Archive | April, 2018

Victory for those who spoke out!

27 Apr

A great day for all women who speak out.

I woke up to hear the great news that Bill Cosby has been found guilty.

According to

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A jury found Bill Cosby guilty Thursday of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near here 14 years ago, capping the downfall of one of the world’s best-known entertainers, and offering a measure of satisfaction to the dozens of women who for years have accused him of similar assaults against them.
On the second day of its deliberations at the Montgomery County Courthouse, the jury convicted Mr. Cosby of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, at the time a Temple University employee.
Mr. Cosby’s case was the first high-profile sexual assault trial to unfold in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement and many considered the verdict a watershed moment, one that reflected that, going forward, the accounts of female accusers may be afforded greater weight and credibility by jurors.



The lawyer Gloria Allred with accusers of Bill Cosby after the jury convicted Mr. Cosby of sexual assault on Thursday in Norristown, Pa. Credit Brwendan Mcdermid/Reuters

When the story of Bill Cosby broke, the women who came forward received secondary harassment. As in most cases it was the rape apologists who claimed that the women were lying, they claimed that the incidents happened a long time ago and that they had no ground. I would not be surprised if they received threats from Cosby supporters and those who perpetuate violence and rape.
This blog is not about Cosby but about honouring those who were brave enough to stand up and speak out, they chose to go against some the the entertainments most powerful forces and institutions. They have finally come to the end of the road with victory. I honour and salute them.

Caroline Heldman comforts Lili Bernard after Mr. Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. Credit Pool photo by Mark Makela

For women based in South Africa, if you wish to report on any form of sexual harassment, rape, abuse, there is help. In many instances when the crime occurs the perpetrator will use threats, intimidation against you, in most cases they will try and undermine you and try and make you feel that it is your fault.
2. You have the right to counselling and legal representation.
3. You have the right to report the crime at your nearest police station.

If you need assistance please contact one of the following organisations:

Lavo wine and food

25 Apr


It is no secret that the South African wine industry dates back to the 1600’s and has always been dominated by white men, so when I come into the presence of an African women who has delved into this elite space and is succeeding, I need to find out her story and provide as much support as possible.
Last year I was intorudecd t phenomenal lady, name Lerato Pretorius who founded Lavo wines. This is her story.

Lavo wine originates from the name Lerato. Lerato is a Southern Africa name which means love. Love is the one thread that keeps people together and keeps the world turning. Lavo wines is about pleasure, enjoyment and connecting people around the world. Lavo wine has been created with the foresight of connecting people of different backgrounds, with different ideas to share congenial association over a glass of wine. Lavo wine is inspired to create an environment where people can come together, enjoy a glass, and have fun. The wine has been created from love, to be enjoyed with love.
LAVO wines are produced with love in Wellington at a vineyard called De Slange Rivier, founded by a French Huguenot named Louis Fourie in 1699. Our commitment to fuse excellence with satisfaction is uncompromised. The unfailing quality of the brand and its unconventional style gives it a solid stance in the wine market.

The Farm. 
The farm that produces LAVO Wines grapes covers more than 1 200 hectares with vineyards planted according to a long established market orientated cultivation program. The vineyards are situated in an area where millions of years ago, glacial activity especially from the Karoo left rich geological deposits which created the unique and fertile soil types of the area.
The farm boasts Karoo soils and stone terraces which are suited for the production of quality wines. For quality control purposes, selection blocks are chosen to allow for the identification of the highest quality grapes, which are then harvested together in special selection tanks. The Cellar has been specially designed to enable these grapes to be received and processed separately. Exposure to the wines from every different block and interaction ensure that these cultivars take its rightful place in the market in the future.

LAVO Wines winemaker, has been handcrafting the Linton Park portfolio since 2007. Their knowledge in making wine started in the USA and visiting Australia and has assisted them in winning numerous wine accolades to establish the company as a leading winemaker.

