woman rock Women's Month

Image: Adobe Stock

Let’s celebrate these inspirational South African women

Spotlight on five beautiful South African women who are an inspiration to others in National Women’s Month.

woman rock Women's Month

Image: Adobe Stock

Every year South Africa honours women on National Women’s Day with a public holiday on 9 August. This day celebrates the role women of all races and religions play in our society.

Women’s Month is also an opportunity to reflect on women’s achievements, as well as the problems they have faced in the struggle to be free.

Apart from traditional roles as mothers, wives and caregivers, women are making great progress in business, politics, academic and economic careers with more women reaching top positions.

Below are five beautiful women who have inspired diverse women in different industries. Don’t forget to follow them on social media.

1. Nomzamo Mbatha

Image via Instagram @nomzamo_m

Nomzamo Mbatha is well known for her role as Thandeka on the Mzansi Magic soapie Isibaya. She is also a human rights activist, actress, businesswoman and television personality. 

In January 2019, Mbatha became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). She also has won international awards such as the Goddess Beauty Award at the International Women of Power Awards, the Rising Star Award from Face Africa and the US Legislative Resolution Award.

E! Africa recently honoured Mbatho with the Philanthropy Icon Award. She has helped to amplify the voices of refugees by using her social media platforms, and raises awareness of refugee situations and issues across Africa.

Follow Mbatha on Instagram at @nomzamo_m.

2. Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

Well known as Dr T, Tlaleng Mofokeng is a South African medical doctor, activist, facilitator, speaker and columnist.

Mofokeng is a founding member and vice-chairperson of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa (SRJCZA).

She also runs a women’s health practice in Johannesburg to help provide accurate information about fertility and plan better for their future fertility.

Mofokeng is also a health educator who produces video blogs. These can be about sexual and reproductive organs of the youth, LGBTIQ individuals, HIV-positive people, sex workers and others.

Her vlogs cover topics as varied as consent, understanding the risks of different types of sex, how to use the male and female condom and contraception advice.

She also has  a regular sexual health radio show on Kaya FM. She has written numerous articles and made several TV appearances, including as the host of two episodes of Al Jazeera’s global health series The Cure.

You can find Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng on Twitter as @drtlaleng.

3. Olwethu Leshabane

Olwethu Leshabane is a South African is a media entrepreneur, author and public speaker.  She founded the Red Wings Project, an NGO aimed at addressing women’s access to sanitary products. 

She was also first princess in Mrs South Africa 2016/2017, a beauty pageant for married women. Plus, Leshabane also has a blog The Art of a Superwoman. This is because she firmly she can change how South Africa and the world perceive women.

To do this, she tries to use her status to raise awareness about women’s health. She also encourages women to get an education, follow their dreams and empower themselves socially and economically.

Visit her Instagram profile is @olwe2lesh.

4. Zanele Muholi

A photographer and activist, Zanele Muholi’s work mainly focuses on race, gender and sexuality looking at black lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex people.

Muholi co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002 and founded Inkanyiso in 2009, an online forum for queer visual media.

Her  mission is to re-write a black, queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of its resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in South Africa.

These portraits are part of Muholi’s contribution towards a more democratic and representative South African in homosexual history.

This is because, through her photography, Muholi hopes to remove the stigma and negativity attached to queer identity in African societies.

In addition, Muholi has won numerous awards such as the ICP Infinity Award for Documentary and Photojournalism (2016); Africa’Sout! Courage and Creativity Award (2016), the Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the 2013 Carnegie International; and a Prince Claus Award (2013) and many others.

You can look her up on Instagram @muholizanele

5. Wendy Yvonne Nomathemba Luhabe

Wendy Luhabe is a South African social entrepreneur, author and businesswoman who empowers women in the business industry.

She founded consulting firm Bridging the Gap in 1990 with two aims:

  • Preparing young black South Africans to enter the world of work.
  • Supporting South African companies in integrating young trained  South Africans into business.

In 1993, she also founded Women Investment Portfolio Holdings – Wiphold – which teaches women the importance of investing. And, so far, the initiative has enabled 18 000 women to become investors.

What’s more, Luhabe also served as the longest serving chairman at Vodacom between 2000 to 2006. She was the first woman in the position. She has helped to create jobs and manage investment risks.

You can find her on Instagram as @luhabew.

Let’s celebrate women

These are a few of the women that make us proud, they are blessings in our lives and we should be grateful to their generosity.

“Go out and celebrate the women that you are. Go out and make a difference this Women’s Month!”

Samona Murugan

Communications management specialist Samona Murugan runs an all-female agency to empower women in business.

“Women of South Africa, be proud of what you have achieved,” said Murugan.

“Let the achievements of those who went before you inspire you to unlock your own strength and motivate you to make a difference in your family, your community or your country.

“Go out and celebrate the women that you are. Go out and make a difference this Women’s Month!”