9th of August 1956

It was a sunny day in apartheid South Africa the traditional day when black domestic workers had their day of from working for the baas and missus.

To these black women this day symbolises an important aspect in their lives.It symbolises choice .

It is on this day and on this day only that they get to chose what they want to do with their lives. Either to play cards, do the laundry, kickback sip mageu or just spend time with their families.

But they chose the unthinkable under the etudes leadership of Mme Lilian Masidiba Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams De Bruin .They chose to fasten their faskotis and March to the union building’s in Pretoria to protest against legislations aimed at tightening the apartheids government control over the movement of black women in Urban areas.

I wanted to share the stories of these brave women of the 1956 with you today because their choices have continued to change the lives of women in South Africa forever.

Furthermore it made me wonder.

Were would we be had Thomas Addison chosen to quit after his second failed attempt of his famous light bulb invention. Were would we be had Vasco Da Gama chosen not to stop at the Cape.

Were would we be had Tseatsi Mashinini chosen not to mobilise the students of the 1976 to protest against Bantu education.

Like these brave people we are faced with choices everyday some that are very petty and others that need our full attention.

But it is the power that lies in those choices that ultimately makes us who we are .