Archive | May, 2018


26 May



Over the last few months, there has been an explosion of sexual harassment claims against men in the South African film industry. These claims have shocked many but for most, we are happy that they have come to the forefront. Too many women have suffered in one way or another and these incidents have been overlooked, their claims have been undermined or scoffed at, in most cases, they have been accused of lying. These responses are very normal as we have been living in a patriarchal​ society that is run by men who feel that they have the right to police women’s​ bodies, thoughts​, ​ and ideology. Fortunately​, there is​​ a​ new shift that is happening. For years, we have have had activists and soldiers fighting these ideas, but with very little support. As our voices can no longer be silenced, society is now being forced to listen, see and feel the shift and adapt to the change.

There has been the revolutionary support of many filmmakers​, both male and female. Like in most cases, there are always those individuals who make excuse for the perpetrators. In the cases of men doing so, I always feel they are just protecting them as they have known and possibly guilty of the same crimes. In the case of women supporting them or making excuses, I suppose I can say that it just proves just how much patriarchal ideals have been ingrained into our being and ideology. That is another conversation for another day.

My activism journey began​ with POWA, ​where​r I did my training and learned​ all I​ needed to know about the different type​es of abuse, what to do and what our rights are. At that time, there were no organisations​ that protected women within the industry. Fortunately,​ that has changed. I have been working with an established organisation called SWIFT- Sisters working in the film and TV.


Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) is a fresh and energetic non-profit. Birthed when a group of South African women making films and television came together to discuss the needs of women, it is now the only South African organisation focusing exclusively on the common concerns and shared experiences of women working in film and television. As we work towards engaging, developing and advocating women​, SWIFT has fast become a hub of support, empowerment, ​and inspiration. Currently SWIFT has chapters in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

IN 2017 SWIFT conducted a survey on sexual harassment in the film and TV industry.
Besides other disturbing revelations, the survey indicated that over 66.7% of women in film & TV feel unsafe at work.

And thus, #ThatsNotOK was born.

The Campaign.

SWIFT has created a VIDEO campaign of very short films inspired​ by real-life incidents of sexual harassment​.​

To let women in the industry recognize​ “what harassment is”
To let them know that they are “not alone” or “imagining harassment”
To let men/women recognise that their “harassing behaviour is NOT OK”.

The more our sisters in the industry are ignited by this campaign, the faster this epidemic can be addressed and eradicated.

There are three activations taking place in Johannesburg​, Durban and Cape Town respectively​​y.

In Johannesburg​g:
On Wednesday 30 May 2018, is the Media Launch of the 6 Videos.
The venue:
Atlas studios
33 Frost Ave, Braamfontein Werf, Johannesburg, 2092

On Wednesday 30 May 2018, is the Media Launch of the 6 Videos.

In Cape Town:
There will be a Sexual Harassment​ support group and information session. This is for womxn only and will be closed off to press and social media. This is safe space for Womxn to talk, share their experiences​ and work on resolutions.


Thursday 31st of
May is the official launch day of the campaign.

What can be done:
As a collective,​ we are looking to paint Facebook Black and Blue by every entertainment professional changing their FaceBook Covers to our #thatsnotok hashtag image.

Posts will be going out from the ambassadors, and celebrities featured in the films from Monday.

Interviews and Media articles will go out from Thursday Morning.

@SWIFT_SAFRICA will be posting the first video on their FaceBook and Twitter as well as other details re SWIFT from Thursday morning.

SWIFT will also be posting a fresh new film every week on Twitter and Facebook.

WE ARE ASKING YOU TO do 1 or all 3 of the options below:

1. ​Upload the HASHTAG image to your FB Cover, along with the copy/paste description we’ll provide – so the message is the same.

2. Share what you feel appropriate from the SWIFT posts on FB and Twitter as well as posts from friends/media from Thursday.

3. Continue to share the FB or Twitter videos as they are uploaded by SWIFT over the next 5 weeks.

Breaking the cycle of taboo!!

24 May

neg KopieCS4

It is just a few days away from Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day)
On 28 May 2014, MH Day was celebrated for the first time.

Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
MH Day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges, including through media work.
It catalyses a growing, global movement for MHM and supports partnerships at global, regional, national and local level. MH Day also creates opportunities for advocacy for the integration of MHM into global, national and local policies, programmes and projects.

I have personally decided to endorse The MinaCup, as part of my CSI to empower girls across Africa. Please read some important information on this​ revolutionary product and ways on how you​ can promote ​ending the taboo against​ menstruation​ and of course keep girls in school.

In many underprivileged and impoverished communities, many households cannot afford to buy sanitary pads and tampons, thus forcing young girls to make alternative​ methods for protection. In some cases, young girls use​ socks stuffed with sand, pieces of bark and old rags. Despite years of campaigns to distribute free tampons and pads, an estimated one in three girls miss up to five days of school a month because they can’t afford sanitary products.

According to Mina co-founder and spokeswoman Dr.​ Mashadi Motlana: “Menstruation is a taboo topic, but it’s part of our normal bodily function, so Mina is designed specifically for young girls,”

The menstrual cup is handed out along with a journal and a “dignity bag” with beauty supplies, toiletries and school supplies.
The girls are given instruction on how to use the Mina, the Zulu word for “mine”.

