South Africa: Women’s Day 2018

South Africa: Women’s Day 2018

Date: August 9, 2018
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Dear Mambo,

One day you will be a woman. The thought excites and scares me at the exact same time. I am going to try and explain this to you in a way that does not scare you more than excite you, even though I have learnt to be excited through some goosebumps in my time. Anyway. Not the point. Here is the point. Women’s Day, South Africa, 2018.

The leaders of the march in 1956 holding the petitions to Parliament.

Do you know why we celebrate Women’s Day Mambo D? On the 9th of August, 1956 a group of women- about 20,000 to be exact, took to the streets of Pretoria to march on parliament led by Lilian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams- De Bruyn, Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph. I want you to learn those names my darling, I want you to look them up on whatever gadgets exist at the time that you read this. I want you to know who came before you. The reason that we celebrate today is the bravery of these women for organizing and leading the march, but also very important were the 20,000 strong who rallied behind them, knowing that it could, very easily at that time, cost them their lives as we saw in many other protests. Now. What were they protesting you ask? In your research you will see that there was a common cause, they wanted to do away with pass laws, which were highly problematic for people of color- to say the least. This post is not about the pass laws.

There is power when we march

I do not want to go into the history of this, as I would prefer you look it up yourself. Rather, what I would like is to share with you what I learn from events like these.

1. There is power in numbers. When in doubt, you must find people like yourself. Keep them close, for sometimes you feel alone in your cause, and want to give up. Often we find that if we feel very strongly about something, that someone else feels as strongly about it. Sometimes these people are not necessarily your friends, and they may not look like you and that is perfectly fine, what is important is the cause. My baby, if these women had given up, we would not be able to celebrate them today as we do today, as a nation.

2. Stand for what you believe in. It took real guts to do what these women did, especially at the time at which they did it. Now, I am not saying lay your life on the line for what you believe in, unfortunately your mother is not a radical, she is a liberal and therefore has more conservative tendencies. What I am saying is, you have a voice, and you can think. Use what you have at your disposal to take a stand and stick to it. Use your words. Use your mind. Believe in yourself.

3. Work smart to achieve your goals. There is no telling how many woman- hours went into the preparation of this march. Women from all over the country had to be mobilized and they needed to achieve their goal, and today, we can tell their story. Imagine that. Not giving up until you achieve your goals. Wow!

4. Be bold. You are human, which means you are as capable as anyone to do what you set your mind to. I pray you never need to fight so hard, but in the event that you do, do so bravely, wisely, be smart and accurate, be great. Be a WOMAN.

20,000 women deliver a petition for what they want

Mambo, when women come together, they prove to be an unstoppable force. Whether we think we have made great strides or not, we acknowledge them, we salute them, we celebrate them.

Happy Women’s Day Mambo D.

Love MamaMambo

This blog has been published with permission from Shaudzirai Mudekunye. Follow her blog on

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