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24 Nov

Dr Bev Ditsie is a global icon, brilliant filmmaker, speaker and activist, who should be celebrated and honoured.

On 19 November, they turned 50. We have started celebrating their life, agency and work.

The celebrations began with a gala dinner. The event honoured many who have been silenced, erased and not seen. The show was the backdrop for the soft launch of the Dr Bev Ditsie Foundation.

A message from Dr Bev on the Foundation-

I was 19years old when I had my first mental breakdown, around the same time I had my 2nd suicide attempt. Life was not making sense, and my life, in particular, was a mess. I had moved out of home, thinking I would find freedom. Instead, I got more lost. Away from my family’s protection, I discovered the cruelty of the world, the sexism, the homophobia, the threats to my physical being as a very out lesbian, and I could not handle it. 

A friend, a white woman, grabbed me by the hand, bundled me into her yellow beetle and parked outside a house in Berea. We rang the bell before I realized that this was the 702 Crisis Centre. 

Cathy Michaelson, a therapist, opened the door, and Kim said: “Help her.” Cathy said: “come in.”

This one small act saved my life. 

I spent over ten years in therapy with different therapists. The therapy included the intervention of the free helpline LIFELINE, which I would sometimes call in the middle of the night when I thought I was losing my mind. 

Currently, services like these do not exist anymore, and those that do, struggle. Services for Queer people are even more scarce. There are no free helplines for us, and a walk-in crisis centre doesn’t exist. 

How do we begin to heal if we don’t have any services solely focused on our healing?

How do we heal when homophobia, hate speech and hate crimes are so rampant?

How do we heal when there continues to be misinformation and misrepresentation of us in the media? 


This Foundation is my gift to all my queer siblings.



The Foundation seeks to support all endeavours that promote the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of the femme, queer, and gender diverse South Africans by ensuring these communities’ mental and emotional wellness. 

All discrimination against Queer people harms our mental health.



To confront and challenge all media reports that show Queer people in ways that perpetuate stereotypes and misinformation that lead to homophobia/transphobia. 


Support and create affirming images of Queer/gender diverse Africans. 


  • Support and strengthen existing free and accessible telephone helplines Train therapists and counsellors to do crisis and intervention for femmes, Queers and gender diverse people of Johannesburg and South Africa. To, in the future, establish a walk-in crisis centre for queer South Africans in a place that will be accessible to even the most marginalized. This centre, titled the Unicorn, will serve as an info hub and hopefully a referral centre to suit the needs of the LGBTQIA community. The centre will be a place of refuge, giving only one night of shelter before referrals and ten therapy sessions. The Unicorn is the place that intervenes and saves lives. 


    The Foundation will Trade Mark the name Bev Ditsie, its permutations and images, and ensure that the values of Bev Ditsie themselves align with the name. The Foundation will monitor and administer all finances associated with the brand. A percentage of all funds raised should take care of Bev Ditsie’s immediate family – that is, Mom, sister, spouse and any offspring in the future.  

The Gala dinner took place on Saturday 20th November, at the Emoyeni conference centre in Johannesburg.

The Other Foundation and Access Chapter 2 supported the event.

The Other Foundation:

Access Chapter 2:

The dress code ‘Just Be YOU, Be SEEN and Be HEARD. Those who understood showed up with pride and love.

The hosts for the evening were Natalia Molebatsi ad Muzi Zuma. 

Processed with MOLDIV

Natalia Molebatsi is an internationally known South African writer, poet, and singer, who experiments with jazz and hip hop. Her CDs, Come as you are: Poems for Four Strings and Natalia Molebatsi & The Soul-Making, are a fusion of poetry and various music styles.​She has published Sardo Dance through Ge’ko and edited We Are: A Poetry Anthologythrough Penguin books.  Her academic writing appears in Scrutiny2, Rhodes Journalism Review and Muziki.

Muzi Zuma was a finalist for the Miss Gay South Africa pageant 2019. The platform allowed her to partner with the Pietermaritzburg gay and lesbian network and Access Chapter 2 to tackle issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual (LGBTIQA+) community.