“Mina helps the young girls stay away from men with money, and it is a step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Meet Mina!!!

She is the revolutionary MENSTRUAL CUP especially designed for teenage girls and first-time​ users, she is a sustainablelife-changing​g solution. To empower the millions of underprivileged girls in the world with Mina, so that they can continue their education without interruption.
Mina Cup

What can you do?
You can join the Min movement by helping raise awareness by downloading the official MHDay social media campaign and add to all of your pictures!


Thuma Mina
Mina Foundation, is with engaging students on a Thuma Mina menstrual health campaign. During the campaign we would like to raise funds to purchase Mina Menstrual Cups for University girls. 
The MINA drive is a long term solution to the crisis of lack of access to sanitary products. Thuma Mina  campaign aims to provide free menstrual cups as a sustainable alternative sanitary product to less fortunate students at the University, which could last them for their entire University career. 
The funds raise will be used in the distribution of the Menstrual cups and the hosting awareness events and campaigns at the university with regard to this topic. All this to try and create an environment in which menstruation is not an uncomfortable and taboo topic.
Benefits of Mina
–          Eco- friendly- nothing to throw away
–          Made of 100% medical grade silicon
–          Specially designed for African girls and women
–          Manufactured in South Africa
–          Economical – Lasts up to 5 years.
–          Discreet and Comfortable
–          Up to 6 hour leak free
–          Hypoallergenic and safe
–          Easy to clean
–          Odourless
–          Pain-free
–          Happy.Period

Who are they?

The MINA Foundation was founded by 3 dynamic women with the mission to keep more young girls in school, change their lives and save the planet. They travel globally not only distributing MINA to schools, but also empowering girls with information and mentorship about appropriate female hygiene and sanitation.
“We are passionate about bridging the gap between classes and life. Our approach includes sessions with teachers and parents. This ensures an inclusive strategy that is mindful of cultural barriers that are sensitive to young girls to this day.”

Along with a team of phenomenal facilitators, they dive into the lives of the girls with passion and conviction, sharing their expectations, obstacles and feelings with them. 

‘We are a team on a mission to MINARISE the world.’

Mina Foundation has distributed over 35 000 Mina across South Africa to school girls, all in an attempt to keep them in school and ensure they complete their education. , we aim to reach all women and girls in disadvantaged situations, most poverty stricken areas and most rural villages.
For every R200 donated they will donate a Mina menstrual Cup to a University student in need. They want to empower the millions of underprivileged girls in the world with Mina, so that they can continue their education without interruption.


Mina Foundation has been distributing the menstrual cup together with Mina Journal and facilitation to school and communities, and this has contributed significantly in keeping our young girls in school and motivating them to study further and become champions in their communities.
They propose to introduce the Mina menstrual cup to every girl child and women in our African continent from all backgrounds. Mina is for everyone

FEMME projects:


FemmeProjects begins a new cycle of information! 

What do FemmeProjects do?
They apply an intersectional and interactive approach to educating and empowering youth around areas including:
Comprehensive Sexual Education, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression, Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights and all things to do with Puberty.

Why do we still shy away from talking about menstruating? Are we ashamed? Are we shy? Can you believe that in 2018, many of us are still embarrassed about our monthly cycle? Well, FemmeProjects is breaking the silence. It’s time to debunk the myths, to speak clearly and proudly about our cycles. With its new campaign, FemmeProjects aims to open a space for free discussion and the sharing of experiences. The organisation wants to create an opportunity to share their wisdom with, and to learn from, young people who are coming of age.
Cycles, in a nutshell, is a campaign to tell menstruating people that it is okay to talk about it; that it is okay to ask questions and seek answers and that is okay to own body, your reproductive system, your sexuality and your life.

FemmeProjects has worked with more than 4000 learners from under-resourced schools in the Western Cape, and has provided mentorship to high schools located in urban and rural areas. The NGO continues to provide comprehensive sexual education.
Co-founder of FemmeProjects Kim Windvogel says, “We have learned​ that parents and adults often refuse to talk about sexuality with children because they fear that they will encourage ‘sinful’ behavior. In fact,​ we should be encouraging engagement on this subject so that our children are informed and with this information,​ they have agency over their sexual and reproductive health”
In addition to inviting people to share their personal stories about menstruating, FemmeProjects has invited artists and designers to create art and products for the campaign. These will be on sale and proceeds will go towards FemmeProjects’ Cycles fund to educate learners about sex and menstruatio, and​d to provide young learners with hygienic bodily care.


The campaign photographs and features South African celebrities and connectors including KFM breakfast presenters Sherlin Barends, ELLE digital content manager Palesa Kgasane, South African actress Denise Newman and visual artist Lady Skollie, who designed an exclusive T-shirt celebrating the vulva for this campaign. This will be for sale once the campaign commences on the 28th of May 2018. FemmeProjects aims to grow awareness around the importance of Comprehensive Sexual & Menstrual Education in South Africa and the world.
The shop will be live on the 28th of May.


My salutation to all the warriors who have regained their power and speak out.

23 May

I support all people who speak out.

This blog is dedicated to another warrior, another survivor of violence and abuse. I have been in discussions with a number of men and women who seem to believe that it is alright not to put the blame on the abusers.

Here​ are a few comments from a discussion that took place on Facebook.

