Durban woman puts a modern twist to Finishing School

Durban woman puts a modern twist to Finishing School

Maggie Naidoo from Durban sent in a voice note to Thandolwethu's feature, 'Side Hustle' to share more about her job working at a Finishing School.

Women attending Bella Donna Life Skills & Finishing Classes
Women attending Class/ @Bella Donna Life Skills Facebook page

*In a previous version of this story we incorrectly stated Maggie Naidoo was founder. Robyn Toms  is the founder.*

Finishing School was very popular a few years ago. 

“Before the 1960s, finishing schools were used as platforms to teach the upper-class young females on how to acquire husbands. In the old days, these were called 'Charm Schools',” says Maggie Naidoo, Franchisor for Durban Westville and La Lucia Bella Donna Life Skills & Finishing Classes.

Even though today many people view the schools as outdated, Maggie doesn't believe so. She says they can still offer women the skills they need. 

She uses the Bella Donna Coaching Franchise Model to help women empower themselves and have the necessary skills to be independent and successful.

Being a life coach, and a Time-Line Therapist, Maggie uses her experience and the skills she has acquired over the years to transform the lives of other women. 

“Our classes are delivered in a fun environment that encourages participation, empowering each client with personal skills that will grow their self-confidence, and self-belief. Ultimately, leading to independent, self-managed, free thinkers who see that they can have a future and a hope!” she says. 

Maggie explains that “building confidence, self-esteem and relationships, dealing with fear, anxiety and depression, and time management are all areas of extreme importance to grow our young ladies into firm strong superior women.”

She says the “days of being inferior beings are over!"

Talking about how her business came into being, she says it was born out of a bad experience she had as a child.

“I have been a victim of being made into an inferior being. I know what it felt like not knowing how to be confident due to brutal circumstances as a child, not knowing how to communicate and have relationships with even the kids at school. Growing up not having alternatives, being isolated, has taught me that being in dark place is not good,” says Maggie.

“I have a now 15-year-old daughter and she will not be allowed to grow up as I did, so my mission is that every young girl child will be fully equipped to face the real world with adequate skills and great zeal and confidence and achieve anything they want,” she says.  

Maggie and her team offer classes “at schools, youth groups, independent women events, Wellness events, as well as at corporate companies. We tailor topics relevant to your specific needs. We have Saturday workshops. Bookings are essential. Our workshops range from R800 to R2150."

"Bella Donna Life Skills and Finishing School subjects are: Personal: Style & Image, Wellness: Health & Fitness, Relationships, Entertaining & Event Planning, Modelling & Deportment, Etiquette, Time Management, Goal Setting, The Art of Conversation, Career Choices & Interview Skills, Public Speaking, Resilience, and Confidence, and many more," says Maggie. 

READ: Combating drug abuse in South African schools

Lastly, Maggie says people need to know that "it is important to respect and love yourself and others" in order to thrive and enjoy life, and this is what she tells all her clients.

#SideHustle will air every Tuesday on Thandolwethu's show exclusive to East Coast Radio. All you need to do is submit a 50-second WhatsApp voice note to 061 792 9495 telling us about your side hustle, and how people can contact you.

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