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Africa’s first fertility show focuses on support from professionals

Africa’s first fertility show focuses on support from professionals


Africa’s first fertility show focuses on support from professionals and those who have experienced infertility themselves.

Fertility Show Africa – the continent's first dedicated fertility show which takes place in Johannesburg on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng – will offer support to those currently on their own fertility journey. 

Rather than concentrating on the negative consequences of this ailment, Fertility Show Africa (FSA) offers a generic and diverse opportunity to seek emotional support where required but also looks to provide information and practical advice on fertility solutions; treatment options and alternative family arrangements.

One of its key attractions is the IVF Babble Support Zone, an intimate place where visitors can get their questions answered by specialists, and engage with a panel of experts on key topics, with a programme supported and hosted by leading professionals in fertility. It is sponsored by IVF Babble, the go-to online source of information, support and advice for anyone struggling with fertility or undergoing treatment. Founders Tracey Bambrough and Sara Marshall-Page, had struggled with their own fertility issues and set up IVF Babble to provide the information, support and network that they found sadly lacking when they needed it. IVF Babble has had more than three million readers from across the globe since launching less than three years ago.

IVF Babble Support Zone will be supported by a professional counselling and support team headed up by clinical psychologist Mandy Rodrigues.

Says Heidi Warricker, CEO and organiser of Fertility Show Africa: “Many of those taking part in the Support Zone have travelled the infertility road themselves and understand the struggles and the grief people experience on their journey. So they are in the perfect position to offer help, advice and support to those in need."

Tracey Bambrough of IVF Babble said: “By sponsoring the Support Zone programme we hope to go some way to breaking the taboo that surrounds talking about infertility. Men and women across Africa, and in many parts of the world, find it difficult to get information, support and help. The zone will be a focus where people needing help can meet real experts who can answer their questions in a practical way.”

The full list of speakers and the topics that they will be covering at the IVF Babble Support Zone are:

Adele van der Walt
Adele van der Walt is an authority on the legal aspects of medical law which includes fertility law and surrogacy in South Africa and has represented clients both nationally and internationally. Van der Walt completed her B-Proc, LLB degrees at the University of Pretoria. She has addressed many interest groups in the healthcare fraternity, she has authored many published articles and she partakes in radio and TV programmes in this field on a regular basis. 
Saturday, March 7, at 12h45
Topic: The legal aspects of IVF. 

Alicia de Beer
Alicia de Beer and her husband Lukas are parents to a five-year-old boy. However, in 2017, their daughter Alizè died. De Beer speaks about her journey of loss and recovery.
Saturday, March 7, at 14h45
Topic: A Grieving Mother - Where Life and Death Collide

Catherine Bagyenda, Denise Kekimuri and Jassy Ebwanyu Vessel is Me comes all the way from Uganda. This NGO focuses on maternal mental health and provides a platform for women and their families to talk through their challenges. They support the community through monthly gatherings for women and quarterly meet ups for men and also provide a presence in selected hospitals for families who may need help. 
Saturday, March 7, at 15h30
Topic: Vessel is Me Uganda - The three women will be speaking on the topic of families who continue to suffer in silence from infertility and infant loss.

Dr Kelly Owen
Dr. Kelly Owen is a clinical psychologist who has been in private practice since 1996. Through her own journey with fertility difficulties, Owen started working in this field 15 years ago. Her specific interest is the severe impact that infertility has on the mental health of couples as well as on the individual. The emotional and psychological effects on men is also given great attention as they too suffer through this journey. She focuses on preserving relationships and guides couples through the often soul destroying process of the various treatments as they strive towards the creation of their own family.  
Friday, March 6, at 12h00, 12h30 and 12h45
Topics: Infertility and the marriage; conflict & trust and Balloons and Bubbles as relaxation
Saturday, March 7, at 13h45
Topic: Balloons and Bubbles

Dr Leanne Scott
Dr Leanne Scott has worked as a homeopath in the field of infertility for the past 12 years. She co-developed, authored and lectured the first post-graduate course on The Complementary and Alternative Treatment of Infertility in South Africa through the University of Johannesburg. Her primary focus is on utilising a holistic approach to address infertility, incorporating homeopathic, epigenetic and functional medicine to develop individualistic treatment protocols.
Saturday, March 7, at 11h45, 12h00 and 12h30
Topics: Mindfulness techniques in the stress response and the role of complementary medicine in infertility

Ilana and JK du Toit
Ilana du Toit was diagnosed with early menopause in 2012 and has seen many fertility doctors and clinics in the UK and South Africa. Whilst going through her fertility treatment process, she realised that there is so much more that could be done to consolidate and streamline the fertility process and health data management. Du Toit realised that if she knew at the age of 18 that her ovarian egg reserve was diminishing, she would have taken a more proactive approach to managing her reproductive health. The result was FertilyGo, a one stop application where individuals have the power to capture and access their data from puberty through to adulthood – without losing information between fertility stages. Her husband JK is also one of the partners and heads up strategy for FertilyGo. 
Saturday, March 7, at 16h00
Topic: The Role of the Fertilygo App and the couple’s personal journey.