‘ladies who have the so-called “socials”, where the lady and her friends go for a long weekend outing with her friends (female colleagues), and male friends who are part of the “social”, and her husband can’t be part of that social. And this things are done by the working ladies. So yes, it is also called abuse if he husband wants her to stop the “social”. We can’t blame everything on men.’

Another one of his misguided comments:

‘The dilemma that most women in abusive relationships find is that all her female friends and besties who complain and tell her to get out of the relationship, they do it in bad faith, they only do it in order to replace her in the niggas’s life.’
These comments were taken from a facbook thread posted by one of my followers.

In most cases, many people not only side with the abusers but will look for all sorts of examples to find other situations or people to blame. We need to stop this narrative and focus on acknowledging that the abusers are at fault, that the survivors did not ask for it and that outside influences are not to blame.

I wanted to also share an incredibly powerful story of a woman​ who survived​ a terrible ordeal but has found​ the strength​ to share it.

My information has been extracted from​ an article written by Lizeka Maduna for the Daily Vox
The article was written about a burn Survivor, named Thembi Maphanga.
The Forty-year-old burn survivor Thembi Maphanga from Middelburg, Mpumalanga who says that “her own terms” cost her her two-year-old daughter and left her with physical and emotional scars.


Taken from:

It all started as emotional abuse that was one day followed by a slap. He apologised and said he didn’t know what had happened to him. That slap was then followed by a blue eye. I called my family and we spoke about it. He said he was going to try and find help and we moved on. It all got serious the day he dragged me in front of people at a friend’s place where we had gone to for an event. He wanted us to leave but I couldn’t because I was helping with catering. He accused me of wanting attention from the men who were around.
People intervened and he apologised, saying he had had too much to drink and would go home and sleep. But he wasn’t drunk and didn’t even drink too much, he was in his sober mind. When I finally went home, he wasn’t there, he only came back the following morning. When he came home he expressed his dissatisfaction with how I had handled the situation. He was not happy with the fact that he wanted to leave and I wanted to remain behind. He said he felt as though I didn’t respect him and his feelings. He then told me he had come to take all his belongings and was moving out. I was so tired that I couldn’t even pay attention to him, I just slept in the lounge and told him it was fine.
He started moving around the house packing all this stuff. He then came to me after he was done packing, saying we needed to talk in the bedroom. Our daughter came to join us, he then locked the door. He was so agitated that he kept on pacing up and down, all this time, I wasn’t paying attention at all. I then told him to say what he needed to say – I was tired and needed to sleep. He picked up a 5 litre bottle of petrol on the side of the bed and I still didn’t pay much attention because he worked at wine company and sometimes they keep bottles.
It was until he threw it on me that I realised what was happening. We started fighting for the matches until he overpowered me and finally managed to strike it. He jumped out through the window, leaving my daughter and I there to die. My daughter inhaled all that smoke. We were rescued by a neighbour who saw me through a window. I woke up in hospital three months later. I was told my daughter had passed two days after the incident due to severe amount of inhalation. I went through all that trauma and realisation of the fact that I wasn’t going to be the same again. I spent an entire year at the hospital and had to go for rehabilitation after that.
After seeing the comments on social media about Babes Wodumo and abuse, I wish people would leave commenting to women who have been through it. Also, there’s no way to help someone who is being abused other than ‘ambushing’ them because they are usually very defensive. They are very protective: they own up to the wrongs of their abusers because abusers are very smart. They have a way of isolating you from everyone and they cage you. The next thing you know is that you are nothing without them. I wish I could have been ‘ambushed’ because you keep hoping for the better but it never happens.- end

If you need assistance please contact:

If you are in the South African TV and film industry:​

Every day is Africa Day- Angola

23 May

I am a proud Pan Africanist and my three passions are Women, Africa, and the arts. I have decided​d to write up a number of blogs dedicated​ to Africans, who are doing great work.
It is great that we have a specific day dedicated​ to Africa but we need to instill the ideology that Africa runs through our veins, minds, ​and hearts. We need to push this ideology​​ into the conversations we have with our family, colleagues and what we say online. We need to look at the curriculum that is taught​ in our school ​​so that our children are no longer misguided on our past traditions, history, ​and culture.

To start off this series, we go to Angola.

Weza Solange needs no introduction. She is also my client signed to Waka Talent agency,

Weza is an accomplished TV host and producer, Actor, Voice-over artist, Emcee, Brand Ambassador, Digital Influencer​. She speaks English and Portuguese
Her charity and endorsements include:
• Angola and Mozambique brand ambassador for Sadia foods.
• Angolan ambassador for the Africa International Hair expo.
• Involved with Adopt A School Charity Organisation.
• Doctors Without Borders.


Her acting resume includes:
• Supporting role Inkaba Telenovella on ETV
• Supporting role in Generations: The Legacy on SABC 1
• Lead in The Naked Reality film.

Her TV Hosting credits include:
• Host of ‘Top Mais’: A music and lifestyle show, aired on Channel O.
• Host of the first Miss Africa pageant, 2016.
• Host of TV Show Extrem Conversar
• V-reporter for the voice of Angola
• Co-host on 2016 Miss Africa Calabar for Climate change.
• Guest presenter at 2016 MTV Africa awards.

