Two Seychellois women have recently been recognised during an award ceremony in Mauritius recognizing Africa's most influential women in business and government.
Shella Mohideen and Daniella Payet-Alis were the winners of the Indian Ocean Commission's (IOC) Country and Regional awards in their respective categories - 'Education and Training Academy' and 'Tourism and Leisure'. The awards were handed out at the Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government Regional Symposium and Recognition Awards ceremony.
'Building Nations, Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government' is a non-governmental platform that identifies women who are making a meaningful contribution in their country. The aim of the platform is to uplift and celebrate the achievements of women across Africa.
Though she was not present at the award giving ceremony, Shella Mohideen, the dean of the Guy Morel Institute since 2014, told SNA she was not expecting to win the award but is happy to have got them.
"As a leader, you do not shine if you do not have a great team, so this award is not for me but for us - God, my family and my team at the institute," said Mohideen.
She told SNA that she might have received a great number of nominations for the awards as she is passionate about the youth, the institute, and the young leaders' programme.
"I strongly believe that leadership is not about a position but about how you can lead yourself and then others to make a difference wherever you are," said Mohideen, who started her career as a teacher at the National Youth Service (NYS).
She shared that she has gained recognition for the job that she does before but a lot of time on an individual basis. Having been in the education sector for 26 years, Mohideen advocates strongly for the youth.
Talking about the 'troublesome' youth, she said, "if the small majority is behaving the way they are, I believe that we, as adults, teachers, the society, and parents are to be blamed."
"I want to send a strong message that we need to stop this blame game as blaming doesn't make a difference. We need to stop pointing fingers and work together, implement initiatives, evaluate and work on the shortcomings," said Mohideen.
Along with the institute she is currently working with her team to review all courses that they offer as they wish to integrate holistic development of the workforce and work-life balance into them.
Contributing to Seychelles' sustainable tourism
Recognized for her pioneering role in the leading economic sector of the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Payet-Alis won the regional and country 'Tourism and Leisure' awards.
"I was not expecting to get the awards and through them, I want to help others. It can serve as a model to show people that every effort pays off," Payet-Alis told SNA.
She added that "it also goes to show that it is good to have achievements - for them to recognise somebody like me from Seychelles it means that I have done something significant."
Payet-Alis has been working in the tourism industry since she was 13. She attributes the awards to the experience she has in the field.
Interested in the sustainable tourism in the country, she founded the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSEF) which strives "to make Seychelles an international best practice example for sustainable tourism through an integrated collaborative approach between public, the private sector, academia, and NGO."
"We need to mitigate and sustain what we have because if we continue down this road, we are going to destroy everything. I would like people to take initiatives and be proactive by using the best of what they have at hand," said Payet-Alis.
She said that as humans, "we need to respect nature as every plant and animal have a role to play in the ecosystem. This can be attained by not littering and having a good waste management plan in place."