CLEAR skies and bursts of pink created the backdrop for the glamorous Ladies Polo Day event in Sandton yesterday.

PICTURE: DUMISANI SIBEKO Polo players battle for the ball during a game at the Inanda Club in Sandton in aid of breast cancer awareness yesterday.

PICTURE: DUMISANI SIBEKO Polo players battle for the ball during a game at the Inanda Club in Sandton in aid of breast cancer awareness yesterday.

The event, sponsored by Cell C in partnership with Samsung, saw teams of mostly women from the two companies going head to head on the green at the Inanda Polo Club. Out of a total of eight players on both teams, only two were men.

The event ushered in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raised funds for the families of those who died of the disease. In the end, team Samsung came out victorious in the sport, which is usually dominated by men.

The star-studded event was attended by the likes of TV personality Zuraida Jardine and Miss SA Liesl Laurie. Laurie, together with survivors of breast cancer, officially opened the proceedings by lifting a bunch of pink balloons into the air as a symbol of winning the fight against the disease.

Award-winning singer Lira also serenaded the large crowd, who danced and sang along. The charity event also included a fashion show hosted by African Fashion International, who showcased their emerging designers.

Women also had the chance to get their make-up done, get massages and indulge in some retail therapy at the numerous pop-up stores. This was in aid of the breast cancer survivors from charity organisations, including Reach for Recovery, who were the main guests of the day. They were in high spirits during the festivities. One of them was Josey Nonkonyane, who proudly wore a pink ribbon, which is a symbol for the fight against breast cancer. She said she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 and managed to fight it. But more than two decades later, in 2012, the cancer returned and spread to her bones, resulting in the removal of two ribs. A year later, the cancer had spread to her liver, but once again Nonkonyane came out fighting. “I’ve fought cancer three times in my life, and I want to teach others to do the same,” she told The Star. As a survivor, Nonkonyane now educates and supports other breast cancer victims as part of Reach for Recovery.

“We visit breast cancer patients in hospitals and explain the options available to them. We also give advice and support for those suffering from the disease.”
Nonkonyane added that she was passionate about educating women in townships about breast cancer, as knowledge in informal areas was scarce. “I want all women to know that cancer is not a death sentence and that if we stand together, we can fight it,” she said. Nonkonyane also urges women to live a healthy lifestyle.