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Violet Polelo Selwana’s super power is self-motivation

Name: Violet Polelo Selwana

Province: Eastern Cape

Facebook: Polelo Violet Selwana

Twitter handle:@Violet­_pvs

Instagram: violet_selwana

What is the essence of being a woman to you?

The essence of being a women lies in her, faith, caring heart, kindness, and wisdom. Being a women is a blessing and a gift from God. A woman is fearless, she is the source of love, compassion, sincerity, sacrificing patience and attention.

What is your super power?

Self-Motivation and My God are my super powers. In hard/good times I pray to God to strengthen me , so I can be able to stand strong and motivate myself to keep going in life.

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Generous, Active, Powerful, Cooperative, Cheerful, Patient and Goal-Orientated.

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes, I totally relate to Women’s. In remembrance of 9 August 1956, many woman went through tough time, fighting against unjust laws enforced on woman in South Africa. Many things were achieved in the power of women’s unity and strength. So this is a special month to remind woman the opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and the important role that women of all races and religions have played and continue to play in South African society.

They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Yes. According to Science, it has been proven that women grow and mature faster than man. So in most cases my brothers will always want advice from my mother and us sisters to help in their decision making, not that they cannot decide on things but they need women support and wisdom to get things going for them. Practically, men will leave us but will find a women still remaining strong for them, not giving up, waiting with a beautiful smile on their faces. Looking at my mother support towards father proves a lot that women are not so easily broken by Circumstances in life.

How do you think society perceives women?

In Today’s time women are living a tough life. As the society perceive them as weak, and are used in all sorts of bad things, like they being abused, raped and discriminated against the gender roles. In most cases women in order to be taken serious in leadership positions or be in power, they have to suffer and always fight to prove themselves that they are capable, even when they meet all requirements are still to be critised to their strengths and abilities.

How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

Change in the sense of changing the community in building a better society, to show commitment I am engaged with BEAUTY I OWN, is a non- profit organisation that mainly focuses on empowering and inspiring young women thus allowing them to acknowledge the power they possess and the beauty that lies within them. In this case “beauty” is referred to as a single word covering knowledge, behaviour, physical appearance as well as attitude. As a way of achieving this, the organisation aims at playing a tremendous role and helping create change in today’s society, improving mind-sets, self-esteem and helping build confidence. The Beauty I Own has been in operation since 2014. We have grown so much that we have branches in Johannesburg, Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. Behind The Beauty I Own, is its principle of giving back to the community and what better way to impact a community than to target the young people hence our events are subject to take place in communities we working. We offer motivational speaking, empowerment and help out in providing and asking for donations sanitary to young women.

What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

It is to educate and guide each other. For example, women who are successful can come back and share experiences, information and resources, to other women so that they can grow and build a better change in developing the country.

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I believe in equality and social justice, so gender roles sometimes are problematic because they create a division amongst the nation as, men now see themselves as superiors and ignore women capabilities in power. However, as a women my role will be to keep embracing the sense of dignity, respect, not allow to be undermined, strive for good leadership and continue to fight the system in regards to gender equality.

In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

Reference from above with all those qualities of women being strong, making things to happen, working hard, warmth and good leadership skills etc., I believe they will try to make sure that people in the country are happy and also improve in changing the social perspective of the country. In general the country will still be operating fine just, the good thing of it will be that women will be highly respected and their dignity.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Love yourself, Never stop dreaming, believe in your dreams and ambitions, always keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Do not forget WHO YOU ARE, do not shut out your inner voice it is Very Powerful and lastly always tell yourself you are Beautiful do not wait for others to tell. Everything starts with you because it’s all about you and your life.

 

 

Young women in conversation

Minister of Communications joins young women leaders in a conversation aimed opening opportunities for their representation in media

Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo has confirmed her presence and participation for the upcoming Activate! Change Drivers brunch that is going to be held on August 28th 2017 in Johannesburg. Activate! is a network that connects young people and equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in their respective efforts.

The envisioned outcome of the gathering is to encourage critical partnerships between rural women and existing structures. Conversation participants will also be contributing towards the recently-launched, Activate! Radio; a podcast show that aims to capture uncensored youth opinions across the country using WhatsApp and young journalists working in remote areas.

The motivation behind the engagement is to provide young women from various rural areas throughout the country to be further empowered with the knowledge of identifying existing structures and facilities that will enable them to grow existing programmes ranging from after school homework workshops to sustainable energy initiatives that directly serve a pocket of South Africans that are perceived to be out of reach.

The representation of rural women in media will be at the heart of the conversation. The widening of representation of young women driving change in South Africa has created an evident divide between young women from urban communities versus female youth leaders who are advocating and driving change in rural communities.