The entertainment:

Born in Johannesburg and raised in PE, Phila is a phenomenal singer, actor, filmmaker, and rapper. His grandmother raised him and his siblings. He studied film and television production at Varsity College, where he cemented his love for acting.

Sicka Star-Ban is a hip hop artist/composer/traditional healer/LGBTI activist/photographer/event organizer, and entertainer. Her activism is visible through her music. It speaks of the stigma of the victimization of homosexual beings. On stage, she is the connector of the little particles in the atmosphere, becoming one giant bubble, bringing smiles to many. 

Gyre is a cutting-edge Queer rapper who’s challenging the status quo while adding new depth and diversity to the local hip hop sceneThe superstar started rapping in 2015 in an attempt to improve his singing, particularly his breathing. Over time it became clear that that was where my true talents lay, and Gyre was born. His music sets him apart as he can make didactic music that, although focused on a queer narrative, speaks to all people from all walks of life. 

Delta The Leo is a three-time World Dance Champion, fitness coach, digital content creator and MC. Delta The Leo Hails from rural Limpopo. Delta The Leo, s breaking boundaries with her talent and passion, understanding that her content spreads her message to millions. 

The Sound Proprietors took care of technical support, stage set up and lighting. I strongly recommend you use them for your next event.

For more information on how to collaborate with Dr Bev Ditsie or to give support to The Bev Ditsie Foundations contact

Respect safe spaces.

5 Aug

Respect the safe spaces and maintain consent.

The term safe space generally means “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.” (Oxford Dictionary).

When somebody shares a traumatic experience with you, appreciate that space. Many victims take time to speak out for several reasons. Society is quick to mock and criticise those that speak out. Our community often question their credibility. It is common for perpetrators and their supporters to gaslight the person and make them believe that the trauma is their fault. All of these actions and more fall under the terminology known as Rape Culture. 

According to

“Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.”

When somebody finds the courage to speak, listen and give respect to that space. 


GBV happens against consent. If you want to tape the conversation, make sure the victim/survivor is aware of the recording and has permitted you to share the details and recording.  

Confidentiality is one of the essential elements that lead to an increased sense of security for survivors. Sharing their trauma without consent is a further violation.  

Speaking out takes a tremendous amount of strength but do not confuse that strength. Sharing one journey does not equip anyone for the public scrutiny that follows. Public opinion can be brutal, and if the perpetrator is powerful or connected politically, it can have even more dangerous effects on the psyche and well being of the victim/survivor. It does not matter if the person is an activist, man or child. 

In 2018, I was invited into a safe space to share my trauma. I believed that stakeholders would respect that. I soon discovered the planner shared some of the information on a public platform. The posting is a violation of the safe space. This action created additional trauma for myself and other survivors in the room, which led to mental breakdowns for some of us. 

GBV has been a pandemic for centuries, and we all need to do our bit in combating it. We need to listen and be gentle with others and ourselves. Read and listen to those that have done the research and groundwork. Have the respect and understanding that it involves feelings, psyche and emotions. Humans are hurt and need healing. Healing is different for everyone, and there is no time limit. Respect each other 

For counselling and/or Life coaching contact

Sheilah Gashumba The Little Stunner is back.

1 Aug

Whilst I was living and working in Uganda in 2016, I met Sheilah as I headed the productions and programming and acquisitions department for NTV Uganda and helped launch specific programs for Spark TV effectively. Sheilah was one of my on-air talents for two of the highest ranked TV shows, The Beat and The Style project.

Sheilaheart Carol Nyinabashumba, born and raised in Uganda, is of Rwandan descent. I first introduced my readers to Sheilah back in 2018, read here>

Fast forward to 2021 after a much-needed sabbatical, Sheilah has returned to our screens.

In February 2021, Multichoice launched Honey TV. The content includes a new cooking show, “House Of Chefs”. The channel had its eye on collaborating with Sheilah. We made the necessary introductions, and the negotiations began. We were ecstatic when the channel had decided to choose her as the official host of the show. Before we knew it, Sheilah arrived in Cape Town to start the next phase of her journey. During the pre-production phase, the channel announced the celebrity chef. The multi-award-winning international culinary expert and author, Siba Mtongana. Siba is the judge and will choose the winner.

