SA Women are Doing it for Themselves
South Africa is not short on women doing incredible things in their industries, communities and the country as a whole. In celebration of Women’s Day on 9 August, we chatted to four South African female powerhouses who inspire us with their creativity, perseverance and commitment to putting South Africa in the spotlight.
Our chats with chef, author and entrepreneur, Mogau Seshoene (The Lazy Makoti); radio presenter, lecturer and entrepreneur, Lundi Khoisan (Mix 93.8 FM and Red Cat Innovation); engineer turned award-winning furniture designer, Mpho Vackier (The Urban Native) and radio and online show presenter (Mix 93.8 FM, Discovr TV), DJ (Le Club) and SA music champion (Mzanzilive.tv, Artist Support SA), Kerry-Anne Allerston, gave us a chance to get to know a little bit more about their home life and what they consider wins for women this year.
We all have a favourite space or nook in our homes, it should come as no surprise that for Mogau, her favourite place is the kitchen, “It’s where I am most at peace and can get my creative juices flowing. It doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love delicious food, making and enjoying it for friends and family.” explained Mogau. She added that cooking meals that remind her of her childhood make her feel most at home. “Lately I’ve been making lots of banana bread (who hasn’t this lockdown) and that particular smell reminds me of Saturday mornings at home.” said Mogau.
Picking a favourite space was a little more difficult for Lundi as she feels each room shows off a different side to her. “My bedroom is untouched by technology and filled with books, where [as] my living room holds my collection of wine & gins and has an overall local design. If I had to choose – I’d go for my living room, as it gets the most sun and brings along simple happiness with it.” decided Lundi. The “…peaceful energy and comfort…” of her own space make Lundi feel most at home.
As a furniture designer, Mpho often uses her home to test out prototypes. “I love every square inch of my house, I love that the layout of the rooms allows you to change small things like furniture and get a totally different feel,” exclaimed Mpho. When asked what makes her feel at home, Mpho responded that it’s all about who is in the home, “Our dogs, great home cooked meals and hanging out with my family over a great movie,” said Mpho.
The opportunity to get out and enjoy the sun is Kerry-Anne’s favourite aspect of her home, “I love spending time on my balcony. It gets a lot of sun and it’s just a great spot to enjoy a nice cup of tea or a yummy cocktail while watching the sunset after a long day!” explained Kerry-Anne. Home is synonymous with family. Feeling safe and loved for Kerry-Anne is why her doors are always open to friends and family. “My home is always open and my loved ones are always welcome day or night. The more the merrier is most often how I feel and it makes me happy to know people know they’re always welcome and safe in my space. I do love a little alone time now and then too but I have that every morning when I have a nice bubble bath getting ready for the day ahead!” she added.
All four women enjoy a little DIY and know that calling a professional in for the big jobs is always best. “If it calls for heavy lifting – definitely call in a pro. However, if it’s more creative, I love to DIY.” said Mogau.
“I am not one to try and unblock a toilet, but I definitely enjoy DIY on occasion and have assembled a lot of my furniture myself.” explained Lundi.
According to Mpho, her and her husband are “…pretty adept DIY’ers…” but they will always check with a professional first.
Kerry-Anne admits that she is not great at DIY and fixing things but she does love decorating. “…if something needs freshening up or needs a splash of colour for Summer then it’s all me! I also really enjoy colourful pieces and local art so I’m always on the lookout for exciting new pieces at galleries and on the streets of Jozi.” added Kerry-Anne.
With so much going on in the world this year, we asked Mogau, Lundi, Mpho and Kerry-Anne to share some good news and what they consider to be the greatest “win” for themselves and women as a collective this year.
For Mogau, the chance to rest, reflect and centre has been great. “I know this time has brought with it a lot of uncertainty but I’m grateful for the time of quiet reflection. As well as the strides we continue to make in our quest for equality and just treatment of all people.” said Mogau. In particular, Mogau said she is “…loving this era of women chefs that are taking centre stage especially in South Africa. The industry has long been male dominated and its very encouraging to see us shine.”
“It’s been such an incredibly tough year for everyone.” began Lundi. She is grateful for voiceover opportunities, being able to continue lecturing online and still do her radio show. “I would like to salute every woman in the entertainment industry who has continued working, in order to keep the masses entertained and sane during COVID-19. To the women of SA who have been protecting their families during this time and those who’ve survived the increased abuse during lockdown and spoken up to motivate others – your voice is appreciated and to women globally – if you are able to keep yourself strong mentally during this pandemic – you have won.” concluded Lundi.
Mpho focused her attention on global wins saying, “Globally, I think more women coming together to stand for causes that impact us as a gender and society as a whole.”
Kerry-Anne believes change is in the air as women learn to support and encourage each other after a long and continued fight for equality. Focusing on the flourishing SA music industry, Kerry-Anne summed up a few of her stand-out achievements, “Sannie Fox… has released a phenomenal album called ‘My Soul Got Stranger’ and she has just been nominated for an AIM Independent Music Award for Best Live Act. Tailor recreated herself and is now known as Anna Wolf… So far, she has collaborated and/or worked with Ed Kowalczyk and Zack Loy from the band Live, Ken Stringfellow from The Posies, Jamie Morrison from Stereophonics and that’s just to name a few. Go girl! The incredible Jean-Louise Parker and her duo Academie are representing SA in Berlin and doing great things, as is the wonderful songbird Adelle Nqeto. Sho Madjozi won a BET award for best new international act, won various awards at the SAMAS and featured on huge shows in the US. She continues to shine and sprinkle her special Sho Madjozi magic wherever she goes! Cindy Alter of Clout fame was recently nominated for a legends award at Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s BVSM awards ceremony… she is rocking harder than ever, celebrating 42 years since the release of their chart-topping hit ‘Substitute’ which, sold over 13 million albums worldwide. Girl power!”
The Year of…
Every year, themes are chosen for both International and National Women’s Day. We asked our four ladies to give 2020 Women’s Day their own title.
“Rediscovering Empathy” is Mogau’s choice. “It has been a tough year and we all deserve a little empathy. No one truly knows the full impact this will have on families and economies everywhere. And it seems every day we discover all the different ways 2020 will be hard on us.” explained Mogau.
“Breaking the mould. Womxn challenging social norms.” suggested Lundi.
“Women Taking up space.” said Mpho
“I think that we as humans work well together when we respect each other and support each other. I think we complement each other because of what we bring to the table as men and women, so if we drop our egos and see the positives and the pros in each other as opposed to seeing the cons first then we can grow together and inspire. That said, women are rocking it across all industries and platforms and coz I’m all about the music I’m gonna say my title would be “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves!” exclaimed Kerry-Anne.
Whether you choose to rediscover something about yourself or others, break the mould, challenge the norms, purposefully take up space or do it for yourself, we’d like to wish all South African women a Happy Women’s Day!
Mamela sengoloa sena ka SeSotho mona (Listen to this article in SeSotho here):