FunDza interviewed 10 Fantastic FunDza Fanz! Meet Dimpho…

Having witnessed the harsh realities facing young girls in South Africa, Dimpho Mthimunye, 22, has developed a passion for advancing women’s rights. Through studying journalism, she hopes to use her voice and national media platforms to drive change for women across the country.

A happy childhood

Growing up in Gauteng, Dimpho reminisces about a happy childhood. As the eldest of four, she often helped her younger siblings with their homework. “We had an aunt who took care of us while my mom worked,” she explains, “but I was the one helping with homework.”

Describing herself as ‘curious from a young age’, Dimpho enjoyed learning through helping her siblings with their projects and assignments. Her love for school and her curious mind sparked an early passion for reading and writing.

A love for stories and reading is something that Dimpho tries to instill in her little sister too. Even today, she repeatedly tells her sister her favourite childhood story – about a frog – in their home language, Sepedi.

Taking an interest in women’s rights

As a young girl, Dimpho was acutely aware of the dangers women and children faced in her community. “Where I grew up, a kid just got lost and I don’t know what happened.” It was this kind of experience that crystallised her dedication to advancing women’s rights.

“When I was a little girl, I wanted to be the first female president [of South Africa].” says Dimpho. “I believe that as a woman, there are a lot of things that can change, and I wanted to be the first female president to address these women’s issues.”

As an active member of her school’s debating team, Dimpho practiced her skills in standing up for things she believed in. She gained confidence in addressing issues that were close to her heart. One debate sticks in her mind. “We were debating about a pill called Truvada. Truvada is a pill that prevents a person from contracting HIV if their partner is positive. The motion was “should teenagers have access to Truvada?” and my team supported the motion. We won the debate!”

Pursuing a career in journalism

Dimpho’s activist mind has inspired her to take this further into her studies. Now living in Limpopo with her grandmother, she is studying journalism through distance learning.

Dimpho explains how interacting with the FunDza site by taking part in activities and courses has helped to improve her reading and writing skills – which are fundamental to studying journalism. “It boosted my thinking and enhanced my imagination,” she explains. “The activities helped me a lot with my grammar and now I read better too.”

Dimpho hopes that one day she will be able to write for a national newspaper. She also dreams of having her own radio show. She says that her show would be called ‘The Unstoppable’. The show would focus on mental health and gender-based violence – and how we can address these issues.

Dimpho is a determined and vivacious young woman who will no doubt achieve her dreams of social justice. “I’m going to leave you with a quote,” says Dimpho in closing. It is a quote by Walt Disney: “All our dreams could come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Indeed, Dimpho is pursuing hers with courage and vigour.

We asked Dimpho:

Why do you like reading on FunDza? – To gain knowledge and understanding.

When is your favourite time reading on FunDza? I actually prefer the morning but sometimes I”m busy around the morning so I would skip right into the afternoon.

What”s your favorite thing to read in FunDza or what was one of the best stories you read on Funza and why? Well, in FunDza, I love to read more about resources and skills, job skills.

What was the last story you read? It was about an elderly woman living alone in the villages and she was attacked by a group of guys accusing her of witchcraft. I was intrigued by the story.

And what do you enjoy doing in your spare time besides reading on FunDza? Well it”s sport and karaoke. I do my own karaoke inside the house. My favourite singer has to be Bruno Mars.

To read about the nine other Fantastic FunDza Fanz, click here.