There is a month, a month in which we get to feel free, have pride, and walk with our heads held high. A month in which women of all races work together to make South Africa a better place. It’s to celebrate that despite of all the challenges they faced, a group of women managed to overrule the apartheid government system. Some had their little ones on their backs and some left them at home, but through it all they had a vision and they made it happen, refusing to be hindered by circumstance. These women are true heroes of their time, our time, all time. This month is August, and it’s within this month we celebrate National Women’s Day which is the 9th of August.
Now what I find amusing with the youth of today is that we do not have the same oppressive government system, yet we still fail to make our dreams come true. We riot for things seemingly short-sighted and protest for short-lived happiness. We give up at the starting line, and we do not even attempt to make it to the finish line. I mean, why even bother trying to start the race to begin with? We have become so dependent on our mothers that we forget that someday they will not be there to help guide, nurture, and strengthen the values they have fervently instilled in us.
We were born just after all the horrible things had come to an end, just after the blood shedding had stopped, just after the wars in our very homes had ended. They call us the Born-Frees: yes! We are happy that we never had to go through all the experiences women went through in the past. We have a better education system than our mothers and grandmothers. While they went through Bantu Education that only allowed them to become educators, nurses, or social workers, we have the resources that enable us to be capable of doing anything we could ever want to do. So, why are we complaining?”
It’s about time we made our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers proud. They didn’t fight for us just so we could sit next to the road and beg: HELL NO! Let’s take matters into our own hands, do what we do best, and excel in everything we do. Let’s own this. Whoever said women cannot make it big in a man’s world? We refuse to be tied down with pink ribbons, forced to fulfill society’s expectations that dictate who, what, and how we should be. Today, I challenge each and every one of my sisters out there, whether you are Indian, Black, Coloured, White, or Asian to not underestimate yourself. Do whatever brings you joy.
It starts with you and me. It is up to us to finish what our great-grandmothers have started, in proving that women can also make it big in a man’s world. Mam’Albertina Sisulu, Mam’Lillian Ngoyi, Mam’Mamphela Ramphela, Mam’Maya Angelou made it big, why can’t we? Let us encourage one another, build one another, support one another, and help one another. If we don’t help our sisters, then who will? This is not one of those rebel movements; however, I plead to my sisters to aspire to bring better change, to encourage each other, to motivate each other, not to patronize each other, and lastly, to show girls of future generations what to aspire to.
Let us not demean ourselves and allow the stigma that says scantily clad women are only worth what they look like. Let us revolutionize greatness. Beautiful women of all sizes, races, cultures, and religions, let’s portray ourselves in the best light we know we possess – GREATNESS.
Tell us: Do you have any thoughts regarding women’s empowerment in South Africa today?