Please can you state your full name and status:
Adv Priakumari Hassan, CEO of WOA Group
Describe yourself in 30 words
I never started my business because I was driven to make money. I am passionate about service to others and in order to do this I realised I had to build an organisation that would be capable of reaching out and making a difference. I am a perfectionist, my own worst critic, an insomniac that works in the early hours of the morning, loves routine and never know how to say "no".
What is your idea of perfect joy?
A solution to the eradication of poverty especially in Africa would give me "perfect joy ". We all do what we can but it makes the slightest of dents as opposed to creating this tsunami of change which is desperately needed.
Which historic character do you most identify with?
Maya Angelou. people will always remember the way you made them feel.
Dr Goonam (I called her Aya Gika) born in 1906 was one of Durban's first black female doctors, a revolutionist that fought quietly in the struggle for change. She inspired me from an early age to be bold, fearless and independent. I still have some of her letters.
What do you consider as your biggest extravagance?
Anyone that knows me knows I love Louis Vuitton, I even named by pet dog LV
Which words do you most overuse?
Articulate, CIAO (Chow), babes (what I call my bestie Ameesha) and "keep it simple "
What is your ultimate disappointment?
I am disappointed by the lack of respect, love and forgiveness that exists in the modern day family.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Hahaha I have numerous great loves.. " My husband Imtiaz (my one and only love), my children Tariq (17), Aaliah (12), Inam (9), and my youngest brother Prebu whom I absolutely cherish they are all such an intricate part of my life
Where is your most favourite place in the world?
Thirupati India it's a sanctuary for those that are seeking to get in touch with their spirituality again
Image Studio Umhlanga (Sami) that brings my hair, nails and eyes alive
Which talent would you like to have?
Writing, I would love to write a book on my journey as a female entrepreneur in the energy sector in the hope that it would make those that want to pursue it less complicated.
What is your current state of mind?
Highly energised, focused, liberated, playful (with my hubby) and courageous
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Any destination that has a spa is my "ideal" holiday but I also have a wild side that rears its head every now on then which needs activities like bungee jumping, parasailing and very soon deep sea diving
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The ability to transform the lives of rural Grade 12 female students (Business Womens Association Future Leaders ) which has been my pet project for many years now together with people like Amantha Maharaj
(Thabile Engineering). It's not just my achievement it's the greatest of the BWASA as we work on this as a team, driven by the passion and dedication of all who contributed to this amazing journey for the last 15 years.
What do you fear most?
That's easy but it's not the "what" it's the "who", I fear God. Being fearless of everything else is a necessary ingredient to success in my sector of business.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Mark Zuckerberg so I can figure out the full value of having Facebook. No seriously I would not want to come back as anyone else other than Pria Hassan, whose favourite food is still beans and roti, who wants to leave a legacy of encouragement, learning and excellence..
What is your most treasured possession?
You mean, "What I would rescue from a burning building?" Other than ensuring the survival of my family (which are definitely not possessions) I don't hold onto anything materialistic in nature. I hate clutter so I am a minimalist and there is nothing more treasured than my values.
Where would you like to live?
Zimbali, however my hubby isn't a fan of the Estate for permanent residence. It's the safest place to be in Kwazulu Natal and since I travel extensively my mind would have been at ease knowing access to my children is somewhat restricted. I am a proudly South African woman that loves this country, its people, its woes and all the bliss that its heritage has to offer.
What is your favourite occupation?
If I was a dreamer to be an actress on Broadway . Cats has been calling my name :)..
But I am a realist and my favourite occupation at this moment in time is to continue to be a product of entrepreneurship , someday I want to be a full time philanthropist.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would try to be more of a mother to my children and wife to my husband, I have so little time with them it's my single largest challenge.
Who are your favourite authors?
Toni Morrison as she advocated for the empowerment of women
JK Rowling who created an amazing magical world to live in
Who are your real life heroes?
My mum "Neela "she is a superwoman who manages to balance her life and give her best to everyone. She inspires me to do my best. My dad "Dave " who built his business from a start-up , he faced adversity many times and he showed me that winning is not everything .
What do you dislike most in life?
Idle minds, stealing, greed and procrastination
What is your motto?
Be the change you want to see its pointless complaining whether its about life , politics or personal matters rather concentrate on changing what you can and visualise this everyday.
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