Today, South Africa celebrates Women’s Day – a celebration of the incredible women and their impact on Mzansi. 9 August marks the anniversary of the great women’s march of 1956 which saw thousands of South African women marching in protest against the carrying of a pass.
As we commemorate the bravery and determination of these women, some of South Africa’s favourite female celebrities share their inspiring messages of hope with the women in Mzansi today.
She’s one of the biggest names in the local music scene, and Rouge wants to change the negative narrative imposed by society on women and flip it on its head – something she hopes all women around the country will join in on. “I used to think being called a female rapper was so offensive. I embrace it now,” Rouge says. “I am changing the narrative and seeing that I have had to work ten times harder just to be recognised beyond just a female rapper, I’m doing it well. No one can tell me nothing. So Queens, own your space. There is no shame in it. If anything, they will know you are not to be messed with, but respected.”
Rozanne McKenzie, Jacaranda FM radio personality
Jacaranda FM’s brand-new drive host Rozanne McKenzie says that women need to stand up, take up space and not back down because of what society has instilled. “My message for the women of Mzansi is never to stand back for anyone. We have been working so hard for so long to be considered equals and to realise how much value we add,” the Jacaranda FM host continues. “Step up, say what you need to say and be unapologetic about it. There is still a long way to go, but every step forward is a step in the right direction. Celebrate the small wins!”
Carol Ofori, East Coast Radio personality
For TV and radio personality Carol Ofori, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to just how much of an impact women around the country make – even with small, everyday actions – and she wants the women of Mzansi to understand and celebrate their impact. “Just remember how amazing we are. We have really held it down in the toughest of times. If I look at KZN alone, we have had the most tumultuous two years with two floods and the unrest and it’s so humbling to see that we are still standing as women and we are still holding our communities together.” Carol adds that women need to continue using their emotion as a weapon and take time out to feel. “We are always asked to be resilient but we are living in a time when our resilience is going to outweigh everything else. We must take our time to cry, we must take our time to grieve, we must be intentional about being weak and make time for it because it is all too much. But, once you have done that, rise above it all.”
Roxy Burger, Entrepreneur and television personality
TV and radio personality Roxy Burger knows that the road to equality isn’t easy – but hopes to encourage women across the country that progress is certainly being made. “The road isn’t always easy but knowing that we, as women, can really make a difference and change the narrative makes it worthwhile,” Roxy says. “A special shout-out to all the working moms who feel like they are walking a tightrope and juggling those balls. Even if you drop you, you’re a BOSS!”