Lutendo Ramadwa-Letsie, popularly known as Princess Lutendo, is a woman who wears many hats: professional geologist, songwriter, poet, actress, singer, storyteller, businesswoman and motivational speaker.
Princess Lutendo started the Princess Lutendo Foundation which focuses on tri-pod empowerment, that’s for women, men and children, because she believes that if social empowerment is to be effective, such projects need to include men and young men and not alienate them.
“I hold the viewpoint that if young men were taught respect and manners from a younger age, chances are that they would grow to become socially behaving and acceptable human beings who function well in society instead of turning themselves into anti-social beings.”
She admits, however, that the challenges of women have grown from bad to worse. In her observation and experiences, women have to deal with social ills which are a direct legacy of the apartheid era where women were further oppressed by men who operated within the confines of a patriarchal system.
“It breaks my heart to note that, as a result, some women still feel inferior to men, and they undervalue and undermine themselves in the process. Therefore, we find women even today victimising one another. It is rare to find women who can genuinely celebrate the achievements of other women.”
However, she is consoled by women being strong people and persistent in establishing themselves in society. She is of the belief that if women can join hands and work together, they can break the backbone of social ills and achieve more in this generation.
Her talents do not stop at social justice. She released a full-length album entitled Poetic Session One, which is a fusion of poetry and music. This selection of word-on-sound comprises nine poems and a song. The album, as a package of artistic delights, focuses on issues of women empowerment.
“My debut CD, which comprises music and poetry, is more inclined to women and how they can liberate themselves from the chains of social ills such as gender-based prejudices, oppression, stereotypes, and inequality.”
Princess Lutendo has just achieved another milestone as she landed a role of a doctor on SABC 2’s Muvhango soapie. Her role premiered on 11 November.
“I feel so happy and proud of myself. I did a lot of auditions before but even though I received some rejections I never gave up. I kept on trying. And now I believe this is the beginning of greater things ahead.”
Her uncle, Pastor Original Ramadwa, encouraged her to follow her acting career from a young age.
“My uncle, whom I grew up under, played a major role in me discovering my acting skills. He is a pastor so he would always teach us about discovering our potential. He is a man of many talents. Even at home he would write a script and encourage us to play it out. It was so fun, and my cousins and I enjoyed it. That’s where it all started.”
She was involved in plays in school, and later in university.
“I acted in some dramas which aired on Phalalaphala FM,” she says “But I still felt that I needed to make a TV breakthrough and now I am a happier woman in that I scored that goal!”
Princess Lutendo is also a presenter on Oana FM 94.0, for the Unspoken show on Monday-Wednesday (09:00-12:00).
“I am a multitasker of woman,” she says.
Princess Luthando is the embodiment of the saying, “hard work pays off”. She has put in 100% effort along the way and it is paying off tenfold. It just goes to show, if you follow your dreams and show perseverance, nothing is impossible.
Read about one TV personality’s rise to fame here
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