The conversation with the Minister will also explore the representation of young rural women in media and how that influences the overall perception and treatments of these future community leaders.

“Access to critical support between pro-active young citizens and South Africa’s development custodians such as; Brand SA, MDDA and GCIS is important to develop and  nourish in order to ensure that youths committed to change are well-equipped to guarantee the success of their programmes and efforts,” says Nelisa Ngqulana, Media and Partnerships Manager at Activate! Change Drivers.

Throughout the years, ACTIVATE! has developed key strategic relationships with media in order  to create multiple adequate representation opportunities in the media for rural women. Through its successful and currently running partnership with Prime Media and Lead SA, the network has been able to provide multi-faceted avenues of representation and exposure for young rural female leaders.

Consisting of a network of over 2000 young leaders from both urban and rural areas, Activate! Change Drivers prioritizes emphasizing and celebrating the power of active citizenry amongst young leaders who are actively driving positive change in their communities.

ENDS

About ACTIVATE! Change Drivers

 ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a Cape Town based youth organization that is focused on developing young people in South Africa to be future leaders. The network is made up of more than 2 000 youth who are innovating in their communities. ACTIVATE! encourages active citizenry and has had many successful engagement events within the rural areas between local government and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activator Khangwelo Mulovhedzi’s super power is strength

Name: Khangwelo Mulovhedzi

Province:Limpopo

Facebook:Glam Kay

Twitter handle:

Instagram: khangwelomulovhedzi 

What is the essence of being a woman to you?

Being able to give birth and raise a leader means that I am a leader by nature. I should stand still and be strong and shield all my beliefs and my value. With hope to be groomed by people who know leadership skills.

What is your super power?

Standing strong even if there are storms in my way. Sometimes I fall but I’m able to dust  myself off and continue

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Goal oriented and courageous

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes….. Because back then there were woman who were prepared to take on action in the struggle and I believe that I can also be that woman who is not afraid of change

They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Yes because if there were no women, there was not going to be motivation and someone who channels the behaviour.

How do you think society perceives women?

As some weak creature that needs protection and shielding from men. Of which I strongly disagree.

How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

I have passion and charisma inside me that makes me yearn to be groomed by the female leaders and be able to be a well-rounded finished product. To advocate on behalf of woman

What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

Be that person who is fearless of change. Who can stand her ground without leaning on a man? But rather seek advice were necessary

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

Empowering other females that they can be better and not be side-lined. They should stand up and raise their voices.

In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

Colourful, just like its national flag. Because I wouldn’t just document ideas but rather focus on the implementation part of it.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Be passionate and dedicated to instill change in people.

 

 

Young female entrepreneur fighting for her start-up

As part of our digital youth supplement, Uncensored Voices, Activator Sebina Ramaseli looks at women in entrepreneurship and why it is difficult for them to thrive.

The small business sector contributes to job creation and economic growth. However, South Africa’s 2016 National Small Business Survey found that 76% of businesses under 5 years cited access to funding as their biggest obstacle to growth.

With all this said, being a woman in business is even harder. Female entrepreneurs face more obstacles than their male counterparts. Even though women bring unique qualities to entrepreneurship, it’s still difficult for them to thrive. Entrepreneurship is often glorified on social media. You see a business owner flaunting their success and you are immediately hooked and impressed. No one tells you about the sleepless nights. No one tells you about late payments from clients while you have to pay your employees. No one tells you about the sacrifices you have to make and the relationships you lose along the way.

On top of the many sacrifices you make and the efforts you put in, not many take you seriously as a young woman in business.

I remember when I first told people about my love for the building industry and how I have dreams of becoming a contractor “Why don’t you do female jobs?” “That’s a man’s world” were some of the responses I got. Your self-confidence gets tested on so many levels you end up doubting yourself. Next thing you come across people that want to exploit you. They offer you work in exchange for sexual favours…”bula dirope” policy (open thigh policy)
Many women give up on their dreams when it comes to business because of the many attacks on their values and capabilities.

Through it all you need to be confident in who you are and be yourself no matter what. To survive as a young woman in business, you need to be true to who you are and stand by your values. You need a lot of self-confidence, self-motivation and self-love to keep you going. Most importantly, surround yourself with like minded people, people that want to see you grow. I have fallen so many times in business, made a lot of mistakes by trusting the wrong people but I still stand because I strongly believe in myself. The support my family gives me and our local government in training has helped me a lot in boosting my confidence.

If women are given the opportunity to grow as fast in business as their male counterparts, women would invest most of their income into their families and communities. Putting more wealth in the hands of women could have a positive effect on the country’s economy. I strongly believe that “If you want to change the world, love and empower a woman!”

