[ON THE REAL] Celebrating phenominal women with AFM

On The Real show, Andile Jiyane and Sibusisiwe Maphumulo were looking at South African and African women who have managed to climb their way up the corporate ladder, fighting for women’s rights, became well known artists and excelled in their field of expertise.

Jiyane said she does not think most women are given enough recognition for their role given the circumstances they have to go through to get to where they want to be.

“We come from culturally rooted families that have patriarchal beliefs that weigh down most of our sisters,” Jiyane said.

Sibusisiwe: We just want to start with our very own. Woman who have had great influence in the feminism movement and the achievement it has reach so far.

Maphumulo talked about the importance of recognising local women who have had great influence in feminism movement.

Maphumulo said, “Bridgette Radebe, this phenomenal woman has taken over a male dominated industry and introduced a great deal of change such as being rooted in some of the legislative changes that were made in the mining.”

Radebe has helped draft crucial mining legislation. As founder and president of the Junior Mining Chamber, she has pioneered the creation of sustainable mining communities. In 2008, she won International Businessperson of the Year from the Global Foundation for Democracy.

Radebe is Patrice Motsepe’s sister, who is married to the Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.

As Africa’s richest black woman, Bridgette Radebe has come a long way. Her money is made in mining, yet Radebe is a champion of the poor and an outspoken advocate of the nationalisation of mines.

“She is a born entrepreneur and nothing was going to stop her,” said Maphumulo.

Radebe had to defy legislation to start her firm Mmakau – named after the village in which she grew up – as a contracted company managing shaft mining operations and procurement for major firms.

Maphumulo said, “So I can assure you she has worked extremely hard to gain some respect, which is why today we celebrate her greatness. Women in business this could be your role model.”

Jiyane also talked about Dr Maphela Rampele a struggle icon, business woman, academic, and author.

“With her impressive track record Dr Maphela Rampele is a true definition of an icon and a woman to look up to for inspiration, to add to that she managed to achieve all these things during the hardest era in South African history that is during apartheid, she is a true definition of imbokodo,” Jiyane said.

Ramphele was born in 1947 near what is now Polokwane, the daughter of school teachers. When she left high school, she wanted to become a doctor, at a time when this was difficult even for white women. She was accepted into the University of Natal’s medical school in Durban. Her years at university were formative ones: she became involved in politics and met the love of her life, Steve Biko.

Ramphele and Biko became the foremost proponents of the Black Consciousness Movement, which aimed to give black people a sense of their worth and power. She was also dedicated to community upliftment, establishing clinics and literacy projects. As an activist, Ramphele suffered greatly at the hands of the apartheid government, from banishment to the murder in police custody of Biko in 1977, while she was pregnant with their son.

During the 1980s, Ramphele became a published academic and in 1992 she earned her PhD at the University of Cape Town. In 1996, she made history when she became the university’s vice chancellor, the first black person and the first woman to be appointed to such a post in South Africa. In 2000, she became managing director for human development at the World Bank – the highest-ranking African member of the organisation. She held the post until 2004.

Ramphele has since formed BEE Investment Company Circle Capital Ventures, of which she is chair, and sits on the board of MediClinic. She has won numerous prestigious awards and has 18 honorary degrees.

Jiyane said, “For all its misconceptions, feminism at its core is about fighting for women’s equality. And there are women who have been trailblazing the fight for decades now.”

Maphumulo concluded by encouraging women to keep on being united and fighting for each other.

Listen to the clip below for more information:


Listen to On The Real on the AM2PM with Denmark Vee, Andile and Sibusisiwe  every Wednesdays from 12 midday.

By Mndaba Lindelani



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