Jerry and Karabo Zwane 
Pastor Jerry and his wife Karabo Zwane founded Hannah - You Are Not Alone after their struggles with infertility. Depression, shame and loss of hope took the best out of them. They have devoted themselves to helping couples rise above the shame of infertility. Hannah seeks to bring awareness about an issue that has left many destitute and stigmatised. They aim to provide spiritual support and peace to those who are hurting. 
Saturday, March 7, at 15h00
Topic: Hannah - You Are Not Alone & the Zwane’s journey

Lerandia Viljoen
Lerandia Viljoen is a mother of two lovely daughters and works for a law firm as an office manager. In 2017 Lerandia got involved with egg donation and surrogacy. In 2018/2019 Lerandia carried twins for a couple. The twins were born 36 weeks in September 2019. Lerandia is currently in the process of doing another surrogacy journey.
Friday, March 6, at 15h30
Topic: Surrogate mother speaks about her journey 

Lucia Oreb Cvjetovic 
Lucia Oreb Cvjetovic is a fashion designer, business entrepreneur and House of Fertility director who battled with infertility for five years. Unable to conceive naturally, the only way Oreb Cvjetovic was able to conceive was through a surrogate. “My journey lead me on a road that I never thought we would ever travel on. Finally, after those five extremely emotional years, our miracle twin girls Noa and Luna were born to our many tears, smiles, relief and exhilaration.”
Friday, March 6, at 13h45
Topic: Testing Your Fertility Knowledge
Saturday, March 7, at 14h00
Topic: House of Fertility - Support in Social Media

Mandy Rodrigues 
Renowned clinical psychologist Mandy Rodrigues has worked in the field of infertility for the past 24 years. This includes working with individuals, couples and groups, helping them cope with the fertility journey and assisting them with making life-changing decisions. A large part of her practice involves stress management and the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to infertility. Rodrigues has presented and published various books and articles on the subject. 
Friday, March 6, at 10h30

Topic: Dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of infertility. Sponsored by AnaStellar. This workshop is for fertility coordinators, nurses, laboratory staff, counsellors and doctors (not the public).
Friday March 6 at 11h00 and 11h30

Topics: The Acceptance of Infertility and Cycles of Emotion and Game: Grief Cycle and Triggers and Where They Fit
Friday March 6 at 13h30

Topic: Two jars with jelly beans to manage guilt
Friday March 6 at 14h45

Topic: Marriage game – couples each given a set of cards
Saturday, March 7, at 09h30

Topic: Ethics in Art and what to do when morals and ethics clash. Presented in conjunction with Dr Tony Rodrigues (see below). Sponsored by AnaStellar. This workshop is for fertility coordinators, nurses, laboratory staff, counsellors and doctors (not the public).
Saturday, March 7, at 13h00
Topic: Managing Chronic Stress in Infertility

Michelle Groenewald 
Michelle Groenewald worked in the advertising industry as an art director for 15 years before moving into hospitality. During the 12 years as an owner of a successful restaurant, Groenewald gained an understanding of the intricacies of working with people from diverse backgrounds and a multitude of life experiences. “Whilst I fell pregnant in a very short space of time with our first child, Gia, I struggled with secondary infertility for four years before falling pregnant naturally with our son Tyler.” She is a SA certified Perinatal Bereavement Worker and House of Fertility Director.
Saturday, March 7, at 14h20
Topic: Empty Wombs

Molatelo Mainetje-Bossman
Multiple international award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur, Molatelo Mainetje-Bossman has spoken out about her infertility through her film When Babies Don’t Come, where she documents her 10-year struggle with infertility. The result is she has not only inspired many others but has also given a voice to many men and women with the same condition. Mainetje-Bossman was appointed one of the directors of Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa (IFAASA) in 2018.
Friday, March 6, at 17h00
Topic: Infertility in the African Culture