The woman I met yesterday

By: Gladys Nomvuyo Sebeko

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WOMAN I MET YESTERDAY

She had a smile of a queen and the breath of a princess

Her face was like an ocean with hair like the sunset

Her body so perfect like the clear blue sky

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WOMAN I MET YESTERDAY

She had strong but gentle hands with a warm touch

With athletic legs covered in olive oil

Her eyes so bright they made the room shine

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WOMAN I MET YESTERDAY

Her face told a story of a thousand years

And her laugh, shed tears of sorrow

Her arms looked like they could carry a village

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WOMAN I MET YESTERDAY

Her cheeks where full of pain, her lips were full of fear

Her hands were full of anger, her eyes had no soul

And her legs had no strength

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE WOMAN I MET YESTERDAY

She wanted to talk but was told to listen

She wanted to cry but was told that crying is a sign of weakness

Her legs wanted to run but she was told that a WOMAN must not run away, but fight till the end.

YESTERDAY I MET A MODERN DAY WOMAN.

 

 

Well since it is August, care for a female president? No!!

By Kay-Dee Mashile

Happy women’s month to all the ladies of South Africa! This month is not only to commemorate the women who made it possible for today’s women to have voices that are loud enough to write articles such as this, but to also acknowledge the women who fight oppression and suppression on a daily basis but still find a way to wake up each day and make a difference in society. I salute you, malibongwe igama lenu makhosikazi amahle! In addition to this, Women’s Month also forces us to go back to the drawing board and reflect on how far South African women have come and how far we are yet to go to achieve optimal freedom and emancipation for all South African women. To this effect, the Honourable Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma states that, ‘If WE elect a female President…’ (hint hint) ‘… WE can look to Her…’ (so much modesty!) ‘… to empower and fast track women’s emancipation.’ which is actually true, in theory.

Well, if we were to look at her resume, Dr Dlamini Zuma, who is in fact a qualified medical Doctor, looks like the perfect candidate for “us” to elect. Having had studied her BSc in Zoology and Botany from 1971 at the University of Zululand and obtained her Medical Degree in 1978 from the University of Bristol in the UK, Dr Dlamini Zuma certainly made an effort to make it regardless of the impossible laws of the time. To her advantage, her expertise opened the door for her to become the first black female Minister of Health in the years 1994 to 1999. After which she served for two terms as Minister of Foreign Affairs between the years 1999 and 2009. And off to the Department of Home Affairs she went from 2009 until 2012 when she was appointed as the first female Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). She served in the AUC until March 2017. Thereafter, she returned to South African politics to run for Presidency in the ANC. Impressive resume indeed! The irony of this article, however, is not to help the Honourable Dr with her Presidential campaign, but rather to express my opinion on why she is not the “female President” that this country needs.

While Dr Dlamini Zuma has had ample opportunities and positions to ensure that women are protected and, as she says a female President will see to it that women are, emancipated. It is said that charity begins at home, so it was supposed to be during her various terms in parliament that she proved herself capable of becoming the President of the country. As she puts it, ‘If we…’ (women) ‘… can run our homes, we can run the country.’ This comparison may be due to the fact that she has been spending a lot of time in church as it testifies to the scripture that reads, “He that is faithful with little shall be trusted with much.” However, it is one thing to speak, or tweet, it and a totally different story to live it! Let me give you two examples to make this easier to digest.

  1. Having served as the first Minister of Health in post-Apartheid South Africa, Dr Dlamini Zuma has to have had a weighty voice in the Thabo Mbeki ARVs saga. Since women are the most affected by the virus and subsequent disease, it would have definitely been in their best interest that the Honourable Dr speak up to save the lives of the infected and protect that of the affected. While she was no longer in the Health office, she was still close enough to advice and counsel it. This, she failed to do. Whether or not she tried is what we will never know! Perhaps she was afraid of losing her position because of defying the President’s orders… This too, we will never know!
  2. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Dlamini Zuma had access to the legislature that governs foreign trade among other ‘foreign affairs’. This meaning that she would know about most, if not all, major alliances between South Africa and, at least, other African countries. The contacts she made during those two terms must have been very helpful during her term in the AUC. Yet, it was barely two years after she was elected as chairperson that 276 Nigerian girls were abducted. This would have been a great opportunity for our Honourable Doctor to assist in emancipating women, yet she failed once more. And if she did try, then this too we will never know. To top it all off, these girls we abducted by an armed terrorist group known as Boko Haram – whose firearms are allegedly supplied by a South African business. This is only but one of many national disasters that, much like the Zuma household, she could not handle.

