BLACKGIRLMAGIC: SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN LEAD A GENERATION OF “FIRSTS”
From Lira, Caster Semenya to Bonang Matheba, South African young women have been pushing the boundaries of success in unimaginable ways. Here are some of their inspiring triumphs.
South African young women have proven to be a powerful force charging the country forward in their respective fields. From the world of media, politics, sports, business and music, these women have inspired young people all over the world through their outstanding achievements and unapologetic confidence in what they do. This Women’s Day, we celebrate four young women who have shown South Africans that there are no limits to success despite hardships faced.
Lira becomes Africa’s first Barbie
South African songstress and businesswoman Lira became the first African to have a Barbie doll modelled in her likeness as part of Barbie’s 60th anniversary Shero campaign. The campaign was launched to celebrate Barbie’s 60thanniversary and also inspire more girls around the world. Lira said on Instagram: “I am proud to announce that I have been awarded a one-of-a-kind Lira Barbie doll, as part of Barbie’s 60th Anniversary Shero campaign celebrating role models who inspire young girls to be all they can be. I am the very first African to be bestowed with this honour and I’m simply thrilled to be honoured in this way.”
Bonang Matheba launched her own champagne brand
Hlomela Bucwa inspires as South Africa’s youngest female MP
At age 26, Democratic Alliance MP Hlomela Bucwa is the youngest female Member of Parliament. The former president of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Student Representative Council‚ gained national prominence in 2017 when she made her maiden speech in parliament. She told the nation: “It is my generation that will successfully eradicate the social ills that still prevail because we refuse to be divided by race‚ gender and religion‚ but instead we will be unified because we understand we are all fellow human beings.” She also cautioned‚ “Let us tread softly because we tread on the dreams of a lost generation.”
Caster Semenya remains SA’s athletics champion despite adversity
Athletics champion, Caster Semenya is the epitome of a South African woman who has fought discrimination and triumphed over hardship. No stranger to the top position and breaking records, she won gold in the women’s 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 and at the 2017 World Championships in her new personal best, 1:55.16. It was announced this week that Semenya will not be able to defend her 800-metres title at the World Championships in September after a Swiss court reversed a ruling that temporarily lifted the IAAF’s testosterone regulations imposed on her. Semenya said: “I am very disappointed to be kept from defending my hard-earned title, but this will not deter me from continuing my fight for the human rights of all of the female athletes concerned.” She remains a beacon of hope for young South African women and the arduous struggles they face in the sporting world.
PHOTO CREDIT: lowvelda.co.za