Happy Women’s Month South Africa! Being black and woman in South Africa rocks! I think at times we tend to take this privilege for granted. When I look at how oppressed women are in other countries, I am reminded to be grateful that I live in a country that is taking strides in ensuring that women issues are prioritised. 2016 has really been the year of realising stuff (taken from the Book of Kylie). This year, I’ve realised that as women, we’re not only hard on one another, but we are the hardest on ourselves. I’ve now taken it upon myself to be more understanding, accepting, supportive and loving towards other women, but most importantly, I’m learning to be kinder to myself.
To commemorate the start of Women’s Month, I would like to pay homage to some South African women in the celebrity space that are just phenomenal. These are women that are doing remarkably well and continue to inspire me for different reasons. From each woman, I’ve selected one attribute I admire the most about them:
Terry Pheto – Against All Odds Factor
I’ve always expressed my love for Terry, not just her style, but the way she carries herself, her poise and sophistication make me want to enrol myself to etiquette school. Beyond that, I’ve always found her relatable due to her humble beginnings. She has showcased to me that you perhaps, don’t need to have gone to the best schools to land up in Hollywood, as an African child. I remember the day she announced that she would be joining ABC’s The Bold & The Beautiful, in a highly disappointing move, Vuzu’s Siya Ngwekazi made an unpleasant comment about Terry’s accent. He tweeted “Is Terry Pheto’s english gonna be polished enough for Bold” shortly after the announcement. Perhaps, “polished english” is not all you need to become a success. Thank goodness you also need drive, tenacity, focus and everything else to sustain a global brand. I’ll gladly take a L’Oreal deal, Ayanda at the LA, Vancouver & RomAfrica Film Festival, a BET series, and multiple magazine covers over polished english any day.
Bonang Matheba – Confidence
Bonang is known for a lot of things. Amongst them is her hard working nature, her unsurpassed media talent, her numerous accolades and of course, her enviable fashion sense. We all know that Bonang is a dreamer, a big one a that. I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to some of her dreams, and one thing that I’ve always admired about her is her bravery to go after her dreams. With her, it doesn’t stop at just dreaming, she acts on her dreams. As women our biggest restrictor is usually our insecurities. Bonang exudes confidence, she is aware of herself, she is aware of her capabilities and most importantly, she is ready to become the woman of her dreams. With that self confidence, you will never be intimidated by dreaming a big dream for yourself. That confidence comes across when she walks into a room, when she takes a call on her popular MetroFM show, when she’s interviewing a guest on Afternoon Express, on the cover of glossy magazines, and most certainly, in those Revlon ads.
Lira – Consistency
Earlier this year, I was invited by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to the exclusive launch of Lira’s sixth studio album “Born Free”. I contemplated not going, because I’ve never really considered myself a fan of Lira’s music, but knew my friend would appreciate the experience as he is a HUGE fan. I’ve never experienced such professionalism, passion, artistry from a live act. Prior to that, I had seen Lira perform at corporate events in 2014 and 2015 respectively. What I picked up from all experiences was consistency. Lira is a consistent act, who has continued to demonstrate continued success throughout her 16 year journey in the industry. In addition to the successful launch of her album, Lira was named as the first African female Brand Ambassador for Johnnie Walker this year. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics also announced a new collaboration with the songstress, making her the brand’s first South African Influencer.
Mbali Mlotshwa – Humility
Mbali Mlotshwa is a woman! I still haven’t figured out how she has managed to maintain her unwavering humility, following her husband’s global success. I’ve always joked that in her position, I would have rolled out an entire PR campaign, to announce to the world that I would be moving to The Hills lol. I admire her ability to not get caught up in the “hype” and falling into Instagram’s incessant gloating trap. It takes a special woman. The yummy mommy currently appears on our screens every Sunday night, playing new mommy Lindi, on Mzansi’s hit series, Rockville. Mbali also has a maternity line, SE Preggos, which launched last December. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Mbali building her Hollywood profile.
Images: Jerry Mokgofe/Nick Boulton