Dr Dlamini Zuma is an inspiration to women; she has achieved so much within her lifetime. However, I am not convinced that leading well is one of those achievements. And although it would be good or BBBEE purposes, it would be rather irresponsible to consider her gender and race as enough reason to elect her. While South Africa desperately needs to transform, deploying people into positions that they are not suitable for is the reason why we are in a recession. Women can lead; we are ready for a female president. We have always been. But the Honourable Doctor Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is not the female president we need. The question that we are now left with is who that first female president is… perhaps what South Africa needs is a young person who looks out for the best interest of the country and has not been corrupted by a long political history!

Photo credit: www.nkosazana.com

Activator Blessing Mutiti’s super power is resilience

Name: Blessing Mutiti

Province: USA

Facebook: @ Africanmythbuster

Twitter handle:@blessmutiti

Instagram: Africanmythbuster

What is the essence of being a woman to you?

Knowing my worth before anyone else defines it for me and setting goals endlessly

What is your super power?

Resilience, knowing my worth and exercising a strong sense of self-esteem.

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Goal oriented, Leader, resilient, ambitious and passionate

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

No, womanhood should be recognised every day and one month put aside is kind of limiting in itself. I wish for a world where being a woman is not perceived as a need for special tolerance but equally significant as the other genders.

They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Women have supported men who have consolidated their positions in leadership because naturally women are incubators, they are resilient, they nurture and they motivate. Without women, there will be chaos and men will not be the leaders they are.

How do you think society perceives women?

In a very subjective way, very demeaning mostly. Unfortunately even so for the president of the most powerful country in the world, USA.

How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

Setting goals consistently and faithfully following through. Not allowing anybody to dictate my pace, my worth and believing every day that I can do more; the sky is not the limit.

What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

There has never been a better time for women to be involved at every level they want to be; whether in academics, politics or economics. They are gifted because they can do this from bottom up starting with the family level.

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I am an environmentalist, activist and a sound academic. I will be counted among men with PHD’s in the science field. And I am working on passing on the legacy by supporting young girls to consolidate their interest in science and environmentalism.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Do not be hasty, take time and develop your skills. You are set apart because you are unique and do not conform, dare to be different.

Activator Keneuoe Masegela is passionate about empowering women

Name: Keneuoe Masegela

Province: Gauteng

Facebook: Keneuoe Rorisang

Twitter handle: @KellykeneuoeM

Instagram: @Keneuoe_Rorisang

What is the essence of being a woman to you?

The essence of my womanhood lies in my passion for the future of my people

What is your super power?

Love

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Resilient

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Women’s month is significant to me because womanhood is the source of all life and our contribution to the future is vital.

They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Definitely, when a woman succeeds the whole nation benefits. Words of Wangari Mathai

How do you think society perceives women?

Society perceives women as fragile people who need constant saving.

How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

Woman empowerment is very close to my heart, when we make decisions we connect to our situations and our emotions are our strongest characteristic

What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

To stay resilient, courageous and enduring.

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I am not afraid to speak my truth and stand by it.

In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

Peaceful and more progressive.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say it is okay to be different it’s okay to be rebellious if your rebellion brings about positive change. Fear is a state of the mind, free yourself. Love is a possibility

 

 

Chantal Martin’s super power is giving love

Name: Chantal Martin

Province: Northern – Cape

Facebook: Chantal Chante Martin

Instagram: Chantalchane

 What is the essence of being a woman to you?

The real essence of being a woman is the ability to nurture and to love deeply, unconditionally.

What is your super power?

My super power is giving love to others who needs it.

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Young independent mother, who loves her family and is passionate about being the change I want to see in my society.

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes, I do relate . The significance of being a woman is there to raise a village , love the unlovable ones and being the woman she is destined to be.

They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Indeed I agree. Remember without the touch, the love, the support of a woman no man will survive being on earth even if it is only for one day.

How do you think society perceives women?

They don’t think we can take up leadership positions, they think we are too weak and soft. But actually women are more keen to see change happen.

How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

To become the change I want to see in my society especially for  the young girls in my community. That in order to be an independent young woman you have to work for what you want .

What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

Women are slowly starting to be independent and become more successful in any field they put their minds on.

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

To never be dependent on a man , to make me feel as if I only exist when I need his help. To get rid of that mentality that women and men are equals.

In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

Honestly there would be less chaos. A woman knows what a family needs and with that she will be able to provide for those who needs it the most.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Always be true to yourself no matter what obstacle life throws at you as a woman and never change to be accepted by society.

