Kaya 959 presenters share what Women’s Day means to them

Hilton Schilder, TAOS Kaya 959, the art of sunday, brenda sisane,

By: Kaya 959

South Africa celebrates Women’s Day annually on 9 August. It was on this day in 1956 when about 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the carrying of pass books and a legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas.

The theme for this year’s Women’s Day is: “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”.

Our female presenters share what this day means to them and what makes them proud to be a woman.

READ: International Women’s Day: Five phenomenal South African women

Brenda Sisane

What does Women’s Day mean to you and why should it be celebrated?

Women’s Day marks an important day where women, matyrs from our own community took to the streets to stand against inequality and oppression. They were butchered down with gunshots by the military. This day should be remembered because women dared and continue to dare. On the same streets today women work long hours under demanding conditions, to feed the young and keep the family warm. Whether as labour force or as artists; their role is always to sustain life. And that is a quality worth celebrating every day.

What makes you proud to be a woman?

I believe women have the capacity to look at the whole picture, not in terms of personal benefits only. And I believe it as something I learnt from the women before me, my mothers and something I find within myself. It makes me proud that I will always put human life first.

Which woman or women changed your lives and in what way did they do it?

My grandmother who raised me in the company of her own sister who lost her eyesight as the tender age of 20. How they were never parted regardless of my grandmother being married and her sister without her own husband and children. These two women taught me the wisdom of friendship, family, cooking and eating well while frugal, sharing even the tiniest morsel, and always proud to be who they were regardless of how life may have been harsh and unfair to them.

What inspiring Women’s Day messages can you share with the listeners?

We are here to experience life amongst each another. Our true selves is who we choose to be to one one another. Let our love language define us.

READ: IN PICTURES: Women’s Day Pop up gym

Nicky Blumenfeld

What does Women’s Day mean to you and why should it be celebrated?

With Women’s Day we tribute the great women’s march of 1956, where about 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings protesting the pass laws and the control that the apartheid government enforced over their freedom of movement .

Its a powerful legacy which not only honours the strength and resilience of women in society, but it also laid the foundations for the empowerment of generations of women and overall gender equality in our country.

As women, we are still faced with many challenges and disparities – both socially and professionally, and Women’s Day is an inspiring reminder of the ongoing strength, resilience, courage and contribution of our women!

We have done it, and we are still doing it!

What makes you proud to be a woman?

I am proud to be a mother, daughter, sister and friend – it is these relationships that reflect and affirm the beauty and value of being a woman!

Regardless of our differences, women are inherently about ‘working it out together’, about compassion, spirituality, nurturing, creativity, understanding and remarkable strength!

Which woman or women changed your lives and in what way did they do it?

I tribute my mother – for her spirituality, eccentricities and the resilience she showed in dealing with adversity. I also thank her for her passion for jazz, and for introducing me to timeless sounds from home and around the world!

I tribute Miriam Makeba – for her she-roism, her artistry and her role as an artist in affecting change and inspiring millions! In facing a lifetime of adversity, Mama Africa achieved global recognition and consistently remained a ‘humanist’ – forever compassionate and unwavering in her selfless commitment to empowering women, artists and her people.

What inspiring Women’s Day messages can you share with the listeners?

While we still have a long way to go in overcoming patriarchy, inequality and GBV in this country, we must take inspiration from those who came before, and draw strength from each other in the present. As women we have remarkable skill sets, both practically and emotionally, which we can share as resources and in support of each other – Aluta Continua!

READ: Africa’s brightest women on Africa Day

Andy Maqondwana

What does Women’s Day mean to you and why should it be celebrated?

Women’s Day to me means honouring the incredible women whose shoulders I stand on and the battles they fought for the freedoms I enjoy today. It is a reminder to constantly pass the baton on to the next young women. It is a reminder of the incredible legacy we carry as women. Women’s day should be celebrated to consciously celebrate the contributions that women have had in building the society we have. Often Women’s voices and contributions are silenced therefore it is important to have those feats acknowledged.

What makes you proud to be a woman?

What makes me proud to be a woman is our ability to nurture all that is around us by nurturing ourselves first. It’s the offshoots that come off of being our best for ourselves.

Which woman or women changed your lives and in what way did they do it?

My mother. Who has lived an incredible life that blows my mind the more I find out about her story as a woman. She is an incredible woman who loves hard and never shies away from speaking her mind.

What inspiring Women’s Day messages can you share with the listeners?

You are enough. You have always been enough. And you don’t have to always have it all together. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Enjoy the discomforts that come with becoming your greatest self. And always be kind to yourself.

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