Ahead of Women’s Day celebrations on Tuesday, South African female celebrities have started to share messages of inspiration to all the women of Mzansi.
While some speak of changing the negative narrative imposed by society on women, others urge the nurturers of the nation to not back down and continue to strive for equality.
Singer Rouge says she wants to flip the narrative on its head, something she hopes all the women around the country will join in on.
“I used to think being called a female rapper was so offensive, I embrace it now. I am changing the narrative, and seeing that I have had to work 10 times harder just to be recognised beyond just a female rapper, I’m doing it well,” explains Rouge.
“No one can tell me anything. So queens, own your space. There is no shame in it. If anything, they [men] will know you are not to be messed with, but respected.”
This year’s Women’s Day marks the 66th anniversary of a 1956 march to the Union Buildings by thousands of South African women, black and white. The marchers took to the streets of Pretoria singing and clapping, and faced head on the apartheid government in a protest against the pass laws.
Jacaranda FM’s new music-led drive show co-host Rozanne McKenzie says South African women need to stand up, take up the space and not back down because of what society has instilled.
“My message for the women of Mzansi is never to stand back for anyone. We have been working so hard for so long to be considered equals,” shares McKenzie.
“Step up, say what you need to say, and be unapologetic about it. There is still a long way to go, but every step forward is a step in the right direction. Celebrate the small wins.”
TV and radio personality Carol Ofori notes that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to just how much of an impact women around the country make even with small, everyday actions, adding that she wants the women of Mzansi to celebrate their impact.
Ofori explains: “Just remember how amazing we are. We have really held it down in the toughest of times. If I look at KwaZulu-Natal alone, we have had the most tumultuous two years with floods and the [2021 July] unrest, and it’s so humbling to see that we are still standing as women and we are still holding our communities together.
“We are always asked to be resilient, but we are living in a time when our resilience is going to outweigh everything else. We must take our time to cry, we must take our time to grieve, and we must be intentional about being weak and make time for it because it is all too much. But, once you have done that, rise above it all.”
Actress and TV presenter Roxy Burger adds that the road to equality is not easy, but she encourages women that progress is certainly being made.
“The road isn’t always easy but knowing that we, as women, can really make a difference and change the narrative makes it worthwhile. A special shout-out to all the working moms who feel like they are walking a tightrope and juggling those balls. Even if you drop, you’re [still] a boss.”
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