 

 

ACTIVATE! Men celebrate women

By Gladys Nomvuyo Sebeko

In 1956 20 000 women took to the streets to fight an oppressive government. They did not focus on colour or status. The unity they shared made the oppressor listen and make changes. 64 years later we see women in high positions and some even in Parliament. The government is even trying to help women get into business and sustain their businesses.

With all these improvements, some might ask why do women still have to prove themselves before they can be recognised. Some women even work twice as hard to make sure that men treat them as equals. The question in mind will be what the march of 1956 did for women and what can we learn from it? ACTIVATE! men in the network share their opinions on why the day is significant to them.

Nhlanhla Ndlovu 2016 Gauteng Activator

Activator Nhlanhla Ndlovu

1956 was very significant; it did indeed serve its purpose and more.  Women rights were something that started in the early 1900s.  So halfway through the century, for women of different creeds, cultures and religions to come together as one was a powerful step.

This changed the thinking that women were meant for the kitchen and that they didn’t have real influence within the political landscape.  This march was peaceful and marvelously orderly. It showed up at a time of great violence, yet they did conduct themselves as such and violence didn’t erupt.  The impact was heartfelt by the ruling party at the time.

The significance herein is also due to the fact that this is was also about a decade after Robert Sobukwe’s national stance against pass laws from when the Sharpeville massacre happened.  A successful non-violent march is a significant one in our history, and it was a 20 000 women.

What needs to change today is that young women need to learn from that generation of women.  Today, women have access to just about anything and information; couple this with the tact and wisdom of the 1956 generation, their impact could be more.

Nkosana Mtshingane 2017 North West Activator

Activator Nkosana Mtshingane

I know a few people that have suffered in the hands of the apartheid regime and have not been compensated or had their names mentioned or them being recognized.  Some women even supported their husbands in exile while earning close to nothing but no one talk about that.

Women need to be acknowledged in all fields of professions and political movements.  The mentality that women are housed objects and ornaments have to end. Men need to know that women are as important as men and they also played a part in the struggle too.

Ratlou Mabula 2017 Limpopo Activator

Activator Ratlou Mabula

The march was more focused on protesting against the introduction of “dom passes” for particularly black women, even today when 09 August approaches one thing that dominates the mind seems to be the fight against carrying “dom passes.”  Women fighting “dom passes” and their demands dwelling mostly on the pass instead of right to equality and an outcry to the end of oppression.

What we learnt from the day was that 14 000 petitions were carried for presentations by representatives from each race group in South Africa.

What we currently see is women trying to isolate themselves racially to discuss transformation among themselves during their empowerment programmes.

Thus shows great lack of unity among them, resulting in a particular group feeling more entitled for empowerment and it halts progress to their slogan “Wathint’ Abafazi wathint ’ imbokodo” as there imbokodo won’t be solid”

After 64 years we see another side of the struggle for woman, the fight against violence. We have seen reports of women being killed by their partners and the law just giving the man a slap on the wrist. We also see people in high positions wining abuse cases against women and the law choosing to look the other way.

The question in mind should be what are we as Activators doing to make sure that the world treats women better? How are we helping fight the war of women abuse? Activators “it is in our hands” we cannot call ourselves leaders if we don’t lead by example.

Activator Kgadi Mmanakana’s super power is serving people

Name: Kgadi Mmanakana

Province: Limpopo

Facebook: Kgadi Mmanakana

Twitter handle: @KgadiMmanakana

Instagram: @the_possibilitarian 

  • What is the essence of being a woman to you?

To play a role of a mother which is a divine mission given only to women due to their innate resources; nurturing and intuitive nature.

  • What is your super power?

I am excellent at serving people (servant leadership is in me).

  • What words would you use to describe yourself?

Possibility thinker, intuitive, compassionate, passionate and resilient.

  • Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes, Women’s Month to me is a reminder of the pivotal role they played in shaping our country and a sneak peek of the good that can happen when women are granted a chance to lean in and sit at the “big” tables. As a young woman living in a very patriarchal society, this month is important to me; not only to be reminded that I too (as a woman) can actually lead but to be empowered because we cannot ignore the fact that gender stereotypes still exits and are denying this country or rather world of the change its waiting for.

  • They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

No, my statement will be “behind every strong WO/man there’s themselves” because the greatest power /strength comes from within.

How do you think society perceives women?

Incapable of leading and “not strong enough”. As an active young person in the community and a business person who is a female, I’ve found myself having the feeling and need to prove myself thrice as hard that I can actually deliver on that business project, in a meeting rehearsing my opinions before uttering them to a room with 50+% of men (this was before I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, now I am no longer intimidated). I’ve also found having fruitless discussions with my male counterparts on the issue of having a female president in our country. My male counterparts argument was that the country is not ready for that, reason being “You are a woman and emotional.” Another vague reason or rather reaction I ever got as an ambassador of Women in Engineering was that “girls can’t do math and science because they’re girls” and a sigh that says “but you are woman” when you say you are an engineer or studying.