House Of Chefs.
Eight young trainee cooks from Ghana, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia compete for a coveted internship. The winner will work closely with the legendary chef and author at her restaurant, located in a prime spot in Cape Town. The journey is to explore and uplift African food to new heights in the fine-dining space. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for any budding chef.

The show contestants are Ingrid Musabe (26, Rwanda), Ruth Buliamu (26, Congo), Tobe Onyenyeonwu (21, Nigeria), Joseph Odoom (26, Ghana), Les Sempele (27, Kenya), Thabo Phake (24, South Africa), Merry Ziringa (23, DRC), Kalaba Chikamba (21, Zambia).

House of Chefs premieres on 13 August 2021 (DStv 173).
The Head of Marketing at MultiChoice Uganda, Colin Asiimwe, said, “MultiChoice Uganda is excited to announce this show launch as it reaffirms our commitment to bring great entertainment and top-class talent from across the continent to our customers. DStv Uganda customers will now enjoy riveting show content hosted by one of our own to enjoy and relish.”

Sheilah working her magic on set.

The Martinelli synergy.

“The Little Stunner” is way more than a TV personality but a media mogul in Africa, with her tiny toes in many big lucrative business deals.
In 2020, Joris Family Distribution SMC LTD – Importers of Martinellis Wine launched their 3 Sparkling wine premium bottles. They proudly announced Sheilah Gashumba to serve as its first-ever brand ambassador in their on-net and off-net promotional campaigns in East Africa.

Sheilah stated that “I’ve always set the bar high for myself with everything I do, but to now be a brand ambassador for Martinellis , it feels like a new level. To me, the Martinellis brand stands for both truthfulness and expressiveness. I’m excited to help define what that means to all generations.”

In 2020, Sheilah signed an ambassadorial deal with Yo Kuku, one of the largest producers and marketers of chicken in East Africa.

With the new show and ambassadorship deals, spending most of her time between Kampala and Johannesburg, we will be embarking on several other collaborations within the entertainment space, fine dining and women empowerment.

To collaborate with us or to book Sheilah, contact us

Follow us on all social media platforms and learn about our other Pan African talent. Waka Talent Agency at present as a footprint in 14 African countries.

Artists and activists deserve payment for their work.

30 Jul

It is time for us to speak up about unpaid labour in the arts and activism.

My career in media started over 25 years ago and 20 years working in the activism space. I started as a TV presenter and actor, and we believed that we needed to work on many projects for free as it was vital for our brand. PR and marketing people would always push the notion that they had invited VIP’s and high profile people, and our presence could lead to other work and projects. I believed this for many years until I started to see that I undervalued myself and my time. What I found interesting is how angry people suddenly got when I began to set boundaries, adding terms and conditions to my contacts, asking about the usage, coverage and stopping further exploitation.

Working in the activism space is a different journey. I embarked on activism as it has always been a calling. It was a calling that I knew would help with my healing and possibly help others. I needed to understand my confusion after abuse and see how we could change that narrative. In 2003, I completed my primary training through an intensive training course with a local NGO.
I was trained and, work in counselling, court preparations with victims/survivors, accompanying people to court and police stations and creating awareness. These jobs and activities I do on my account. I am now a registered counsellor and life coach and have opened a practice to combine this work, offering pro bono counselling sessions to those that cannot afford it.

Like my media work, I am invited into spaces to share my intellectual property, experiences, challenges and fears. This work extends into speaking engagements and facilitating work, and clients expect us to work for free under the banner of women empowerment or giving back. Some clients believe that as we are activists, we must do additional work for free. These attitudes and narratives need to change. I often laugh at how this term, ‘women empowerment or ‘giving back, is thrown around, yet many want to put restrictions and demands on us. How is that empowering? We have the right to give back in our way, and nobody has the right to make demands on how we do so.
I have written on the topic many times and spoken on my podcast platforms. My famous line to clients who say that I should do it as a way of giving back and a form of women empowerment- you cannot empower women by disempowering another woman.

My sister/comrade/client Dr Bev Ditsie said in a recent interview that during Women’s months, many women in the entertainment industry don’t work as events are handed to men under the facade that they are giving women a rest. The irony is that many of us in entertainment have suffered financially. Many of us deal with sexism, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia daily. There are still unequal pay structures in the workplace which is disempowering. So the question is, how can we rest with so much emotional and additional trauma?

