Susanna Kruger is running as an independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland 2016.
I was privileged to support Susanna in stepping into her full power. What a woman! So feminine and so strong. She is a testament that no matter our circumstances, we can have it all.
Here is her story.
From Stroppy Waitress To Social Entrepreneur
Has anyone ever dared to lock their spouse out of the house? I mean, for good . . . I suggest you don’t! A fallout with his church left me homeless and penniless so I became a waitress. I was a size eight, forty-eight, and working till late. I then remembered the late President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography – Long Walk To Freedom – in which he says: “You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself”. I took this legendary leader’s advice seriously and re-invented myself. I became a size not-so-hot, an online celebrity, and funnily enough, now the wife of a Kiwi bloke; an ex-Priest. Being well qualified and highly skilled though, my real claim to fame is having traded myself out of poverty. I am a social entrepreneur.
It all began when I walked into a South African restaurant on Auckland’s North Shore and came out with a job. This restaurant, serving finger licking spare ribs, and calorie-packed traditional pudding, is a family business, and I worked with the owner’s sister, his cousin, and his wife often came in late at night. I absolutely loved my job, regardless of the many tantrums thrown by kitchen staff, as they did not like it when I ordered a well-done steak, which took about 40 minutes to prepare. My shift usually started with a pep talk by the owner, supposedly to encourage us to do better. One evening, however, there was a complaint from the cousin: I apparently had done something wrong. In trying to explain myself, the owner, who was merely protecting his sister’s brat, was a bit bold and told me, “either change your attitude or leave”. In hindsight, I now know, that as a woman who was trying to survive poverty and court proceedings, I was over re-acting, when I took my apron off, in the middle of the restaurant, and stormed out.
I had already begun a Master of Education in an effort to overcome my alleged lack of local experience. A woman I hardly knew, while chatting to me, remarked: “Oh, so you are a dark horse?” I then stood for Auckland Council in the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward, where I was studying. As a brand new independent, I achieved two thousand six hundred and seventy votes, at a time that I was living on social welfare, in one room with my two teenage daughters, at my adopted mother’s place, behind automated gates. I since solidly established my trade mark, the dark horse, over the past six years, mainly through strategic marketing. I eventually managed to register with the New Zealand Teachers Council, as a Self-Employed Teacher of Entrepreneurship. I am now a business school owner offering the Young Entrepreneur Program and Create Your Own J.O.B. course while pioneering the Professional Entrepreneur Pathway for Aotearoa New Zealand.
More than sixteen years ago, I was only two months in this country, when I said: “One day I am going to run a global online network for women . . .” Little did I know that an all-women legal team would force me and my daughters to live on food parcels from charities and food grants from the government. I grew up with five siblings plus three extended siblings, attending a small rural boarding school, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert, the land of the bushmen: Namibia. From stroppy waitress to social entrepreneur, and now running as an Independent Candidate for Mayor of Auckland 2016 (www.susannakruger.co.nz/mayor), what made this AfriKan woman do whatever it took, was Motherhood: a painful privilege that I would trade for nothing else on planet earth.