November Newsletter 2010

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2010 at 9:03 am


Dear Readers

October brought a hive of activity focused on our 4th National Wine Auction held on 28 October 2010 at the Westin Grand Hotel, in the heart of Cape Town. Guests were welcomed to a complementary wine tasting prior to the actual auction, accompanied by the soothing jazz of Urban Groove. Master of ceremonies, Paul Buckby, got the evening into full swing before Auction Alliance master, Ish Hendricks, auctioned 55 lots – including wine, art and sporting memorabilia. Sterling EQ added a touch of glamour with their smooth sounds while Jonty Rhodes (an old friend of Epilepsy South Africa), Cindy Nell-Roberts and Dr Divan Serfontein added a special sparkle. Read more about this exciting event below.

As though it is not enough to organise an event of this magnitude, the National Office also completed the re-modelling of the new venue for our training division. Find out more about this development below.

Xolisa Nkonyeni offers advice on taking control of your own life in addition to free life coaching services to people with epilepsy in the Eastern Cape.

This newsletter also offers you the opportunity to catch up on all the exciting developments and happenings at the Epilepsy South Africa Branches. The Mpumalanga & Limpopo Branch reports on their sports day, service plans and a sad farewell to one of their residents, Gideon Kilian, while looking forward to the annual Chef’s Cookout in November 2010. The Western Cape Branch opened new community counselling satellite offices around the Peninsula and participated in research on disability and human rights. Members of the Parys community, including the local Mica outlet, assisted the Free State & North West Branch to upgrade the sickbay.

You can contribute to the debate about epilepsy by suggesting topics for the DSTV series or support the organisation by buying beautiful Christmas cards. In addition, people with epilepsy and other disabilities are assisted in finding employment through a variety of service points.

If you wish to become more involved with our organisation, please contact your closest Epilepsy SA Branch by phoning 0860 EPILEPSY (0860 374537).


Noëline de Goede


The 4th Annual Wine Auction of Epilepsy South Africa proved to be another great success for the National Office! The event, held on Thursday, the 28th of October 2010, raised almost R70,000 from lots and selected raffle items. Cipla Medpro stepped in as main sponsor for this year’s event at the luxurious Westin Grand Ballroom in Cape Town. Familiar faces, like Jonty Rhodes, Cindy Nell and Dr Divan Serfontein (Cipla Medpro), joined guests in bidding for exclusive wine lots, art and sports memorabilia. Paul Buckby led the proceedings as master of ceremonies and added his own unique musical contribution. Sounds of Jazz trio, Urban Groove accompanied the wine tasting offered by 13 wine estates and distributors. In addition, the classical allure of renowned Sterling EQ produced an evening with a memorable, lingering aftertaste that will be hard to surpass at next year’s 5th Annual Wine Auction!

Epilepsy South Africa National Office thanks Cipla Medpro for the enormous role they played in making this year’s wine auction such a raving success. A special word of thanks also goes to major supporters, especially Auction Alliance, for felling the hammer for four consecutive wine auctions; Tomcat Advertising Agency, for more than just design and printing; and Slaley Wines, who sponsored the entire range of table wine for the event. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to other sponsors, especially the wine estates for their contributions of wine lots and tasting displays, prize sponsors with particular mention of the Taj Cape Town, Van Deijl Jewellers Tygervalley, Cindy Nell for her gifts from Cosmetix, Shoprite Checkers for the delectable cheese and biscuits, Chris Cloete Photography for the photographs of the evening, Homebrew Films for their support and filming of the event and everyone else who supported this major fundraising event. We are immensely grateful for your generous support and we’d like to invite you to join us again for the 2011 entry on the Cape Town social calendar.


October saw the realisation of a long-held and cherished dream of the National Office – the opening of our very own training division. When we moved to Parow during February 2010, we immediately saw the potential of our new home to host the training division. While the new division was officially launched in August 2010, we still did not have a home of our own. We were content using the National Office Boardroom as an interim measure, but during October, a section of our office building was re-designed and re-modelled as a training room! Dust went flying in all directions while we ripped out dry-walling, re-tiled and repainted. Melanie Lubbe found a contractor willing to provide services free of charge and the work began. What was previously a collection of small offices took shape as a training/meeting room with additional storage space and even a small catering area, identified for the serving of tea/coffee and meals. On 26 October 2010, we hosted a meeting of the South African Disability Alliance (SADA) as our venue can comfortably accommodate people with disabilities, including wheelchair users. The next big event will be the Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Training of Trainers seminar to be held from 21 November to 3 December 2010. This venue will not only function as a home to the training activities of the National Office, but also be rented out to others. For more information on costs and how to book the venue, please contact Marina Clarke on (021) 595-4900 or economicdev.no@epilepsy.org.za.


