Meet WPCA’s Ameena Smith
During Women’s Month, we will be celebrating our amazing women who work for the organisation in a series of articles across our website and social media pages. In the next of our articles, we meet Ameena Smith.
Tell us how you came to be working at Newlands Cricket Ground?
Andre Odendaal, previous CEO nagged me to join him in 2007 at WPCA. It took a few calls from him over a good couple of months and encouragement from my husband (for selfish cricket reasons) before I finally succumbed and my journey with WPCA started.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
This is a very difficult question to respond to. A Company Secretary has a strategic position of considerable influence at the heart of governance operations within an organisation. I am sometimes referred to as the “engine room” of the organisation. It is a tedious job with high amounts of stress; I have very little time for my family and friends and my working week is exceptionally long. On the flip side, I get to interact with a range of stakeholders, directors, and other high profile people across many industries and I literally am at the heart of it all at Newlands. There is no short term reward for what I do. The rewards are achieved when I submit compliance reports to an Annual General Meeting for example and other structures such as CSA and government to name a few; when I see how far we have come with the property development and the fact that we could not have achieved it without ticking all the right governance/compliance boxes etc.
Many would argue that you have one of the most iconic work venues in South Africa, how do you go about appreciating Newlands Cricket Ground as your office?
I can’t argue with that! Newlands Cricket Ground has been voted as the second most beautiful ground in the world. I praise and thank the Almighty daily for the opportunity to work at Newlands, to see and appreciate the beauty of the ground itself and have the majestic Table Mountain as my backdrop. It acts as a stress reliever and helps to dispel any negative feelings I may be experiencing. Being able to breath in fresh air cannot be replaced, except on those days when one breaths in barley from the Breweries. LOL
Tell us something that not many people will know about you
I am a mother of three beautiful children, two teenagers and one laatlammetjie (now 7). My love for cricket is ingrained in my genes, as my paternal grandfather was a cricketer prior to Unity in the Eastern Cape.
What are some of your most memorable occasions at Newlands?
Even though every New Year’s Test is a memorable occasion, witnessing Vernon Philander demolish Australia in the New Year’s Test cannot be forgotten. Seeing Lionel Ritchie and Elton John perform live at the Stadium and the IPL and Champions League.