Her other accolades include:
• Voted Angola’s most influential celebrity in social media.
• Johannesburg fashion week.
• Africa fashion week

Her production credits include:
• Production of Acesso VIP- Entertainment show on DSTV
• Producer of Nzianga guesthouse, TVC
• The Voice Angola
• Project manager of the Online team for ‘ Big Brother Angola’.

For more information or bookings contact us:
Business: 0102861935
Mobile: +27788221244
Twitter: @wakaagency
Instagram: Wakaagency
Facebook page: Waka stars


Serpião Tomás an artist named “Toto ST”, was born in Luanda.
He grew up in a religious family and had contact with gospel music since his mother and aunts belonged to the choral group of the church. At the age of eight, he wrote his first lyrics for a song and began chanting Angolan, Brazilian, North American melodies and other African roots.
The music, a genetic inheritance so well-known in the culture of the Angolan people, is its natural environment and the name he adopted – Toto ST – a reference inescapable in Angola and a bit throughout the African continent. Every single song by Toto ST takes you on an authentic journey to the great diversity of the seductive Angolan landscape and to the deepest roots of the “music of the world”. His music is a unique fusion between Afro Jazz, Funk, Blues, Soul, R & B and Kilapanga.

Singer, composer, guitarist and music producer, Toto ST began his career at the age of 14, participating in works by renowned artists of the Angolan music scene, such as Kalibrados, Genesis and Yannick AfroMan, among others. His music and his very own way of composing are reflected in the songs created for artists such as Pérola, Yola Araújo, Selda and Sandra Cordeiro.

He will be traveling​ to South Africa soon, for more​ information on his work, contact his manager:

People vs Patriarchy

17 May

“Some people won’t even acknowledge that patriarchy is poisonous and a danger to our society.” Lebogang Rasethaba.


On Wednesday 16 May I watched the screening of the South African documentary: People vs Patriarchy directed by Lebogang Rasethaba and produced by Jasmyn Asvat. After the screening I participated in a panel discussion led by Busi Gumede, who is a broadcaster, and host of ENCA: Backchat and the producer of ENCA Checkpoint. The rest of the panellists included: Lorato form Breaking Down borders, Lwazi Mthembu and Mama Yaa-Ashantawaa.

Background on People Vs Patriarchy.

People Vs Patriarchy is a directed by acclaimed South African documentary maker Lebogang Rasethaba and produced by Jasmyn Asvat. It is a 75-minute documentary that unpacks the various ways the system of patriarchy impacts the daily lives of South Africans on an intimate level. The documentary unpacks what patriarchy is and how it has locked itself onto the very heart of our society. Through frank and confrontational dialogue with young people from different walks of life, it looks into the mirror to find out why #MenAreTrash exploded onto social media this year, following the countless cases of femicide and abuse exposed by the media in the country.

Will boys always be boys?

Will women continue to help raise ‘trashy’ men?

The People vs Patriarchy “How we perceive our social and personal relationships across gender is important,” says producer Jasmyn Asvat. “All other questions to the type of society we create are underscored by our gender relations. This documentary aims to help us get to a place where we face some of the toughest questions around gender violence and how we appropriately respond to this epidemic.”

In The People vs Patriarchy, Lebogang interviews the likes of musician and Inxeba lead actor Nakhane Toure; transgender activist Glow Makatsi; 2017 Aspen New Voices Fellow Koketso Moeti; poet, activist and feminist Lebohang Masango; transmodel and artist Elle van der Burg; performance artist Desire Marea; and YouTube sensation Sibu Mpanza, among others. “There is no version of this where we come out as the good guys,“ says Lee Molefi at the end of the trailer. Watch it here:
“It’s been a complex film to make,” says Lebo. “On one hand, men need to get together and have conversations about dismantling patriarchy. But then on the other hand, there is the danger of centring yourself as a man in a way that undermines women. So it’s a lose-lose situation. It’s one of those rare films where there isn’t any personal glory or victory attached to the director; it’s about introducing a generation of minds to concepts that will free them from the binds we were raised with. It’s about starting a conversation.”

The panel discussion:

We looked at the reality of how African women are seen in and outside of Africa. My response to that is that in every sector, women are hardly seen and black women are not seen and when we are, we are seen to be loud, over emotional and irrational beings. That is a reality shown through the eyes of men and women. The questions arose about why we feel this way and it stems from the colonisation of our minds and how we need to consciously question what has been fed to us through generations of education and so called traditional practices. We need to create platforms and practices on how we start to unshackle those chains.

One of the questions posed was, ‘how do we feel about the women who are represented in parliament’. The whole panel burst into laughter, we all agreed that firstly, we are not taken seriously as if you look at the women who are supposed to represent women, do not have our interests at heart. A reference was made to how women in parliament respond when a women is killed by her abusive partner, the misinformed and unsympathetic approach and how the women are often blamed for being in such relationships is very evident. This ideology stems from being indoctrinated on how patriarchal systems are essential to our existence and well being. Then the second comment which I made, was the sad reality that we know our country do not take us serious, this is evident when we see who they put in misnsitererial positions. Reference was made to the Zuma trial and the lack of support from the women one who were in exile and how they sided with Zuma. The discussion also touched on the powerful and brave statements made by four young women who staged a protest against President Jacob Zuma at the IEC results, which were held in 2016.
The four powerful activists, all in their twenties, held up a piece of paper which had poignant statements written on them. One of the activists,Naledi Chirwa held a paper, on which was written “Khanga” while the president was speaking live on television after the declaration of the local government elections.
She and three others, who held up placards reading “I am one in 3” and “Remember Khwezi” and “10 years later”. Soon after the incident they were hustled out of the room by what is believed to be the president’s security detail.

