Three South African women you admire? Thuli Madonsela, our Public Protector. She manages to remain cool and professional in an environment that wills her to fall apart. Basetsana Kumalo. Working in media myself has made me appreciate the course her career has taken. There’s something to be said for having a vision and executing it. My mother – Zoliswa Mafu. She’s been a teacher for over 30 years at the same high school in Zwide, PE. She’s dedicated her life to raising not only my brother and me, but also the kids who pass through that school. Best piece of advice given to you by a woman? From my friend Zama Ndlovu: ‘Start acknowledging your awesomeness and wonderfulness.’ Democracy today means… It’s not a term that automatically ‘fixes’ society. Large parts of society are painfully unequal.
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But ultimately its foundation remains strong and important – freedom of expression and being able to express yourself politically. If you could wish for one thing for your daughter on her 21st, what would it be? Fearlessness. Just because it looks like the ‘stable’ and ‘sensible’ decision doesn’t mean it’s best for you. Take a risk. Just wear a condom and a seatbelt… What did your 21st mean to you? It meant I was edging closer to paying taxes and rent! But I also saw it as an opportunity.
How has your life changed since then? I’ve become more decisive. And I believe in my awesomeness and wonderfulness. What does feminism mean to you? It means being fully responsible for the decisions I make, from the time I wake up to the time I fall asleep. (I can’t be held responsible for what happens in my dreams, lol.) It is a recognition that I’m a black feminist, and my struggles are dierent to those of a white feminist. What do you think SA will look like for women in five years’ time? I think it will be pretty much the same. Women are, however, starting to be more vocal about identifying themselves as feminists. They will start making a lot of people uncomfortable, and that’s important.