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During Women’s Month, Sasfin had the pleasure of hosting Gloria Tomatoe Serobe for an inspiring and meaningful discussion around the power of stories, real communication, and the lessons her late mother-in-law, Winnie Serobe taught her.

Gloria, as CEO Michael Sassoon welcomed her, has been part of the Sasfin family since 2017 and has made a huge impact both in business and socially. “Gloria was never one to shy away from a challenge, and only saw how she could better the community and South Africa as a whole,” said Michael.

One has to look no further than Gloria’s newly published book, An Ode To My Mother-in-Law, Winnie Serobe: A mentorship of love and honour, to see Gloria’s goal of bettering communities in action. It was written, Gloria shared, not only in commemoration of her mother-in-law Winnie, but also with the goal of wanting to change the conversation around the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

The world we live in is filled with conflict – at home, in business, in politics, she said. “There’s no space for happy conversations. I wanted to share the good stories. I wanted to contribute something positive to the conversation.”

Gloria shared five lessons her mother-in-law Winnie taught her that have impacted her life and what she has been able to achieve. These powerful lessons are ones we can all use in interacting not only with family, but also with colleagues, friends, and strangers.

Five Lessons from Gloria Tomatoe Serobe

  1. Study your ecosystem

There is value in taking time to learn about the ecosystem that you find yourself in – whether it be in business or at home. Once you understand what was there before you, you are able to see things clearer and make better suggestions for change.

  1. Understand the people with whom you coexist

Understanding individuals through a shared interest requires time and a genuine effort. If you can embrace individuals for having different interests and perspectives, and find commonalities, you are able to avoid conflict and build constructive and productive relationships.

  1. You don’t have to be perfect all the time

There is no need to maintain constant perfection and to shoulder everything alone. Seeking assistance is always an option. Our resources are not limitless, and believing otherwise leads to burnout. Establishing a support system is vital, and it is equally as important to reciprocate by offering your support to others.

  1. Look to those who came before you and ask for guidance

Seek guidance and assistance from those who came before you. A mentor’s influence extends beyond just the corporate realm, and can provide invaluable life advice and guidance.

  1. Build the world you want to live in and leave behind

Shape the world you want to live in and the one you wish to leave behind. We frequently outsource too much to authority figures, including our self-esteem and dignity. However, not every matter needs to become a battleground. The time has come to start cultivating an environment where peace and harmony can exist.


An Ode To My Mother-in-Law, Winnie Serobe: A mentorship of love and honour, by Gloria Tomatoe Serobe was launched on 8 August 2023 and is now available in stores. As MC, Ndumi Hadebe put it, the story of Winnie Serobe “offers a profound realisation that we underestimate the power of our small stories and the impact they have on society.”

About the Author

Keabetswe Nkete
Marketing & Communications Business Partner, Sasfin Holdings

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