The farm covers 294 hectares of which 100 hectares are planted with noble varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards are situated on the slopes of Groenberg, over 500m high, where temperatures are very much cooler. The vineyards are safe in the capable hands of experienced Estate Manager, who is immensely experienced in the viticulture and vine nursery industry.

Our woman manufacturer has vast experience in the industry and has done wine shows in SA, Russia, Germany, China, USA, Berlin, Italy and Hong Kong. She is forever improving her knowledge in wine and is now appreciating producing wine more than before. Her love for the industry has ensured that she assists women owned wine businesses – at any value stage of wine (from planting grapes to delivering to the consumers’ house).

The different bouquets:

Cabernet Sauvignon
An elegant, rich and soft style Cabernet Sauvignon with concentrated dark berry fruit, hints of mocha, backed by silky tannins.

Ripe berries with a minty undertone can be found on the nose. Blackcurrants along with juicy plums is revealed on the pallet.

Sauvignon Blanc
A fresh, well balanced white wine, with depth and complexity that derives its tropical, green citrus, nettle and gooseberry characters from the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

The wine derives its fresh and crisp nature from the chardonnay without the presence of oak displaying hints of pear and apricot, followed by strong tones of citrus, grapefruit and gooseberries and features a balanced finish.

If you wish to know more please contact them:

Afrik Jewellery

19 Apr


Anyone who knows me or who follows me on social media are well aware of the fact that my three passions in life are Women, Africa and the arts. My love affair with the continent started when I presented a Pan African lifestyle television show, called Studio 53. I presented and later produced for the show, a job title that I held for almost a decade.
On my work excursions, I was privileged to visit all four corners of the continent, I explored cultures, was educated on tradition, food, decor and much more.

So it is no surprise that although I’m based back in my home country, I keep my eye on what is happening both locally and on a Pan African front. I follow trends and and entrepreneurs who push the Pan African agenda. I soon came across a brand called Afrik Jewellery.
I started following and liking their pictures then one day I received a wonderful message in my inbox saying they wanted to deliver a gift to me.
On the arrival of the gift, I was in awe of the beautifully crafted designs, the colours and styles.

Afrik Jewellery is a handmade South African jewellery makers, catering for both the male and female lovers of a new modern ‘western look with African feel” accessories. Afrik Jewellery was started in 2016 June.
The business is fully registered and run by Merafe Thaganyane-Saku co-owning it with her younger sister Keloikantse Thaganyane-Saku.
This of course is up my ally as not only am I supporting an African brand but it is run by two women.
Afrik Jewellery started as a passionate hobby for the two sisters, Merafe and Keloikantse (Known as Kelo) loved re-designing and altering the jewellery they have bought from known stores and that is what made people turn hearts on the street and started getting requests to do the same for them and they will surely pay for their crafts – Afrik was born!

Their target market is all races that loves to feel unique and have a fresh style of “something not seen before”– may it be the new trending designs, the materials used, the style or colours used.
Afrik Jewellery provides African jewellery with a twist of Western touch for the lovers of exclusive and limited edition pieces of earrings, neckpieces and bangles.

What separates and uniquely makes this growing jewellery brand stand out is the unique use of colours and materials that are used.

Their vision is to see the Afrik Jewellery growing together with their clients throughout Africa and the world as a house brand for everyday jewellery.
They hope to fully achieving that by delivering quality, satisfying and unique African handmade jewellery.
Afrik Jewellery has managed successfully to work with other small upcoming business since it started in June 2016. Since the beginning of this amazing journey until now 2018, they have had opportunities to do batch orders, bulk production for both private and public companies.

Their main achievements were providing thank you gifts for #MentorABoyChild, doing Market at the Hill, Ladies Lifestyle Market, Pop-Up store at 27 Boxes in Melville and Shack Market at Alexandra Township amongst others.

Currently Afrik Jewellery can only be ordered in our social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also an interested party can call or text us.