Over the years, I have worked with international human rights bodies, and several of these bodies understand the need for remunerations. Several institutions do not have huge budgets but will offer an honorarium as a thank you and validation that they see us and respect our agency and time.
It is disappointing when other agencies state that they do not have a budget for speakers, facilitators or thought leaders. The same spaces have a budget for international consultants and firms but cannot respect an activist or artist.
An activist is a person who is an expert in their field and provides another form of consultancy, whilst an artist contributes a service.
I have argued this with many of these agencies. If their policies stated that they do not pay artists, it is hypocritical since they run campaigns, programs that speak to women in the unpaid labour in other sectors.
We cannot apply a rule to one sector of the population and ignore others. The reality is that the organisers and some representatives have primary jobs where they receive salaries. Speaking, facilitating and activism is the only job for many. Activists do a lot of groundwork for free, often ostracised, their safety at stake, should not be expected to do additional work in corporate and global spaces. When launching these campaigns and platforms, it is at events, panels that require speakers and entertainers. I get it, as including a global brand onto your resume adds value but is that fake accolade enough when you are hungry.

In 2019, I engaged with one of these agencies, who tried to make me work for free on a project. The work required many hours of my time, research, intellectual property and then facilitating a discussion. The representative said I should do the gig to prove myself? I reminded him of my many years of experience and asked why I should prove myself. I used their previous event as a reference where they hired a man with less experience than myself and paid him his rate. Was he asked to prove himself?

Covid-19 has disrupted the whole world and further inconvenienced womxn and the LGBTQI+ community. We have all had to change our way of working, thinking and operating. It is time for human rights bodies, productions and broadcasters to discard their old way of thinking. We are in a crisis. Creating gender equality includes acknowledging and seeing everyone. Forcing unpaid labour is another form of slavery.

‘In the name of THAT father.’

13 Jul

We are fatigued a year later, and anxiety lives carefree, yet our voice is still not on lockdown. We have learnt to operate, work and live differently. We continue to fight the same battles.

In 2020, I contributed to Destiny magazine May/June issue. I wrote on the realities of GBV in our country, highlight lighting the horrific facts that many people forced to be indoors with their tormentors due to the lockdown. A year later, we are still here, but the violence indoors has not stopped. There are more job losses, the cost of living has increased tremendously, and we are still not safe.

Destiny Magazine May-June 2020 issue. Article:Featured in Cover collaborations: Safety & Security

Taken from A member of the South African National Defense Force looks on during a patrol to enforce a nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020.

In South Africa, we are in our third wave, and we are back to Level 4 lockdown. President Ramaphosa has deployed the South African National Defence Force to two provinces. As history has dictated, when territories go into war, the women, children, and LGBTQI community suffer the most. Misogyny and patriarchy continue to disrupt our lives. The actions lead to wars and violence. 

The reality is that we have been in a crisis for years, heightened by the pandemic. The corruption and lack of accountability have made it worse. 

Did one person cause the latest uprisings? Yes. 

Is everyone looting doing it under his name? No—many are tired, hungry and fed up. Some are criminals. Which is connected to the socioeconomic problems that we have faced for centuries.

Our country is in turmoil from the vaccine and PPE scandals, and our government has failed to provide adequate support to the people. Handing out R350 stipends is not providing support. It is ludicrous that government officials and ministers squander millions of rands and then carry on with their everyday lives with no accountability. 

Suppose we had access to vaccines, adequate health care and a government that stands for the people. In that case, we could have avoided a lot of the covid related deaths. The looting on the ground is inexcusable but is it any different from those ministers and government officials who have looted state funds?

Our focus is on the SANDF on the ground; we have not forgotten the related deaths in 2020.  

Collins Khosa, we still remember. 

Over the past few days, we have seen communities putting their energy behind one man; as my comrade, Steve Letsike stated- ‘Your anger is misplaced. Zuma hands himself to the police; there is an uprising. Women, LGBTIQ People, children are murdered and raped. You are quiet in your homes and not bothered—Nisile’. 