  • How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

I am a sage and inspirational speaker and personal coach on leading a purpose-driven happier life full of possibilities; I have launched a tour (New Beginnings Inspirational Tour) couple of months ago to equip, inspire and affords individuals an opportunity to rewrite their stories, claim their dreams back and learn how to respond to life struggles in a constructive way.(The theme of the tour is : Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% is how you respond to it). As part of the tour I’ve incorporated focus groups (New Beginnings Circle 4Her (for females) and 4Him (for males) ,the circles are the hands-on version of the tour. As an active and responsible citizen I play my part by participating in public gatherings concerning development of my community/country, by serving as a sounding board to young people looking to start projects in their communities.Over and above by being a definition of possibility that inspires others to start seeing possibilities in their own lives.

  • What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

Being nurturers and intuitive leaders.Women are very instrumental and have been endowed with powerful traits that any country that want to grow needs. Naturally women are nurturers and intuitive; they put others’ needs first and they great at making right decisions! People say women are too emotional and can’t lead ; I say let’s look at Mme Thuli Madonsela- she’s an ethical leader that stand her ground regardless of the heat. To me she’s a great example of what a woman can do given a chance.

  • In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I initiate and support projects that equips, empower and inspires young people (men and women alike) to get to know themselves and meet their own inner power; that creates possibilities for them (access to info, resources, skills development and education) and give them a space to lead. My work as a business strategy consultant, speaker, volunteer affords me an opportunity to achieve that.

  • In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

Adequate service delivery with a strengthened “Batho Pele” principle.

  • Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Kgadi, you matter.As much as the world need Person A, the world also needs YOU!

 

 

ACTIVATE! Hackathons finding solutions to gender-based violence (GBV)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RE: ACTIVATE! Hackathons finding solutions to gender-based violence (GBV)

09 August 2017

Reports of Deputy Minister of the Department of Education Mduduzi Manana physically assaulting Mandisa Duma at Cubana restaurant this past Sunday is reflective of a society that has normalised the abuse and brutalisation of women, girls and other vulnerable groups including the LGBTQIA+ community. Regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or the victim, South Africa must act to end gender-based violence. As we commemorate Women’s Day and pay homage to the women who fought tirelessly against the oppressive system of apartheid, it is incumbent upon us to stand in solidarity with the women of this country against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

In line with its strategic imperative of provoking alternative thinking and innovative ideas to address some of the most pertinent issues facing society, the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network has committed itself to coordinating a series of hackathons, webinars, imbizo’s and workshops throughout the country under the theme “Interconnectedness and Inclusivity”, with a pointed focus on gender-based violence as a point of departure.

ACTIVATE! Hackathons on gender-based violence represent an alternative strategy to promote multi-pronged approaches to address social challenges. An important element of ACTIVATE! Hackathons is its deliberate intention to create an enabling environment for multi-sectoral engagement and conversations aimed at exploring solutions to GBV.

To date Activators across six provinces in South Africa have collaborated with various stakeholders including the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Africa Unite, the SRC at Nelson Mandela University, Central University of and the South African Police to host ACTIVATE! Hackathons on GBV. In this light, Activators continue to actively and meaningfully contribute towards addressing pertinent issues facing society beyond rhetoric and complaining.

On the 25th of August ACTIVATE! Change Drivers in conjunction with Africa Unite and the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation will convene an ACTIVATE! Imbizo on GBV aimed at engaging the views of social activists, thought-leaders, experts and practitioners within the sexual health and gender rights sector. The Imbizo will further seek to encourage participants to share perspectives and experiences on alternative and unconventional strategies to address the challenge of GBV in South Africa.

The widespread killings of women in South Africa bear testament to the dire need for the country to critically deliberate upon the factors influencing gender-based violence and explore the possible solutions to the challenge. Although accurate statistics are difficult to obtain for many reasons (including the fact that most incidents of GBV are not reported) it is commonly acknowledged that South Africa has particularly high rates of GBV. The 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, based on data collected from respondents in 11,083 households representative of South Africa’s 55-million population, showed that 17% of younger women aged 18 to 24 had experienced violence from a partner in the 12 months before the survey – 2.1% described this as often, and 8% as sometimes – compared to 16.7% among women 65 years old and older.