Their contact details as as follows:
Tel: 064 908 9620
Instagram: @afrikjewellery
Facebook: Afrik Jewellery

Support Women led, Pan African entrepreneurs.



18 Apr


Speaking out.

On the 27th February 2018 I wrote about the #metoo campaign and how it had reached the TV & film industry in South Africa. I highlighted the fact on how I had experienced sexual harassment from a local based producer, how I resigned from a TV show as they were trying to force me to perform sexual scenes and semi naked. I also highlighted the fact that many actresses contacted me through my personal mail boxes, expressing how they also were subjected to such conditions by the same producers.
Then last night, Tuesday evening 17 April 2018, I was alerted to the fact that a prominent filmmaker, Khalo Matabane has been accused of rape.This information was declared via a social media post. Naturally this was an alarming discovery, as firstly when somebody reports rape, I automatically think of their trauma and if they are coping, the second reaction…

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18 Apr

Speaking out.

On the 27th February 2018 I wrote about the #metoo campaign and how it had reached the TV & film industry in South Africa. I highlighted the fact on how I had experienced sexual harassment from a local based producer, how I resigned from a TV show as they were trying to force me to perform sexual scenes and semi naked. I also highlighted the fact that many actresses contacted me through my personal mail boxes, expressing how they also were subjected to such conditions by the same producers.
Then last night, Tuesday evening 17 April 2018, I was alerted to the fact that a prominent filmmaker, Khalo Matabane has been accused of rape.This information was declared via a social media post. Naturally this was an alarming discovery, as firstly when somebody reports rape, I automatically think of their trauma and if they are coping, the second reaction, was that as an industry player, I obviously know the accused.
I then investigated the allegation further and thanks to Phil Mphela posts I was able to understand the allegations. Phil Mphela is an entertainment Commentator, blogger, brand Influencer, media consultant and content creator. He often highlights issues pertaining to the entertainment industry.
The posts that I am referring to read as follows:

I knew I needed to write this blog to reveal what has been presented to us but mainly to supply the necessary information to survivors, so that we all know what our rights are.
I look forward to the day, where we do not need to learn on how to protect ourselves and the day where our human rights are adhered to. Until that day comes, I will not be silent on these issues and I stand firmly with those that speak out. I am not shocked at the lack of support from many women especially those in the tv and film industry. The fashion of victim blaming and protecting the perpetrate needs to come to an end.

The survivors, who have come forward, I salute you all. Being subjected to such trauma is horrific but having to keep it a secret for so long can and will have detrimental affects on you. So when you make a formal complaint against the perpetrator, please also seek counselling and support, this helps alleviate the psychological trauma which if not treated can lead to physical and emotional problems, later on in life such as PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), Fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal conditions.

When laying a charge, try to remember the following:

You haven been violated and you have the right to justice, especially if you live in South Africa. I say this as there are many countries who do not have laws in place that protect women.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can report this to the police. It is your choice whether to report, but if you do not report then your case will not be investigated or prosecuted. Police are not allowed to refuse to investigate your case if you report it. However, if there is too little evidence after an investigation by the police, a prosecutor may decide not to prosecute your case. That is why it is essential to remember as many facts as possible, date, time, what he was wearing, any facial or body scars, tattoos etc.

However, if you do not report quite soon after the rape happened then physical evidence may be lost and any witnesses may be difficult to find, which will make successful prosecution more difficult.
When you report, the police will take you to hospital where you will be given medication to prevent HIV/Aids. It is important to take this medication as soon as possible after being raped.
If you are a child, or reporting on behalf of a child, the case is dealt with in a different manner.

You can report rape by going to the closest police station. You can also report rape by telephoning the closest police station. If you report by phone, the police will send a police van to fetch you. It is your right to request a female police officer, if refused take note of the police and their badge number.