I shared how I found the moment a glorious and courageous moment in history, watching how these young women stood with pride in front of the committee, I trembled with joy and frustration. as we know that Fezekile Kuzwayo (Kwezi) was not treated fairly and as a nation we failed her. I saluted the pride represented through these young women who stood in the face of patriarchy and pseudo democracy.

In closing we discussed that we need to keep our conversations going and create more and more safe spaces for women to share their experiences. Men need to start their conversation and understand the true meaning of patriarchy and acknowledge their privileged existence. Ultimately we need the acknowledgement of men and their conscious efforts to undo the wrongs that they have learnt and see and live from day to day.

I salute the team behind this powerful and scary documentary, you truly are the change that is needed the world.

The trailer for the dosumanatry for People vs Patrarchy can be found via:



15 May


The Breaking Down Borders Africa Initiative is a Pan-African platform
led by African youth for the benefit of African youth. The Initiative is
inspired by the vision of Enabling African youth to connect and
collaborate towards the prosperity of the continent. To this end, the
Initiative is invested in bringing all Africans together, to dissect the
issues they are faced with and to find solutions that can be applied in
resolving the challenges identified.

The Initiative hosts the annual Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth
Summit. The Summit launched in 2017, South Africa, hosted 60 young
African leaders from 15 countries. The summit was hosted under the
brought together young leaders from across the continent to engage with
one another on issues relating to social cohesion, economic
transformation and African Unity.

I will be present on 16 May and I will facility the conference plenary:
“Elimination of harmful social and cultural practices”.
I will engage with a number of powerful African voices, they include:


1. Vivian Onano, Humanitarian and Social Entrepreneur (Kenya), she will discuss: Elimination of Harmful Social and Cultural Harmful practises.
Vivian is a graduate of Carthage College, and a strategic development consultant on education, youth empowerment, and gender. She strongly believes in the power of business and philanthropy to work together to attain sustainable development. She is a respected speaker who often speaks on global education, gender equality, youth empowerment, and international development. She has given presentations at the United Nations General Assembly, Women Deliver Global Conference, World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) and the Clinton Global Initiative, among others.

2: Gabriel Khan, Human Rights Activist (South Africa): exploring Gender Diversity and Poverty in the African context

Gabriel Kahn is a regional gender adviser in the World Food Programme (WFP) and currently holds the role of Programme Policy Officer: Gender. Kahn’s work at the WFP Regional Bureau includes building the technical capacity on gender, supporting the effective integration of gender into humanitarian and development operations and developing partnerships with gender equality organizations. Kahn has initiated a Gender Think Tank which brings together UN agencies, NGOs, and research centres to have creative conversations on integrating gender into humanitarian and development actions. Gabriel is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow.


3: Mwende FreeQuency Katiwa, Poet, Social Activist (Kenya & USA): I am Because we are: African Youth in the diaspora as partners in the Continent’s development

Mwende is a Kenyan, Immigrant, Queer Womyn speaker and performer. The 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, a 2017 TEDWomen speaker and ranked 3rd at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam, FreeQuency is a highly sought-after performer, speaker, author, host, youth lecturer & facilitator, social justice teaching artist and workshop leader. She is an activist working in Reproductive Justice, #BlackLivesMatter organizing & activism, LGBTQ+ advocacy and her poetry has been featured on Upworthy, OkayAfrica, TEDx, the New York Times, For Harriet, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, & other outlets. FreeQuency is a founding member of the New Orleans chapter of the Black Youth Project 100, a founding committee member of the New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM), festival coordinator for the New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival a blogger with the AfroFashion and Culture Blog Noirlinians and a member of Wildseeds: The New Orleans Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective. She currently works as a community organizer at the Reproductive Justice group Women With A Vision where she runs the Young Women With A Vision program.

4: Naomi Njeri Mwaura, Transport Expert, Gender Activist (Kenya. Reclaiming the Public Space, Women’s bodies are not public property.

Naomi is a communications Associate at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. Her role involves leading communications and outreach efforts in support of ITDP Africa’s core programme of promoting sustainable and equitable transport. She is also the founder of Flone Initiative, an organization working to create a safe and professional public transport industry in Kenya. She is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship, and in 2017, she was named BBC 100 Inspirational and Influential women

5:Siposethu Mbuli, Broadcaster, Social Activist (South Africa): Breaking Barriers, Addressing Wrongful rituals including killing of people living with albinism.

Siposetu is developing new ways to end the stigma of albinism in South Africa, She co-founded Love, This Skin, an organisation that assists, supports and educates young people with albinism and their families. The group also works with organisations like the Western Cape Albinism and Hypo-pigment Foundation to host community initiatives focused on educating the public about albinism. Siposetu has been named the Queen’s Young Leader in 2018

For more information contact:
Nthabiseng Modjadji
The Breaking Down Borders Africa Youth Initiative
Project Coordinator

The triple effect Tuesday.