Notwithstanding progress that has been made through policy and legal interventions, gender-based violence remains a pressing social concern in South Africa. While South Africa has come to witness much fury and outrage over the prevalence of GBV in society in general, much still needs to be done to drive community driven responses to this pressing challenge.

About ACTIVATE!:

ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook : Activate Change Drivers

Twitter : @ActivateZA

Instagram: @activate_za

For media related queries, please contact:

Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela

Communications/ P.R

Cell: 078 255 3378

E-mail: zilungile@localhost

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the resilience of ACTIVATE! Women

The month of August marks Women’s Month where we celebrate the women within the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network and how they are contributing towards positive change. By showcasing these amazing women through a photo exhibition on Instagram (Instabition) we will highlight the resilience of women Activators in their various spaces and the immeasurable contribution they make to their communities.

The ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network hosts an array of young people with a unique perspective on the issues affecting the country. This month we have set out to highlight the ingenious efforts of women Activators. Every story has its unique identity, its own pulse and is geared towards active citizenry. With this campaign we hope to elevate the progressive leaps taken by young women everyday despite the odds, the scourge of violence and patriarchal tendencies that are alive and inherent in our society today.

What role does a young women play in developing the country? How does a young women experience a world which favours men? What would South Africa look like if it had a female president? These are just some of the questions that women in the ACTIVATE! Network will shed light on. We asked Activator Charmaine Maloba how she thinks society perceives women, she said, “I think women are perceived as secondary citizens, I can definitely see that, in every aspect of life there’s just that space where we are an afterthought, a scapegoat, a reason for a crime, etc… but somewhere in those little minds, they know her power, and that’s the reason she’s kept in her box, well God forbid if you unleashed the beast!

We asked Activator Aphelele Gumede, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president, she responded, “The Presidency or leadership is not about gender but the ability to serve ones country with integrity.”

Follow the progression of this empowering campaign on Instagram using our handle @activate_za or instagram.com/activate_za as we attempt to preserve the light of young women doing amazing work in a world that at the best of times tries to dim it. It is our wish to contribute towards the elevation of female voices.

About ACTIVATE!:

ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook : Activate Change Drivers

Twitter : @ActivateZA

Instagram: @activate_za

For media related queries, please contact:

Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela

Communications/ P.R

Cell: 078 255 3378

E-mail: zilungile@localhost

 

 

 

 

 

Activator Philadelphia Sanzinza’s super power is nurturing

Name: Philadelphia Sanzinza

Province: Northern Cape

Facebook: Siziwena Samunzala Sanzinza

Twitter handle: @Siziwena

Instagram: @Siziwena

  • What is the essence of being a woman to you?

To me the essence of being woman is motherhood and being able to share and give so much love endlessly and being peacemakers and homemakers without wanting to be rewarded for it.

  • What is your super power?

I am a nurturer that is my superpower

  • What words would you use to describe yourself?

Protector, lover, fighter, teacher, nurturer, child, learner, motivator,

  • Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes I do, it plays a big role in the history and lives of women. The day teaches and motivates us to let our voices be heard and not to be afraid to live our dreams.

  • They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Yes it is true, and Yes I can relate to it.

  • How do you think society perceives women?

Society sees women as child bearers who should be submissive and know her place is in the kitchen. That women are weak and do not have a voice and that they cannot lead.

  • How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

I am committed to change the mindsets of women and to let them know that they can be whatever they want to be and that our daughters should be taught they can be independent and have a mind of their own and do not need someone else to do the thinking for them.

  • What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

The role of women in developing the country is inevitable, as women today are key drivers of the economic growth with their entrepreneur qualities. Women are willing and able to take up any challenge that will make a contribution toward the positive development of their respective countries or communities.

  • In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

Working twice as hard as men do and taking every opportunity granted and proving that women are able to do anything and everything with the right amount of encouragement and support.

  • In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

More stable than it currently is, as women are born leaders and nurturers they would be able to run the country better and be able to put the needs of the country and its inhabitants first and selflessly make them a priority at all times.

  • Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

That you are here for a reason on this earth to make a positive change and impact people’s lives, do not be discouraged by the challenges that you will face rather let them be your guide and strength to greater treasures and successes. Lastly that you may fight a battle more than once to win it, and always remember to include GOD in all that you do.

 

 

Activator Penester Tjale’s super power is love

Name: Sehlorana Penester Tjale

Province: Gauteng

Facebook: MamaGaopalelwe Tjale

What is the essence of being a woman to you?

Being a woman means encouraging, empowering and showing love in abundance to everyone

What is your super power?

Love

What words would you use to describe yourself?

Kind, welcoming and humble

Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes, it’s about celebrating who we are as women and what we can do in our communities.