Which police station can you go to?
You should report the rape at the police station closest to where the rape happened (which might be far away from where you live). However, if you have gone to another police station, the police are NOT ALLOWED to send you away. They must do the first steps of the investigation, which are
* opening a case docket
* sending you for the medical examination
* give the case to the correct police station afterwards.

At the police station, you can ask to speak to a woman police official. However, a woman may not always be available. You do not have to give all the details of what happened in the charge office when reporting the rape.
After you have said that you want to report a rape, you should be taken to a private space such as an office, or to the trauma room, which is a more comfortable room that often also has trained volunteers to help you. Most police stations have trauma rooms that are supposed to be open all the time, even on weekends and at night.

Making a Statement 
You need only give a brief statement of what happened and have the rape recorded in the occurrence book (a book in which all crimes are recorded) at the police station, before being taken to have a medical examination.
You should try to give a detailed description of the rapist and where you last saw him immediately so that the police can try to arrest him as soon as possible.
You only need to give a detailed statement of what happened during the rape after the medical examination, usually a day or so later, when you have had some time. The detailed statement will be given to a detective (investigating officer) who will be the only police person to know about the details of the case.

If the police arrest a suspect, they may need to hold an identity parade where you will have to point out the rapist if he is one of the people in the identity parade. On a personal experience, the survivor was taken back to where he lived and had to identify him there.
Please note:
You do not need to touch the suspect and you should refuse to do so if anyone asks you to.

When you give your statement, you should give as much detail as possible about what happened, especially on whether the rapist threatened you and whether he was violent. Make sure the police know if you think he knows where you live and if you are afraid he might intimidate you. This is important information that will help the court decide whether he should be granted bail or not, once he is arrested.

A state doctor (the District Surgeon) will do the medical examination, usually at a hospital. You can get a private doctor to do the examination, but they are often not trained in collecting forensic evidence and may not have the time to go to court. The doctor must also give you medication to prevent HIV/Aids.

Important things to note:
Because the aim of the medical examination is to collect forensic evidence, you should not wash before the medical examination, as this may wash away evidence.
You should also bring the clothes you were wearing at the time of the rape so that they can also be examined for evidence.

If the rapist is granted bail, the police must inform you, including the conditions of his bail. One of the conditions of bail is always that he will not be allowed to talk to you or threaten you in any way. If he does talk to you or if he breaks any of the other conditions, you must contact the detective dealing with your case immediately and make a statement about this.

Unfortunately, it may take a very long time for your case to go to court for trial, and if the police cannot find enough evidence, the prosecutor may decide not to prosecute.

If you have any complaints about how the police have dealt with your case, you should lodge a complaint. You can get help from any of the organisations that help survivors of sexual violence with preparing for the trial and with any other problems you may be experiencing.

On the day of trial, try to arrange with the prosecutor beforehand that you will arrive early and have a separate place to sit while waiting for the trial to start, as it is common for the rapist and his supporters to make comments about you within earshot and try to intimidate you in other ways. Some courts have separate witness waiting rooms that you can use instead of waiting in the corridor with the rapist and his supporters. If the court does not have a witness waiting room, ask the prosecutor to make another office available for you.

Should you need assistance with any form of abuse, I have collated a few places that one can visit.


