmasters will be more pervasive as clubs provide fun and diversity.

I welcome new and old members to this exciting journey of possibilities and progress. Author Annie Dillard reminds us “How we spend our days is, of course how we spend our lives”.

Valentine Muradzikwa, ACG, ALB – Area I3 Director