  • They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

No

  • How do you think society perceives women?

Society perceives women as weak and vulnerable. Which is not true.

  • How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

I am empowering young women in my community and encouraging them to follow the scientific route.

  • What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

Women’s role is of utmost importance in developing our country as I believe we give birth to the nation, nurture it and let it grow into the best it can be, with a woman’s guidance of course.

In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I have to admit it is quite difficult to fulfill my role, because not only am I overlooked due to the fact that I am a woman and I am black and I am also told that I cannot do certain things as they require a man’s strength. Therefore it means I have to work extra hard to prove my capabilities.

  • In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

It would be a much better country in a sense that women would be prioritised and empowering them would be one of the most important aspects. It would also encourage young women to believe that it is possible to become a leader in this man’s world.

  • Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I would advise my younger self to be patient and study further.

Activator Mpho Tshabalala’s super power is empowerment

Name: Mpho Palesa Tshabalala

Province: Originally from the North West but staying in Gauteng now.

Facebook: Palesa Mpho Tshabalala 

Twitter: @MissMbalientle

Insta: palesa_mpho_tshabalala

  • What is the essence of being a woman to you?

The essence of being a woman to me is a message of inspiration, empowering women to live overflowing with an abundance of passion, love, joy, happiness, gratitude and everything their heart desires.

  • What is your super power?

Women empowerment is my super power.

  • What words would you use to describe yourself?

Words I’d use to describe myself: Passionate, driven, go-getter and doer.

  • Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes I relate to women’s month. It is significant to me because as a woman we hold so much. Just being a woman is Gods gift that all of us must appreciate. I mean the origin of a child is a mother and is a woman.

  • They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Yes. I relate to it as true as it stands. Behind every successful man there is a strong woman.

  • How do you think society perceives women?

Society perceives women in many dimensions and it also depends on the demographics of the society. But in all essence women are the ones that show men what sharing, caring and loving is all about.

  • How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

I have #CommittedToChange the world as a woman by opening a company that builds, uplifts, empower and teaches the young women of SA skills development. To dream one should also work hard to make their dreams come true.

  • What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

The role of women in developing the country is nourishing each and every opportunity we get. By developing and making a difference in the social and economic sectors of the country.

  • In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I’m fulfilling my role by making a difference in our community, lifting others as I rise.

  • In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

If SA had a female president we would be a place that has constant growth and improvements to our economy. You can give a woman anything and she will turn it into something.

  • Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Advice that I would give to my younger self is: Start whilst you young and whilst there are opportunities out there. Don’t wait for anyone

 

Activator Zimkhitha Madonci’s super power is staying grounded

Name: Zimkhitha Madonci
Province:Eastern Cape, Cradock
Facebook: ZeeNomkhitha Qomakazi Madonci
Instagram: Zimkhitha

  • What is the essence of being a woman to you?

It has to be the ability to go through pain and still keep smiling with your head held high

  • What is your super power?

My ability to keep pushing and stay grounded by knowing the roots of my family tree.

  • What words would you use to describe yourself?

Go-getter and loving sister

  • Do you relate to Women’s Month? If yes, why is it significant to you? If no, why is it not significant to you?

Yes.. because I think woman at large deserve to be appreciated and told that they doing a great job even if its once a year. We need to be celebrated even though we do all we do with love.

  • They say behind every man is a strong woman, is this a statement you relate to?

Well I guess it will vary with situations because not all men have strong women behind them but they still doing a great job regardless and we see them.

  • How do you think society perceives women?

Society still thinks that women are fragile and they need to be looked after, not knowing that what women endure is alot.

  • How are you #CommittedToChange in your role as a woman?

By making sure that am a good role model to those who look up at me in a positive way and when they reach out to be the sister they long for, we all need that someone in our lives who is always there to listen to us every now and then so we can just be that person.

  • What do you think the role of women is in developing the country?

To make sure that we don’t lose focus and work just as hard to make sure that we also contribute to the development of the country in every way possible and stay grounded in our purpose.

  • In a world that favours men, how are you fulfilling your role as a woman?

I guess one can only do what God called them to do and also in some societies women are expected to do only things that women should do. But I also think that with time and also circumstances that we live under women should not limit themselves. We are stronger than we know and we should break the chains that limit us to the kitchen.

  • In your words, what would South Africa look like if it had a female president?

I really don’t think its about gender but rather about having the right person with great leadership skills and drive to lead our beautiful country. I still believe we made a big mistake letting Dr Mbeki go, we would have been having a different conversation now.

  • Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Keep dreaming and asking. As you’re still dreaming and working hard there is hope that one day your dreams will come true.