46 Anderson Street

PO Box 12197
Nelspruit 1200

Tel: (013) 752-5993 
Fax: (013) 752-5993 


8 Hope Street 

PO Box 5106
 Nelspruit 1200

Tel: (013) 755-2635

Fax: (013) 755-2635 


Old Ka-Ngwane Office

PO Box 48 
Lowscreek 1302

Tel: (013) 710-0105

Fax: (013) 710-0054 

Between Thonga Police Station and Thonga Bakery
, Thonga 

PO Box 860
Kwalugedlane 1341

Tel: (013) 780-3078 

Emergency after hours: (013) 780-8014 

Zakhele Training Centre
PO Box 1057
Shongwe Mission 1331

Tel: (013) 781-0483 

Fax: (013) 781-0483 

PO Box 1461
Elkhoteni 1192

Tel: 073 183 6835 



Room 124, K Block
University of Durban Westville, 

PO Box 65227 
Reservoir Hills

Durban 4000 

Tel: (031) 262-5231 

Fax: (031) 262-5223 

Hotline: (031) 262-9673/ 9679


No. 2 Fisher Road

PO Box 371
Hillcrest 3650

Tel: (031) 765-1587 

Fax: (031) 765-1314

Branches in: Chatsworth, Reservoir Hills, and Point Road 


17 Trisula Ave
Arena Park
, Chatsworth

PO Box 56411
Chatsworth 4030

Tel: (031) 406-1242/3 

Fax: (031) 406-1242 

Suite 525
320 West Street
, Durban

PO Box 1982
Durban 4000

Tel: (031) 202-8987/31 

Fax: (031) 202-8927 

38 Adrian Road
Stamford Hill
Durban 4001

Tel: (031) 303-1344 

Fax: (031) 303-1419

Crisis line: (031) 312-2323 


2nd Floor United Building

58 Field Street

Durban 4001

Tel: (031) 304-2761/2/3 

Fax: (031) 304-0826 


123 Percy Road
Osborne, Morning Side


PO Box 37875

Overport 4067 

Tel: (031) 312-0904

Fax: (031) 312-6008

Toll Free: 080 005 5555



Life Line
(021) 422 1690

Rape Crisis (Observatory)
(021) 447 9762

Rape Crisis (Khayelitsha)
(021) 361 9085

Rape Crisis (Athlone)
(021) 633 9229

Postal Address:
PO Box 93416, Yeoville 2143
Telephone: 011 591 6803
Fax: 011 484 3195

Web address:

POWA Legal Advice
Email: |

“Telephone: 081 383 7698

“Room 10 Nthabiseng Centre, Chris Hani Hospital
Telephone: 011 933 2333/2310

667 Monise Section, Katlehong 1431
Telephone: 011 860 2858
Fax: 011 905 211

1620 Ditshego Street, Vosloorus Rehabilitation Centre
Telephone: 011 906 4259 / 1792”


4 Apr


Many years back I made the choice that I would use my public persona and brand to bring awareness of women and children rights issues and laws. In order to make a difference, I needed to understand all the fundamentals around abuse. Unfortunately I had been beaten by a boyfriend when I was at University, so the emotional, physical and psychological aspect already ran through my veins. I needed to continue in an ethical manner, I needed to understand the fundamental principles around abuse, and understand societies attitudes towards abuse and why there is such a huge stigma attached to those who are abuse and speak out. I approached POWA and did my training through the NGO as I knew I had to heal my wounds but when the situation arose, I might have to try and help others.
Since that day I have spoken on many platforms and aligned with many campaigns. So it was no surprise to me when I received an email from a young activist, sharing her story and asking for assistance. Last week Yolandi Dyanti, contacted me regarding the #Rhodeswar campaign. The campaign was launched in 2016 and I was living in Uganda at the time , so I was not that entrenched in the followings and outcome of it all. For those of you who do not know about it, here you go:
In essence, the hashtag #RhodesWar represents the response to the University currently known as Rhodes’ decision to exclude student leaders who were prominent in the sexual violence protests, a decision that has many women outraged and disappointed.
According to journalists Lufuno Ramadwa and Palesa Kgaswane, this is what one needs to know regarding #Rhodeswar