This has been my standard excuse since I started having epileptic seizures in High school. A close friend of mine once laughingly asked me: “What happened to us? We were so ambitious when we were younger; we were going to serve the UN!! We were going places, you and I…” Of course my standard answer was, as above. This still did not register when my younger sister asked the same question albeit differently: “What happened? You were the one who was going to be successful, you were the one who was going to get married and be a great mother. What happened?” Of course my answer was pathetically self pitying and rather self righteous: “But, you know I fell ill…” Epilepsy is a lot of things but it is not some disease or curse that one cannot live with. This I discovered only a year ago when I started to take responsibility of my own life. This knowledge has led me to studying Life Coaching, where clients are assisted to set goals and from their life coach get feedback, insights from a totally impartial point of view. This is an on-going partnership and unlike counselling where the root of the problem is investigated, life coaching is built on taking action, based on current conditions.

With some life coaching, I have discovered that I can do anything an able-bodied person can – in some cases even more. I have also learnt that by taking responsibility of my own life, I put the power back in my own hands. There are six “rules” to life I try to follow which have helped tremendously:

Take responsibility for your life at all times. This is not the same as self-blame, which implies that you cannot change the situation, regardless of the circumstances. Taking responsibility for any situation – results are determined by your response. By controlling your response to any situation, you now control the outcome in your life, thereby enabling you to change the situation (if the response was not favourable) or maintain the action (if it produced good results).

Be constantly aware of things that make you happy. By constantly revisiting and accentuating the positives – the negatives become a pesky sideline rather than your focus.

Do not define success by other people’s standards. Success to you may not necessarily have financial implications, but it could be services rendered in a certain manner to others. You are then able to set your own goals. It might be to gain some form of self-actualisation. Once you are able to identify your success using goals to achieve it, it becomes easier to attain.

Be confident at all times, because the Universe reverberates in your life what you shout out. If you portray self confidence, the feedback you receive from your external world is reflective of that and this further builds confidence for you to venture where you would not normally go, where you would otherwise believe you cannot go. This leads to the next point.

Do not be afraid to try something new. Go for something artsy, gutsy or fun. This helps to give you variety in life and constantly reinforces that you actually can.

Find your purpose in life. Purpose is self-evolving. By living your life the way that best builds you and others, you slowly discover your purpose in life. Through this, self-actualisation can then be attained. With life coaching, it is easier to attain self-fulfilment and I would like to offer 15 individuals (in and around the Queenstown/East London area) an hour’s session of my coaching services to help determine their goals. This will be free of charge! All I ask in return is that they complete and sign a feedback form. This acknowledgement will help me attain my qualification in Life Coaching.

Please contact: Xolisa Nkonyeni on (045) 838-4274 during office hours or 074 218 1176, or e-mail xolnkonyeni@vodamail.co.za. To learn more about Life Coaching, please visit the New Insights Africa website.

  1. you have indeed done a very great job. but how about our side? in germiston and vanderbjail park especially at the terciary institutikons? we really need to get people informed

    • Dear Thelma
      Thank you for your comments. There is still so much more work that must be done and the most important of all is the awareness and training about epilepsy as a condition. That is why we have a specific wall just for awareness called the Wall of Acceptance. :

      The Germiston and Van der Bijl areas are serviced by our Gauteng Branch.
      They can be contacted on telephone 011-8162040. If any person needs assistance or services in respect of epilepsy, please contact 0860 EPILEPSY (0860374537). This will link you directly with the closest Branch of Epilepsy South Africa where you can request the services or assistance you require. Alternatively you may contact the National Office (021-5954900) and we will refer you to your closest service point.

      Noëline de Goede
      National Director
      Epilepsy SA

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