15 May

Tuesday, I choose to honour womxn who have stood up for humanity and the rights of others. I salute Wendy Isaacks, Carrie Shelver, Thokozani Ndaba. I met these power houses when I began my training through POWA, a women’s human rights organisation which provides support to women survivors of sexual and domestic violence. 

Over the years we have galvanised, marched and created safe spaces for womxn in all areas. Here is little insight into their work and how they are changing the narrative in terms of gender equality, LGBQTI rights and humanity across the world.


Wendy Isaack (B. Proc., LLM), is a feminist lawyer with over 12 years of professional experience in the public sector, in the substantive areas of sexual orientation and gender identity issues and women’s human rights more generally.

Wendy holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a master’s degree in International Law with a focus on Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

Wendy is also a researcher in the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Wendy worked as Adjunct Professor at the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York (CUNY) and as an international law consultant for UN Women, Palestine Office. Wendy served as Human Rights Specialist at UN Women, providing policy support in respect of intergovernmental processes in New York and Geneva, responsible for providing technical support to the CEDAW Committee in its elaboration of General Recommendation No. 30 on the protection of women’s human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

She has worked for major public interest litigation organisations in South Africa, including the Legal Resources Centre and as an attorney in the Business and Human Rights Programme at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). In addition to her work at the United Nations, she worked as Manager of the Legal Services and Advocacy Programme at People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)Wendy is currently completing her Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration as a Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge. Her expertise is in international humanitarian law and policy, as well as the law of occupation.


Thokozani Ndaba

Thokozani Ndaba is a South African theatre practitioner, activist and performer, whose work comprises activism, education, and research. She is a former Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient who completed her Master’s Degree at New York University’s Steinhardt Educational Theatre. Ndaba holds a BA in Applied Drama and Theatre from the University of Witwatersrand. Ndaba works on social justice issues using Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and a range of applied theatre methodologies. She uses theatre as a facilitation tool in communities and as an educational tool within the classroom. She is the founder and director of Ntethelelo Foundation in Johannesburg. Ndaba works with different institutions and organisations in southern Africa and internationally where she tackles human rights violations. She raises awareness through theatre on LGBTI issues by training service providers.

The founder of the Ntethelelo Foundation

The Ntethelelo Foundation aims to create a safe space with the aim of enabling support for social and behavioural change, healing and personal growth amongst marginalised communities of youth, girls, young womxn and the LGBTI community.

Thokozani, works with different institutions and organisations in the Southern African Region, nationally and internationally to tackle human rights violations.
As a theatre practitioner, activist and facilitator, Ndaba’s work comprises activism, education, and research. She is a former Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient who completed her Master’s Degree at New York University’s Steinhardt Educational Theatre. Ndaba holds a BA in Applied Drama and Theatre from the University of Witwatersrand.
Thokozani does excellent work on social justice issues using Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and a range of other applied theatre methodologies. She uses theatre as a facilitation tool in communities and as an educational tool within the classroom.
Their services:
Develop and deliver education and literacy improvement programs.
Community Engagements and Youth Empowerment Programs.
Support communities affected HIV and AIDS through outreach.
Support LGBTI through education and community dialogue.
Support survivors of abuse and sexual violence through workshop intervention and referrals for counseling.
Develop and deliver training programs for the integration and rehabilitation of offenders.
Develop and deliver training programs for service providers (police officers, health workers and educators) to increase emotional intelligence.
Organize shelter and drop-in center for womyn.

Carrie Shelver:

Carrie Shelver is a feminist activist and the Advocacy Manager at the Coalition of African Lesbians. Carrie has been involved in women’s rights, LGBT and social justice activism since the late 1990s in South Africa. Carrie has a background in political science, adult education and a keen interest in developing and applying arts-based feminist methodologies in consciousness raising and movement building.

The Coalition of African lesbians.

The Coalition of African Lesbians is a feminist, activist and Pan Africanist network of 14 organisations in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa committed to advancing freedom, justice and bodily autonomy for all women on the African continent and beyond.
They are committed to raising consciousness amongst and strengthening activism and leadership of lesbian women on sexuality and gender and its intersections with a wide range of lived realities. They understand the place of Africa in the world and work in ways that affirm African agency and power to contribute to transformative change on the continent and in the world.
The Coalition believe in the power of collective action and view themselves as a part of social movements, including the women’s movement, the sexual and reproductive rights movement and the economic justice movement.

The Coalition of African Lesbians builds with others a feminist future where social justice prevails and where we as Africans live in dignity and freedom and work in solidarity with our friends all over the world to create transformatory change.
Advocacy is the lead Programme at CAL. Their advocacy work is with movements. They believe that change happens through collective action coupled with passion and commitment to transformatory ideas and building friendship and solidarity between peoples and across geographic spaces and multiple locations. Policy advocacy is a small element in this. Holding those in power accountable for the changes is another means to achieve these ends. They are concerned in their advocacy with four domains of change – structural/systemic, institutional, ideological and personal/intrapersonal and interpersonal change.


Creating our safe spaces

9 May

A few weeks back I spoke out and showed my solidarity with women who speak out on sexual misconduct and rape. I added my name to the hashtag #ItsNotOk, created by SWIFT: Sisters Working in Film and Television

Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) is a fresh and energetic non-profit. Birthed when a group of South African women making films and television came together to discuss the needs of women, it is now the only South African organisation focusing exclusively on the common concerns and shared experiences of women working in film and television. As we work towards engaging, developing and advocating women, SWIFT has fast become a hub of support, empowerment and inspiration.
Currently SWIFT has chapters in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

What are they about?

Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) was conceptualised during the 2016 Durban International Film Festival. Women making films and television (both locally and internationally) came together to address common concerns, share experiences, support and inspire one another. All in attendance strongly expressed the importance and need of an organisation that works towards uniting, engaging and advocating for women, in essence one that ensures that women are given a voice in the industry. This was the inception of the organization SWIFT.
Currently SWIFT has chapters in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, who meet monthly hosting different events all with the agenda to empower women and allow them to network. The decision was made to take an entire year to set up the organisation with an official launch at DIFF 2017. The intention was to assess the real needs and issues women are facing as opposed to dictating and making generalised assumptions.
After several meetings with women from diverse backgrounds, some key issues stood out, our aims were outlined and committees were established in order to begin meeting these needs.

What do they do?
One of the major concerns brought forward by women in the South African industry is a safe working environment, free from sexual harassment and discrimination. SWIFT’s official research in the South African film and television industry confirms that rape culture extends even to our industry and is far more prevalent than it would appear on the surface. As the only organisation focused exclusively on women in the industry SWIFT felt its first priority was to educate, create awareness and actively advocate against sexual harassment.
Launched during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children (from 25 November to 10 December), SWIFT’s #ThatsNotOk campaign is based on a national research report on Sexual Harassment which can be found. The movement has since grown and has been featured in local media as well as featured in Variety Magazine during Berlin Film Festival. Recently a national pledge was taken at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) showing the industry’s joint support of the movement.
Berlin: South African Women in Biz Launch #ThatsNotOk Campaign Targeting Sexual Harassment


The mission of the Skills and Mentorship Programme is to facilitate the professional development of South African women in the Film and Television industry. We are dedicated to creating an environment for growth and development that better equips women in the Film and Television Industry, by providing skills and mentorship based events, networking opportunities and the needed support to further catapult women in their career aspirations. Furthermore it is to nurture emerging female talent in the film and TV industry. Mentorship is a crucial factor to ensure that new generations of women in the industry are able to grow and learn from those who have gone before them.
The Skills and Mentorship programmes and events has content that provides professional information and guidance from industry experts, networking opportunities, products and services that offer skills training and support and facilitating mentorship relationships. Speakers, coaches and professional experts in specific Film and Television fields will feature to give insight on solutions that will assist with the progression of women in the industry. These events usually take place at designated Venues, Community Facilities, Schools and any other appropriate location which is accessible to South African women in the Film and Television industry.
SWIFT will host master class events annually where an industry experts will present and offer insight into their field of expertise. This master class will be open to all members of SWIFT.

This week, they will be hosting a workshop where key speakers will talk on sexual harassment within the South Africa film and TV industry.
The aim is to create safe spaces for women within the industry and also to stand in solidarity with those who speak out.


If you wish to join or make a donation to SWIFT their details are as follows:
Studios, 33 Frost Avenue,
Milpark, Johannesburg
Tel: 0768971951

SWIFT banking details:
SWIFT Current Account
Standard Bank,
Branch No: 051001
Acc No: 003308766


Joseph Seeletso: The First Black Professional TV Chef in Poland.

3 May


I love discovering and meeting Africans who are living their passions and dreams, so it is no surprise that todays blog is dedicated to a brother from Botswana who studied in London and has established himself as a chef in Poland.

Joseph “Józek” Seeletso was born in Botswana. He comes from a Royal family of Sekgoma I, the King of Botswana and Joseph’s third great-grandfather.

I had the opportunity of meeting with him and chatting to him about his past, his passion and his love for the continent. Joseph was brought up in Botswana and was influenced by his tradition and culture as well as the British way of life, as the country was colonised by British at the time of him growing up.
Josephs father worked as a chef in a hotel in Gaborone. His childhood memories include the traditional British steak, Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding. This obviously fused with the traditional local African food in the countryside, at his grandparents’ house. There they grew watermelons, maize, marrows, pumpkins, beans and raised cattle on a small farm by the house. That is where Joseph could watch the vegetables and fruit grow, he tried wild berries or succulents and he learned about various tastes, from sweet to bitter ones. One of his early duties was to milk the goats. His aunts, cherishing local traditions, added goat milk to tea and bread traditionally baked in ashes. That is where his culinary tastes were formed and where he started his first culinary intuitions.

Joseph then decided to move to London to acquire his professional skills and enrolled at the prestigious Westminster College, where he worked towards becoming a professional chef. Joseph understood that in this job not only culinary skills matter but also the personality. He said: “A chef should be universal, creative in his approach to work and should have an open mind and good communication skills to talk to his guests”.


As in most beautiful life stories, Joseph met an amazing Polish lady, Karolina and they decided to get married and moved back to her home country. They moved to Krakow. That is when his life got interesting by meeting the new culture, language and people – musicians and society connected with Teatr Stary and Piwnica pod Baranami.  He worked various restaurants, such as Wentzl, Metropolitan and Balzac.