1. Rhodes university expelled two students for the rest of their lives, over their involvement in the rape culture protests that took place in 2016. The protests were sparked by the #RUReferenceList; a list of alleged rapists that circulated on campus. This list highlighted the lack of protection and security for female students against rape and assault. Things such as res rules being different for male and female residents, where male residences almost “encouraged” sexual behaviour by not having visiting hours. In a report filed by the SABC, one student said “The culture of patriarchy is instilled in us in our first years during what we call serenades, where male and female residences interact for the first time. The female residents often perform sexually explicit songs for male residents and it is something that is uncomfortable and speaks to the culture at Rhodes”
2. The men accused of rape only got a 10-year expulsion from the university. This means that the accused can continue their studies, whilst the women who were the victims will not. This verdict, which was allegedly ruled in court also means that the university has withheld transcripts of the students, even those with just two months left to graduate.
3. Rhodes expelled the women, not for protesting, but for  “leading a vigilante mob into buildings, rounding up men identified on the circulated rape list, assaulting them and holding them hostage”. Something that has been hugely attested on social media.
4. The above events lead to a massive outcry on social media, sparking the interests of local celebrities like Cassper Nyovest, who retweeted(shared) the tweets.

Taken from their manifesto:

#RhodesWar is an ongoing political campaign which speaks against the systematic exclusion of Anti-rape activists at the University currently known as Rhodes. The very same activists who played an active role in fighting rape culture and sexual violence at the university. Instead of the university heeding the call to eradicate rape culture and protect the students on their campus, they have chosen to expel those who stood up and exposed the university for being complicit while students are raped and assaulted on campus. This is clearly a move to silence anti-rape activism at Rhodes which in turn silences victims and survivors of Rape. We know that such structural issues are not exclusive to Rhodes and the #RhodesWar campaign, but rather a depiction of a much broader societal issue that plagues the South African.
Ever since the #RUREFERENCELIST protests started in 2016 Rhodes University has shown to us students and the broader public that they protect rapists and not the victims of sexual assault. This we have seen in them barely meeting any of the demands of #RUReferenceList, excluding female activists students fighting against rape culture, and silencing student leaders by forcibly making them sign a form during registration that states that students may not partake in any protest action or embark on anything that may bring the University’s name in disrepute.

The 2018 call to action:
The 2nd anniversary of the #RUReferenceList protests will be marked this year on the 17th of April. With the on going political campaign under the hashtag #RhodesWar – which essentially speaks against the criminalisation and victimisation of female students at the University still known as Rhodes for protesting against rape culture and GBV on the campus – the Combat Days of Action are aiming at mobilising various student leaders from different campuses across the country in order to participate in the conversation of holding HED institutions accountable for not taking seriously the issue of GBV.
By including everyone who’s pledged their solidarity towards the campaign and have embarked on a series of demonstrations on their campuses in attempt to highlight the scourge of rape and the persistent culture, this shows that #RhodesWar is beyond just a Rhodes issue but rather a national issue with students saying “We are not safe!”.
All our campuses have a history of GBV where in many cases with the survivors being mostly womxn, have been met with countless disappoint in attempt to reporting their cases. Either there’s not enough resources at the time of emergency or the institutions that do exist on the campuses are ineffective as the policies they are mandated by are unreformed and do not speak to putting the needs of the survivors first, and above those of the perpetrator. This also speaks to the general issue in society at large where the constitution that guides the criminal offences law (specifically rape) remains unreformed in not understanding what ‘consent’ is and the various types of ‘rape’.
The Combat Days of Action then want to hold these conversations whereby we draft a mandated way forward demanding commitment from our institutions to being leaders in reforming the existing policies, or lack thereof, around the issues of Gender Based Violence and rape culture.
Universities that are on board (so far):
– University of Cape Town
– Cape Peninsula University of Technology
– Witwatersrand University
– University of Pretoria
– Nelson Mandela University
– Vaal University of Technology
University of Limpopo

So in essence, this blog is call to action for corporates, government to assist. Not only to the highlight the fact that rape and sexual assaults are happening on our campuses nationwide but that many of these institutions continue to run under a strong patriarchal rule.

Watch the short film titled: Disrupt. It is a documentary illustrating what happened on the ground.

For more information on how you can assist please contact Yolanda Dyanti:
WhatsApp: +27 79 213 4760