Imagine what could happen if we placed that energy into fighting GBV?

As we try and navigate through this next wave and phase of uncertainty coupled with the expected violence on defenceless people, we need to take care. Take care of ourselves, our mental well being and be gentle with ourselves. 

Find coping mechanisms that help with anxiety or negative triggers. Find one’s positive triggers. Once you have taken care of yourself, remember to check in on those alone, in abusive homes or fragile. Check up on your ‘strong’ friends and family too. With the high level of PTSD, our bodies have no control over when it affects us mentally, physically or spiritually.

The reality remains. We had a pandemic way before GBV; the brute and force that our country has shown for one man prove that womxn, children and LGBTQI in South Africa are alone. The reality is that patriarchy and misogyny will always take centre stage, and that unity is conditional. Government support is conditional. 

Support structures


Anxiety, depression and suicide.

0861 322 322


Dr Reddy’s Help Line

0800 21 22 23

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline

0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line

0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline

0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline

0800 55 44 33

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline

0800 12 13 14

SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line

0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line

011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour

0861 435 787

Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line

(9 am-4 pm, seven days a week)

076 882 2775


Rape Crisis centre

An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

21 Apr

TW: An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

Five years ago, the colony’s management at Rhodes University called the South African Police Service (SAPS) on protesting unarmed women students. On the morning of 17 April 2016, the SAPS was given the full go-ahead to use force on the unarmed students. Their instruction was to use whatever costs necessary to stop the protesting.

On that day, women students + allies at the colony Rhodes University made history. These brave students did what no one expected to happen and demanded that the perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence be held accountable. They refused to coddle the perpetrators any longer and play along with the status quo.

Several students arrested, the university’s management targeted others, which was the beginning of the legal action taken against victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. 

That day, the warriors inspired victims and survivors globally. Victims whose communities had silenced them, silenced into shame and guilt for crimes committed against them because of rape and sexual violence.

That day the student embarked on a journey for justice not only for themselves but for those they cared for and for future generations of students and women in general who may be at risk and exposed to gender-based violence. 

A list of 11 names is what shut down that institution. 

We must never forget those 11 names, and we must never forget that there will always be others for as long as we don’t stand up and break the silence – Disrupt the patriarchy and hold the system accountable!

Where were the alleged perpetrators? 

What happened to the men who raped the women?  

The male-led institution ensured they were kept safe and isolated, and protected. Many of them went on to graduate from university and work and pursue their dreams. 

We will never forget it.



Please watch and share a five-year commemoration video written by Gorata Chengeta, narrated by Yolanda Dyantyi.


25 Mar

When SA lockdown was announced, our entertainment industry shut down and those that do not have political ties or commercial contracts, suffered the most as the gig economy came to a standstill.

For decades we have seen talented artisans dying poor and then given huge memorials and accolades at their burials. As much as this is necessary we need to adopt the culture of supporting and respecting creatives whilst they are still alive. The new age of social media and content creation has changed the game, which is great but it has opened up a platform for mediocrity and popularity to dominate the space. A few years back, I had an altercation with a producer over a casting. My agency was casting for a local drama and the producers gave me the contract to look for suitable and experienced talent. We conducted a huge casting session and when I brought back the audition materials, my suggestions, the producers then said that they had earmarked certain celebrities to play the specific roles. Not only was this unfair on the actors who took their time, money and effort to work hard and attend the auditions, but these so-called celebrities also did not audition, have never had any training and the decision was made on their social media following. I lost the battle with a few talents but fought hard on certain leads, demanding that everyone come in and audition. Once given the space and the opportunity to improvise and do character development, the producers and the channel realised that that social media following does not equate to talent. Certain individuals showed that their talent and range is limited, they could not break down a script, failed in breathing techniques and were very bland in delivery.
My heart still goes out to that talent who had used their finances to catch public transport, learn lines and attend the auditions with the hope of fulfilling their dreams. It is that group of creatives, who have suffered the most during the lockdown. Many applied for funding through various apartments, some of us received a once-off payment of a few thousand rands, which in my case, I was able to provide groceries and supplies for my mother. However, many have not been as successful and then some have been given millions of rands, as they have political affiliations and we know how patriarchy works.