Nanki Robbertse
Nanki Robbertse is an occupational therapist but a mom at heart. In 2016 she lost her son, Kaleb, to stillbirth at 39-weeks and as part of her grief journey she started the #hopeboxinitiative in memory of Kaleb and for parents who have suffered loss, to help them feel loved and less isolated.  It is her passion to encourage, to listen, to guide but most of all to bring hope.
Saturday, March 7, at 13h30
Topic: How to build a hope box

Naniki Sorensen
Naniki Sorensen’s infertility journey was a long and arduous eight years before she adopted a child. Post adoption, she made a conscious decision to search for answers: “Through my spiritual practice I found a deeper inner knowing that I am never alone, I am always supported. Yoga had been something I had explored on and off, but this time I was seeking more than physical exercise, I was looking for something deeper. Yoga, meditation and constant engagement with nature, (which I later learnt was called nature bath) became a source of my healing - physically, mentally and spiritually. After completion of the final year of my Masters in Psychology, with a focus on a holistic biopsychosocial/spiritual approach, our family was blessed with a son, who was naturally conceived. I now practice as a holistic wellness counsellor.”
Friday, March 6, at 16h00 and 16h30
Topics: Meditation and yoga for infertility and Setting up a Meditation Corner

Robynne Friedman
Robynne Friedman is a mother through surrogacy. She has her own law firm specialising solely in surrogacy and fertility law matters.
Friday, March 6, at 15h00
Topic: Surrogacy: A More Personal Journey 

Saskia Williams
Saskia Williams is a founder member and CEO of IFAASA. Her desire to help start IFAASA, stemmed from many years of infertility. She was the spokesperson at the 2013 Discovery medical aid AGM, when the motion was brought forward for infertility to be covered. After trying to conceive for seven years, three rounds of IVF and the loss of her daughter, Eloise, at 24 weeks gestation, she and her husband finally realised their dream of becoming a family, via adoption. Williams volunteers at IFAASA to help to educate the public around infertility.
Friday, March 6, at 17h30
Topic: IFAASA, surviving infertility, loss and completing my family through local adoption.

Sue-Ann Bright 
Sue-Ann Bright is a registered counselling psychologist in private practice.  At age 38 Bright’s biological clock realised that waiting any longer for her prince to arrive would put her fertility in further jeopardy and she began a long and often times painful journey towards becoming a ‘Single Mother By Choice’ (a term coined in the US for single women who chose to conceive without a partner) using donor sperm. During the process, Sue-Ann felt supported and nurtured by the healthcare professionals working with her at the fertility clinic but after the birth of her daughter she found little ongoing support or resources available to and for donor conceived families. In response to that need has included donor conception support as a focus in her private practice.
Friday, March 6, at 13h00
Topic: Alternative Parenting Specifically Donor Sperm and Single Moms

Tanya Rubin
Tanya is a registered social worker, perinatal bereavement counsellor and logo therapist who has been working in the field of infertility for the past 15 years. She provides counselling to couples and individuals who are embarking on the journey of infertility. A large part of her practice focuses on dealing with issues around egg and sperm donation, surrogacy and the emotional journey linked to fertility treatment and pregnancy loss.
Friday, March 6, at 11h45
Topic: Workshop on Finding Meaning in Infertility
Friday, March 6, at 14h00 and 14h30
Topic: Egg and Sperm Donation and profiles to look at with baby pictures and adult

Dr Tony Rodrigues
Dr. Tony Rodrigues completed his undergraduate and post- graduate degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand. He entered private practice specialising in assisted reproduction and minimally invasive surgery in 1990. He co-developed Medfem Clinic in 1991 and is a director of the clinic. He has an MBA from Henley London. He co-authored the book Faster Better Sicker - Time-Urgency Perfectionism Stress, and co-developed Staminogro, a natural product for fertility and general health. He has a special interest in time-urgency perfectionism stress and its influence on fertility. He also co-developed an online self-help interactive stress management programme, and has published internationally and co-authored chapters in books in the fields of hyperinsulinism in male fertility and stress and its role in infertility.
Saturday, March 7, at 09h30
Topic: Ethics in Art and what to do when morals and ethics clash. Presented in conjunction with Mandy Rodrigues (see above). Sponsored by AnaStellar. This workshop is for fertility coordinators, nurses, laboratory staff, counsellors and doctors (not the public).

The Fertility Show Africa takes place on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng. Show times are Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

Entry tickets are available at Webtickets at R195 a person or R350 for two people. A two-day entry pass is R315 (single) or R565 per couple. The IFAASA Expert Talks and IVF Babble Support Zone cost R50. To book, go to:

FSA is proudly supported by IFAASA (Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa) and SASREG (South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy).

Learn more at

Social media:
Twitter: @fertility_show
Instagram: @fertilityshowafrica

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