Wathinta Abafazi, Wathinta Imbokodo

Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo, translation: You strike a woman, you strike a rock!

As we celebrate the last few days of August, let us reflect on the month, which is crowned as Women’s Month. South Africa is celebrating its 21st National Women’s Day public holiday this year (2016).

In 1956, on the 9th of August in South Africa, Pretoria to be more specific, an estimated 10000-20000 African women many who were dressed in the Congress colours, Indian women wore their white saris and many women with babies on their backs marched to the Union Building to protest the Pass Law. This movement was led by the FSAW (The Federation of South African Women.” They had penned down a requested that J.G. Strijdom, who was the prime minister to meet with their leaders so that they could present their points of views. They challenged the gender dichotomy of women being limited to being “barefoot in the kitchen” and to declare their place in the land as “everywhere” and this was done by presenting a petition against women carrying passes. It was handed to the secretary prime minster; the women sang a freedom song “wathinta abafazi Strijdom” gave birth to the phrase “wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo”

The adorning and appreciation of the females in our lives regardless of the relation should not be reserved to be practiced in the month of August alone. It should a culture which is practiced everyday by both males and females. It should be celebrated in academia, in the work space, in academic institutes and in our communities. Women are more than bearers of seeds. They give birth to life; help to build a life for that life that needs to be lived. If there is a plural that means the bigger the sacrifice. Let the culture of paying tribute to women (Females) over spill everywhere.

Written by Celuzuze (Gugulethu) Mabaso



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