The month of August is significant for South Africans as it is a time we shine a light on the struggles our grandmothers and mothers had to overcome to show us who we are, and who we can become when we unite in pursuit of a common goal. This is the legacy of iconic South African women. That of resilience and power while remaining graceful.
Decade by decade we have seen the strength that our women have by dismantling unjust systems and fighting for their freedom. The 9th of August 1956 is a day that changed the history of the women of this country. We are who Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams, and the thousands of women marched for. These brave women paved the way for an entirely new generation to continue the fight for equality. Equality in every aspect, for the right to be seen, heard and take up space and the new generation of pioneers are just as fearless. Young women such as Zulaikha Patel, and Amanda Nomnqa have made sure to take up space and continue the fight for equality.
Zulaikha Patel at just 13 years old fought an unfair discriminatory hair policy in 2016. Recently she published a book titled My Coily Crown Hair. In an interview with Sunday Times, Zulaikha said “I want a young black girl child to understand her capabilities are not limited by her physical appearance but are enhanced when she is confident and owning who she is,”. Her fight for equality is for young black girls to be empowered by who they are.
Amanda Nomnqa is a young mogul, who founded SheIsBrave in 2018. The foundation fights against a lack of empowerment and mentorship for girls and young women. The foundation offers mentorship classes and teaches girls digital skills, the foundation also offers tutoring for young girls in different schools in and around the Ivory Park community. Nomnqa has made the mission of SheIsBrave to empower girls and young women to unleash their bravery and their full potential. She tells Global Citizen in an interview “There is a lack of motivation among the youth and that, coupled with zero opportunities, was a recipe for disaster, so I saw the need to be the bridge that transported opportunities for the women and girls in my community”.
Women’s Month celebrates these women. The women who wake up and grind, women who never give up hope, women who are not defined by circumstance and carry the country on their backs. We are these women. The hearts of Letta Mbulu & Miriam Makeba live within us, the tenacity and strength of Charlotte Maxeke are engraved in our essence and the passion for an equal world is what we will continue to fight for, and TRACE remains committed to celebrating, and empowering women to ensure equality for all.
Tune in to TRACE Urban (DStv channel 325), Trace Africa (DStv channel 326) and Trace Gospel (DStv channel 332) to hear more of your favourite womxn artists now. Alternatively, keep it locked on Trace social media platforms:
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