This week, the musician, Chicco, wrote an open letter to the known abuser, Arthur Mafokate, please see below.

A few days later, The Daily Sun printed an article that another singer, Chomee received R2 million rand from NAC.

At the beginning of March, the opera singer Sibongile Mngoma staged a sit-in at The National Arts Council requesting answers about the presidential employment stimulus programme (Pesp). This was set at R300 Million.
The NAC council have suspended the CEO Rosemary Mangope and CFO Clifton Changfoot pending an investigation about the management of the R300m Pesp.
Julie Diphofa has been appointed as the acting CEO, who has been a senior official at the NAC for over 20 years and Reshma Bhoola as the acting CFO.

As activists, we have made contact with Sis Sibongile and tried to provide support where we can but in reality, we know that the guilty parties will not be held accountable.

This week was such a sombre moment for me, as I attended the memorial service of the late Noxolo ‘Noxee’ Maqashalala. This phenomenal artist and creative passed away a few weeks back. The beautiful ceremony was held in the downstairs theatre at the Market Theatre. Due to time constraints, I could only attend a few hours of the memorial, which had been planned for the full day.

I had the opportunity of meeting Noxee, whilst working in the film Hotel Rwanda in 2004. On one of the shoot days, we shared a dressing room. Although our interaction was brief, I loved her warm nature and honesty on many topics around women in our industry and following our dreams. I followed her career for many years and as it was stated at the memorial service, her work was so underrated and she deserved so many more accolades as an actor and producer, but unfortunately, this did not happen whilst she was alive.
Rolie, Nikiwe, one of South Africa’s prolific filmmakers and writers, gave a beautiful send-off, reiterating my sentiments. He also pointed out that mental health in the industry is real and now with Covid-19, we need to look out for search other.
The minister fo arts and culture was due to speak later on in the day but I had to leave. On walking to the parking, I was able to join a few warriors who were protesting outside the NAC, regarding the mismanagement of the PESP funds.

The irony of two of the placards read- RIP. WILL YOU ONLY CARE ABOUT US IN MEMORIAM?
and another… NATHI MUST FALL.

This chilling experience came minutes after it was spoken about at a memorial of an artist, who did not receive the right recognition when she was alive.

So what is the next step? Denying starving artists access to funding is another form of financial abuse. Awarding wealthy and connected artists, with millions of rands, whilst others suffer and die in silence is violence in itself.

If the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture must fall, do we have a suitable candidate, who understands our industry and will have our best interests at heart? We know he has a lack of knowlegde regrading GBV but are there other people who will really help. What can we do to save the indutry?

Finacial abuse is abuse.

8 Mar

Happy women’s day.

It is great to see that so many corporate companies and places want to create awareness on GBV, this is necessary. We know that GBV has been protected by the patriarchy, so we need to take note of our actions. Before we can learn we need to unlearn a lot of the patriarchal principles. This is not easy as they have been governed by laws, religion and societal attitudes

Many financial bodies have made budgets available for GBV projects in TV and film, and this is great. Please take time to understand the narrative you are pushing and apply it to the actual production itself. So if you are addressing the problems and issues around ownership and control of women’s bodies, understand that our voices and agency are attached to that. Yes, you need expert advice from activists, NGO’s counsellors and therapists, but not for free. Gone are the days of using our voices for free under the umbrella that it is ‘our CSI or we are doing our bit to help’. Many people and organisations have dedicated their lives to this work and just as the companies get paid, this work deserves remuneration.
To the international ‘United’ bodies, creating awareness on equal pay is essential and that should also be applied when hiring artists for your events and campaigns. Gone are the days of expecting artists to perform, moderate or speak for exposure. 
These are all other forms of financial abuse.

Rosie Motene

Life Coach and counsellor at Letsatsi Healing Space

Pan African queer feminist & activist, writer, media proprietor and global speaker.


Entertainment manager at WAKA talent agency

A quiet Lurv retreat!

8 Feb

To celebrate our love, breath and life, we went on a pre-valentine weekend. The treat was filled with laughter, walking, meeting phenomenal human beings, eating delicious strawberries and of course, breathing.

