Aviva Pelham, Opera Singer, Director, Community-Outreach Facilitator

Three South African women you admire? Helen Zille, because she’s a woman of integrity, tenacity and accountability. Thuli Madonsela, because she’s an icon of courage and unshakeable determination to reveal the truth. Jane Raphaely, who’s a role model for balancing family and career. Words to live by? Help me always to feel like the blind; to see like the deaf; to hear like the mute; to live like the dying.

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How did you celebrate your 21st? I got married! To the love of my life, who’s been my constant support and best friend ever since. The most fun thing you’ve done since your 21st? Singing with the ‘Divine Divas’ at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 2001 with Sibongile Khumalo and Virginia Davids in the Celebrate South Africa concert. We were escorted on stage in grand style by actors Richard E.

Grant, Sir Anthony Sher and Henry Goodman, and were overwhelmed by ecstatic applause from a largely South African audience. What a privilege.

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