The couple then moved to Botswana, for a brief time where they worked at the luxury Phakalane Golf Estate Hotel Resort. Whilst on the continent he had the opportunity to travel across South Africa and meeting winery owners. This made Joseph understand the meaning of wine expertise to a chef. It requires time and willingness to develop the taste sense in order to learn to recognise the grape varieties, regions of wine origin, to know the meaning of the wine colour and to be able to determine the wine age. All of that has always been Joseph’s passion, starting from his early childhood.

After their time in Africa, the couple moved back to Poland. At that time they moved to Warsaw as a chef in a restaurant and bar by “Centrum Wina”. That is where his author’s cuisine started to emerge: he experimented and had fun with wine and dishes matching. That is also when Jospeh started working for TVN channel, where he was live cooking in “Dzień dobry TVN” morning television programme and then also in TVP2 channel in “Pytanie na śniadanie”. In December 2009 he was approved as a member of the Poland Chefs’ Club. In 2011 Joseph was invited by CNN channel to participate in a TV commercial promoting Poland in the world in the company of, among others, Norman Davies. In 2012 Joseph was talking about Poland, Warsaw and Polish cuisine to Britishers in “Blue Peter” BBC programme broadcast before Euro 2012. Warsaw – “Joseph’s Wine & Food” and “Joseph’s Culinary Studio” From December 2010 to January 2013 Joseph was working as a chef in “Joseph’s Wine & Food” restaurant in Warsaw, at 3, Duchnicka street. It was his second project connected with creating and running a wine bar in Poland, which turned out to be a great success. The venue was awarded in the Insider Warsaw’s “Best of Warsaw 2012” survey the 1st place in Wine Bar category. The natural development of the need of cooking as a social activity is the author’s studio, Joseph’s Culinary Studio, launched in 2012, where classes, shows and social cooking and food tasking take place. Joseph is also a dad of two great sons, David Sekgoma (6) and Stanisław Fredrick (4).


Jospeh is also the brand ambassador for UNCLE BEN’S RICE and SIEMENS Kitchen Home Appliances, he also supports the BOSCH & GAGANEAU brands.


Reclaiming our dignity.

1 May


A few weeks ago saw the emergence of a number of women coming forward and speaking out on sexual harassment and intimidation within the South African TV & film industry. Like in many incidents of sexual harassment, there have been a number of men who have been known to be preforming such acts and through their use of power, they have seemed to escape persecution. In most cases they use the intimidation tactics, threats and undermining the survivor saying that they would not be taken serious and that there is a stigma attached to women who speak out. In many cases they use the excuse that they would not find work in the industry again as many producers and directors will not work with difficult women who ‘talk too much’. On hearing these allegations, I could empathise with the women as I had been in that position on a number of occasions and in some instance tried to speak out, so when I saw the name Khalo Matabane, I could therefore speak from my personal experience, adding weight to the truth of the other allegations. I shared my story of how Khalo called me a cock teaser as he believed that I was leading him on. To be honest I was very friendly to him and I allowed him to put his arm around me and hold me as I thought he was homosexual and therefore I felt safe with him, little did I know there were ulterior motives. Many of us have stood up in solidarity with these women and as always there are those men and women who question their allegations, despite some of these people knowing that the rumours have been circulating for years. I then decided that I needed to lend my voice as I too was affected in a small way. I feel pain and anger for the women that he harassed, assaulted and raped. I believe them and send as much love to them as possible.
The full story can be found via:

On Monday 30 April 2018 I was interviewed on POWERFM on this topic, I was part of a panel of other esteemed female media practitioners, Florence Masebe and Natalie Haarhoff.
One of the questions that the presenter asked me was what advice should I give to your actresses entering the industry, this is what I have to say and it is to just for women, it is for men and all people who identify as women.

1. Know your craft. Just like any other industry, you need to learn the tools of the trade. If you do not have access to educational institutions, then go online. There are many tutorials, youtube links on acting, TV work etc.

2. Know how the industry works. If you are an Instagram sensation, that does not automatically qualify you as an award winning actress. If you are approached by anyone to come an audition for a role in a movie or TV series, you have the right to ask many questions, these question should include the following:
* What is the name of the production company? That way you can see if the company really exists.
* What is the name of the production?
* What network will it be aired on? If the show has not been commissioned to a network then how will the production pay for it?
* Where is the casting? That way you can inform somebody that you will be attending should anything be wrong.

3. Get proper management.
* Your manager works for you.
* You should not have to pay your agent to go to auditions etc. The only thing you should pay for is pictures for your portfolio.
* Your agent/manager should only take a commission of work that he/she gets for you.
* They are there to protect you. Point in case my previous manager tried to persuade me from refusing sex and nude scenes, her threat was that they might not want to work with me again, if I talk too much, she also used the excuse that the ratings were high and I should reconsider. She no longer represents me.

4. Read your contract. Every standard South African contract should include a clause that states that you will NOT be expected to perform nude, semi-node etc. If it is not in the contract, question that.

5. Performing sex and nude scenes: If you do agree, there is nothing wrong with that but ensure that you are respected. There should be a pre-production meeting with yourself, the producer, wardrobe and the director to ensure that you are 100% comfortable in what you are doing. On the day it should be a closed set, that is no crew milling around whilst you are naked. Wardrobe should be on standby with a gown robe to cover you as soon as the scene is complete.

6. Join SAGA. they were incredibly supportive of me during my ordeal and with the channel they supported and understood my anguish.

7. Join SWFIT