On Friday afternoon we headed to Modimolle to the Leeuwenhof Country Lodge & Garden Spa. The easy route took approximately two and a half hours from Johannesburg. On arrival, the friendly staff welcomed us. Samuel showed us around the establishment after we were filled out the necessary Covid-19 forms and recorded our temperatures. A spa treatment had been pre-booked and the time slots were noted, with the dinner times, set as they anticipated load-shedding. We drove from the reception to our little private haven. Our private cottage included a mini lounge, built in a gas fireplace, bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The lounge led out onto a small patio with jacuzzi which looked out onto the magnificent nature reserve, that surrounded the main building. We were rather upset to learn that although the Jacuzzi jets worked, the heat pump operated by a specific maintenance person, this person was not on the property. It would have been a perfect setting for the cold weather but too cold to uses a plunge pool.

Our activities:

Our first morning, we awoke to the natural bird sounds and drizzles of rain. The comfortable king-size bed provided us with the most peaceful sleep and night. We put on our lodge gowns and had our coffee on our patio. We then showered and walked to the main house for breakfast and plan the day. Kgomotso shared our itinerary the night before. We knew we had time to kill before our 15h00 spa treatment, so we booked strawberry picking. The slot was for 11h00 and included three empty punnets for our hand-picked strawberries which cost R100 per person.
The strawberry picking takes place at Sampada AGRI, an adjacent property to Leeeuwenhof. One of the workers took us through the strawberry tunnels and explained the different varieties of strawberries.

We arrived back at the lodge and decided to take a little walk around the property as the game drive and hiking were not available. After which we retreated to the lodge patio and enjoyed a light lunch. We chose the chicken mayonnaise tramezinni, which comes with farm style chips. The meal is big enough for two people to share. Samuel also makes a mean gin and tonic with the necessary trimmings.

Our spa treatment

We arrived 5 minutes before our scheduled time. We were disappointed when the spa person abruptly told us to leave and that our treatment would take place the following day. We looked at the schedule, and our names crossed out. She told us that they needed to accompany other clients. The information communicated in a cold and aloof way. We were also confused as the lodge staff reminded us on two occasions about our treatment at that time and that we should arrive 5 minutes early. This treatment and the jacuzzi were the only setbacks for the weekend.

Instead of holding onto that negative energy, we honoured an invite from another group of guests. The guests were playing 30 -seconds on the lawn. We joined their two groups, and the afternoon spent sipping G&T’s, playing games, laughing and creating social distance memories.

One of the other items on our agenda included a night picnic. As the weather forecast rain, the staff requested if they could set it up in our room. A picnic blanket spread out on our lounge floor. The maintenance staff ignited the fireplace. The delicious spread included an assortment of white and red meats, salads and delicious desserts. Of the course, our choice of Spier wine was the perfect pairing partner to the food. The maintenance staff tried to put on the heat pump, but the person who could assist was not around. We made the best of the crackling fire, delectables and our breath.

The next morning, we woke up, had our breakfast and checked out. We opted not to go for the newly assigned spa treatment as it would have rushed us before our check out time.

What we ate:
Our arrival dinner was a set menu. The starters were soup dishes, and the main course was lamb, with mint sauce and vegetables. The meat was delicious and tender, and the veggies perfectly crispy and succulent. For dessert, I had the strawberry delight. Loadshedding set in halfway through dinner, but the staff were so efficient and soon turned the large eating hall into the perfect romantic setting. Kudos to the chef for managing to present hot plates of food during the distress time. After dinner, we opted for a candlelit nightcap on our little porch.

Breakfast included a buffet of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, beef sausages and bacon, along with freshly baked scone, waffles, lots of strawberries and fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Our stay.
The cottages are spacious and clean. The king-size bed is perfect and provided the right amount of rest. We loved the extra touch with the hearts, at turn down every night.
Kgomotso and Samuel deserve a special mention. We have noticed and understand that many resorts have had to cut down on staff, which means extra work for the people on the ground. This team, including the kitchen and maintenance, worked like a well-oiled machine and very pleasant.

The quiet, offline time was what our souls and bodies needed.

Practising self love, together.

