At KFC, we are marking International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by celebrating the thousands of women across our business who inspire and motivate us to be our best selves, make a difference, and have fun. Over the course of the month, we will be sharing profiles of a (very) small sampling of these inspirational KFC women. Today, we introduce you to Taki Simeli.
I am part of the Kulture Kollective, a team of inspiring individuals that manage the PR, Social & Cult and social purpose initiatives at KFC South Africa. In my role as the PR specialist, my key agenda is to support our marketing calendar activities through fun, culturally relevant campaigns. I also drive our story telling agenda by ensuring we are always engaging media & consumers on our social purpose work like the KFC Add Hope initiative and our recently launched KFC Ikusasa Lethu Scholarship that is really making a positive and meaningful change in South African communities. In addition to this, I drive our always-on-brand reputation management activities, including corporate profiling.
I was raised in a female headed household by my late grandmother and mother. Despite the hardships we faced, both these women showed amazing resilience and grace through the toughest of times. It is through the sacrifices that they made, that today I have access to opportunities that they never had.
I come from a rural community in South Africa with very minimal opportunities and they have both inspired me to not only do better for myself but that as I rise, I bring other people with me. They reminded me that my success isn’t just about what I achieve individually, but rather how I use this success to help better someone else’s life, even through one small act of kindness.
Oprah Winfrey is another woman that I am highly inspired by as she reminds me so much of myself at times. She was born into adversity yet didn’t allow that to define who she was nor put a limitation on the dreams she had for her life. Oprah’s success is not only rooted in the number of awards or the millions of viewers her shows attract, her success lies in her philanthropic work as she is so intentional about paying it forward.
International Women’s Day to me means celebrating the powerful women before me who fought for the right to access spaces where women were previously told they don’t belong, just so women like myself can have a seat at the table. On a personal level it means taking a moment to pause and to celebrate my own personal journey as a woman.