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Tana, The 40 Over 40 Women’s Portrait Campaign

Tana, 60

I have been described by my friends and family as…

assertive, optimistic, and loyal

My best qualities are…

Passionately love life, even when it’s tough.

I am most proud of…

My boys Ryan, 26, and Sean, 23.

My favourite quotes…

The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran. He speaks about all the important life-changing moments of your life and focuses on one’s faith in love with regard to life and others.

My best extracts:

“That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life’s secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.
The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

What advice would I give my 20-year-old self…

Life is an adventure – a one way ticket – with ups and downs but always make sure you travel first class by staying true to yourself, your faith, your integrity and slow down for love and beauty and increase the speed to overcome the tears and losses that life offers on that adventure and most of all stay in love with life itself.

We all experience many lifetimes in this one life. What did you find were the most poignant changes as you entered your 40s?

My divorce made me realise that you need to make peace within yourself and move on and start again. It’s like breaking a very expensive and irreplaceable vase and you are bent over on your knees trying to glue the pieces together through your tears for hours on end – until the moment of realization that its simply not worth it because it will never be the same again, and you stand up, gather the half-mended vase and balance of the broken shards, and deposit it in the dustbin. Only then can you heal and become grateful, clearly see the opportunities after this temporary setback, embrace life with both arms and find love and friendship and peace and all your forgotten passions again. You then realise how blessed you have been for breaking that vase and how amazing your life has been since that very heart-wrenching moment. Every day you wake up and every night you go to sleep, knowing how lucky and blessed you are.

Thoughts on aging…

It’s part of life. I don’t fear or regret it (at least not today). I do have so many goals and experiences. I plan to achieve most of them – however, I live my now.

A story I’d like to share…

There are so many great and very sad moments in life – neither can be experienced to its fullest without the other. We are all crawling/walking/running on the bridge of life spanning over a torrential river that will one day sweep us away. The only direction is forward. You cannot change the past. You can plan – but don’t forget the saying that God laughs at your plans – the future will be exactly what it should be.

So, the only reality is now. You can learn from your lessons and hope that you will remember them at the time you need to – remember the amazing moments – there are so many –  that is all you should take from the past.

Most of all know to simply live the best you can every moment you are moving forward on that bridge of life.

Enjoyment of my experience with Monica

Sometimes we do not realise how beautiful we are until someone like Monica shows us. This has been one of my WOW moments that I will always remember, and I am so grateful for the experience. Thank you, Monica. You are a great artist and inspiration for all women.

I have so many friends that would have loved this journey – most of them in Johannesburg. 

I will be forwarding them my photos and experience.


I had an incredible time with Tana in my studio!  When we initially chatted over the phone about her shoot, we just clicked!  And I feel like we have been friends for years!

Iza did Tana’s hair and makeup, and it was one of those relaxed and fun days, where the day flowed, and every photo felt like it was meant to be.  I had recently heard of ‘the Camilla dress‘ from a podcast I had recently listened to, by author and mindset coach, Denise Duffield Thomas.  Denise had worn a Camilla dress when she met Oprah, so you can imagine, I was excited when Tana casually took out 2 of her dresses and they were ‘Camilla’s’! The softest, most flowing fabric, and Tana looked beautiful in these dresses.


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