30 Jan

This festive season, my partner and I opted to spend Christmas with our respective families and then a quiet night in for New Year’s eve. As much as we thought we had a break as we went into January, the covid fatigue had a permanent space in our lives.

Two weeks into January, I received a text message from my partner asking if I was up for a cosy weekend, of course, I said yes, then I was asked to pack our bags for a weekend getaway. Feeling absolute ecstatic, I packed our bags, and we set off on our surprise location. Approximately 45 minutes later, we arrived at Thabo Eco Hotel, situated in the Klipriviersberg nature reserve.

On arrival, the security guard did the necessary security and covid checks, and we drove up to the parking area. At the reception, we were met by a peaceful, tranquil space with friendly and accommodating staff. Check-in was quick, and the friendly staff explained in detail, what was on offer and the new regulations as per covid government regulations. Our stay was when South Africa was under the new curfew, so the restaurant would serve dinner early as closing time had changed. We arrived late afternoon, and we had not eaten lunch, so the arrangement suited us fine as we were planning on having an early dinner.

Our room:
The decor is magnificent, spacious and set amid the bush. We had a small balcony, that was large enough for a patio table and two chairs, with a lovely view of the property and surrounding landscape. The king-size bed faced another open window which to had a great glimpse of the surrounding landscape.
We were delightfully surprised to find that the drinks (non-alcoholic) and snacks, plus the coffees and teas, were all complimentary and were stocked daily.

Our bathroom equipped with a large shower, bath and twin basins, towelling gowns and the necessary toiletries. The toilet is separate.

Our daily adventures:
After a good nights sleep, we woke up early and went on a great hike. The hiking trail started on the top end of the property, with rocky mountain terrain and vegetation. We were lucky to capture some wildlife as well as pass several cyclists. The trails are accessible from outside the reserve, so day trips are available.
We explored the spa that at the top of the farm, next to the hiking trail. ‘Sinzinani Spa’ has a breathtaking view and has a menu of various beauty and relaxing treatments.

Next to the rooms, there is an open gym area where we could stretch after the hike. We had a power shower with perfect power pressure and then dashed to breakfast.

What we ate:
Breakfast served in the same restaurant as dinner. The waitrons were incredibly efficient despite the fact they were understaffed. They tried their best to attend to their tables, but there is so much a human can do. The restaurant was the only negative part of our stay. Perhaps the establishment should hire more waitrons to assist during breakfast, what added to the tension was the constant shouting and swearing which came from the kitchen. We discovered the loud abuse came from the chef. I have never understood why chefs find it necessary to shout and belittle staff in a restaurant. Unfortunately, his verbal abuse heard throughout the restaurant.
Our waiter was apologetic about the situation. We ensured that they received personal tips for their sterling work.
I ate the delicious homemade Granola with fresh fruit, and my partner had the eggs, bacon and avocado. Unfortuabntaly that was cold. The following day we had the french toast and Granola.

Our adventures continued.

The rest of the day included walking through the beautiful myriads, pathways and secret gardens. The garden landscaping and rock features had small features attached and some with written scriptures or stories.

On arrival we had pre-ordered a picnic basket, so around 14h30 the porter collected us and drove us to a private little garden, where we could enjoy our picnic feast. Our picnic basket included plates of wraps, salads, chicken, meat and fish dishes as well as decadent desserts. It was so worth our money and we had enough food leftover which we had for dinner on our patio that night. We also had an ice bucket of soft drink and no-alcoholic beverages.

We spent the better part of the day enjoying the outside before it began to drizzle. We then finished up on our balcony, followed by a lovely afternoon siesta.

For sundowners, we went to the sundeck and enjoyed delicious mocktails. We had the Pina Colada, and a non alcoholic beer. We were able to enjoy the sunset and reflect on our wonderful stay.

The following morning, we checked out, went for breakfast. Unfortunately, the waitrons were still understaffed, but we managed to get a warm breakfast.

After that, we went on a game drive (approximately two and a half hours) which was the perfect end to a spectacular weekend.
Our guide is well-read on the farm’s vegetation, fauna and flora. We stopped for a light beverage and enjoyed the space with the farm’s wildlife.

The escape from the city, fresh air and pampering are what our souls needed.