6 Ways Women Are Revealing Their Epic Strength Right Now

Sisters, are doing it for themselves!


Ondela Mlandu |

It’s Women’s Month, but we all secretly know that us girls are on fire, pretty much all year round — ask Alicia Keys! We hope you’ve been kind to yourself this year, by practising some #SelfCare and #SelfLove.

You’re juggling your 9-5,  side hustles and working on your fitness. Some of you queens are in workspaces where your light is dimmed and you’re up against many forms of discrimination, such as the gender gap. On the sports field, you’re hardly recognised for your efforts and your skills are questioned. All these barriers haven’t stopped you.

You’re taking care of your mental health, speaking up about things that make you uncomfortable and you’re definitely stronger than what you were yesterday.  This month and the remainder of the year, celebrating yourself should be a mood!

We’ve gathered a few ladies who are kicking some serious buttocks with their initiatives. We salute you ladies, keep the sisterhood torch burning bright.

1/ An advocate for Women in Sport

Women's Month

Nqobile Gama naturally gravitated towards sports from a young age. She uses her love for sports to impact lives in Africa. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Business Management, with a research focus on Sports Leadership. Her foundation in sport is that of development and she’s had the privilege of seeing very talented junior athletes from different backgrounds become international championships. 

Women's Month

In 2018, though her administrative involvement (from a media and marketing perspective) in university sport, she was co-opted onto the national executive committee of University Sport South Africa (USSA), which is the official governing body of university sports in South Africa) which also saw her involvement in university sport at continental and international level grow. She currently works in one of the top sports sponsorship marketing agencies in South Africa as an account manager, with a focus on the Sasol sport sponsorship properties (Banyana Banyana, Sasol League and Wheelchair Basketball). Sport has the power to empower, develop, unite, emancipate, and educate –the capabilities of sports are endless.  Gama is an advocate for equality for women in sports – advocacy that has gained insight through her work in women’s football and her academic research into the underrepresentation of females in sport leadership.

READ MORE: 6 Sportswomen Who Totally Changed The Game 

2/ Foodie Fiend

Women's Month

Charmaine Ramalope-Makhubela is the founder of GlamFoodie. She studied Fine Arts and I.T, but it wasn’t long after she discovered her passion as a fine dining foodie. Ramalope-Makhubela uses her love for food and wine, as the perfect recipe for her business. Ramalope-Makhubela does publicity for restaurant and hospitality clients, works hand-in-hand with food and beverage brands to launch and promote their products. The GlamFoodie platform is for fine dining enthusiasts, who want to explore and enjoy food, good wine and great company.

Other than hosting wine and dine events in Joburg and Cape Town, she also is the brains behind the GlamFoodie Cookbook Project – an innovative visual cookbook project hosted on the Viva Nation Content Platform and YouTube. The show sees GlamFoodie sharing her most loved, delicious and easy to make recipes with viewers — the aim is to involve them in the cookbook ideation process. The GlamFoodie’s long term plan is to start a Young Foodies Foundation for girls from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, where they’ll get first-hand exposure to world-class chefs, the hospitality industry, and receive ongoing mentorship and sponsored grants.

3/ Courageous Conversations

Ever struggled to find a good pair of jeans, that fit so snug you didn’t have to pull them back up every time you stand? This is an issue that most women go through, regardless of the size. Dr Funeka Bango is responsible for making women feel and look beautiful. She’s a medical doctor by training and the Managing Director of a disease management company in Cape Town before establishing her ladies wear boutique, Pride Journey.

Her company, Pride Journey started in 2016 with the pursuit of making tailored must-have pieces for curvy women, who want to look smart in corporate wear. Dr Bango recognised a gap in the clothing market and started a brand that would meet the curvy woman’s need for well-fitting clothing.  Bango provides curvy women of all sizes with smart tailored clothing that they can move in, pieces that they can feel comfortable in while interacting with other people especially in the workplace where one is expected to dress in a certain way. A clothing company that would empower curvy women and enhance their confidence. After much research, she found that brands design for size and not for body shape. Bango believes that offering women well-fitting clothes enables them to feel good about themselves, which is critical for self-confidence.

4/#MoveToMoveOn

Women's month

Cara-Lisa Sham is using movement as a form of expression. She comes from a psychology background and is a strong advocate of applying a holistic approach to one’s health. She’s an entrepreneur and content creator with a passion for all things health, yoga, dance, and fitness. She’s launched a campaign called #movetomoveon, to encourage women to share their challenges and to get moving as a form of ‘emotional therapy’. Her movement is not only a place to improve physical appearance and build strength, but it is also a place for us to take care of our mental wellbeing. There is a deep-seated emotional component to the movement. Not only does exercise release endorphins, but it also helps to re-surface emotions and/or issues that we are not dealing with.

#MoveToMoveOn is about finding a movement form that helps you get there. For some, it may be boxing — punching those emotions out, for others, it may be a more gentle approach, like yoga or dance. Sometimes we feel things we cannot articulate. Cara-Lisa has collaborated with talented dance trainer and choreographer Tali Kodesh and videographer James Cairns to share the importance of personal expression through movement, self-awareness and healing

5/ Girls With Wiings

Women's Month

Koinonia Baloyi works for an Asset management firm in Cape Town. She is also the founder and director of an NGO called Girls With Wiings, that focuses on women’s needs for homeless and underprivileged women. The NGO sows hope and restores, the dignity of homeless and underprivileged women, by providing sanitary products monthly. The organisation has distributed over 9,000 sanitary products,  assisting over 250 women each month in 11 locations in the Cape Town area. GWW is giving women a safer and hygienic alternative to using material or napkins.  Baloyi is passionate about women empowerment and believes in paying it forward, building one other and growing together.

Women's Month

GWW also launched a fitness for a cause platform, which is a fitness platform that allows the public to participate in exercise while actively supporting a good cause. This platform launched when Baloyi ran the London Marathon in April 2017 to raise funds for Girls With Wiings. They raised R21,000 through this initiative. Baloyi ran the Cape Town Marathon in September 2018 and raised over R50,000 through this platform in 2018. GWW’s  2ndannual Bootcamp will take place on August 2019. All the funds raised go towards the purchase of toiletry bags for homeless and underprivileged women. Each bag consists of a reusable bag, sanitary pads, face cloth, soap and underwear.

6/ Woman in STEM

Women's Month

Dr Rethabile Mashale-Sonibare is the Founder and Director of Thope Foundation, a non-profit providing primary school support to girls in Khayelitsha. She also founded Molo Mhlaba Girls STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) school in Harare township, Khayelitsha. She’s a trained social worker, holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University with a focus on governance in non-profit organisations. Her skills include monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, grants management, philanthropy and education support.

Everything she does is to improve the lives of others; especially girls from the townships. No obstacle is too big for her to try to tackle if it means helping and uplifting her community and making sure that these young women have the opportunities and education that they deserve. Developing South African females and empowering the youth is the only way to ensure that South Africa realises its true potential and becomes a fair country for all its people.

READ MORE: These Are The 100 Women Changing The Wellness Scene

Who is making moves in your world? Tell us about them.

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