Women's Month; What is There to Celebrate? - Gross Mediocrity? Leave me Out of It
Women filled OR Tambo Airport and swore to kick the IAAF's nuts. They were grandstanding at a time that children in Natal need them to make sure that a principal who screws them is no longer allowed into the school yard. By the way, they are just nameless girlchildren in Natal, not Semenya.

Wa thinta abafazi wa thinta imbokoto”. These six words must have sparked serious fear into the hearts of the apartheid regime back in 1956. They should have; the regime was facing a pack of women whose bravery and resolve is still legendary 53 years on.

In 2009, with the mass media behind the manifestation of the mantra, it dismally fails to ignite. It has become an empty slogan akin to ‘we shall overcome’. Women have become such a less-intimidating species that there are already fears that efforts to affirm them on all fronts are likely to be an eternal national project. Nowhere are sisters seen fighting their own battles without searching for blame or demanding to be carried on the shoulders of men. Fifty years from now men will still be compelled to have women in their businesses to fulfill a gender equality mandate. Of course men will do it even if it’s mere window-dressing.

The sisterhood has not formed a solidarity front outside of the limiting confines of politics and business. South Africa has had women-inspired arts organizations like Feel-A-Sistah which never mentored any woman outside its narrow circle even though at their peak they hyped women emancipation as the departure point for empowerment. The situation has deteriorated to the point that women are not even together in sports and civil society. The sisterhood has been divided into a few affluent clusters that don’t accommodate simplicity.

Banyana-Banyana and the women Springboks have a serious difficulty attracting women fans whenever they play. The sisterhood is good at championing issues outside this country while the girl-child here is left to her own devices. Efforts like the Take A Girl-Child to Work campaign have become mere PR exercises than real empowerment of the girl-child (the future woman). There’s still no consensus on the prostitution debate while the trade mostly victimizes them.

The vibrant township netball teams of pre-’94 have been replaced by long queues of teenage girls collecting child support grants. Gender Links which is perpetuating a Eurocentric (feminist) solution to African problems and many other like-minded organizations claim to be advocating for women while their beneficiaries continue to be businesswomen looking for infrastructure contracts from government and not the village girl whose scholar transport has been hijacked by that other woman who won the contract without owning a bus?

Where is Gender Links as that Limpopo woman holds on to the contract to the detriment of schoolchildren, mostly girls? Where are the women-teachers in unions as male teachers continue to sleep with the girl-child under their watchful eye? Why is it hard for the South African Council of Educators (SACE) to gather evidence to discipline male teachers while unionized female teachers should be members of society first before pledging solidarity with pedophiles?

Where is the sisterhood as women becry harassment in the workplace and demand for sexual favours to gain employment, tenders, drivers licenses and many other such incidences?

The silence of influencial women like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Gracá Machel, Nosimo Balindlela, Lebogang Mashile, Bonang Matheba, Carol Manana, Ria Ledwaba etc is deafening. Where was the Commission on Gender Equality when Helen Zille, a woman was repeatedly referred to as a ‘girl’ and labeled promiscuous on the grounds of political differences? Why didn’t they speak out against such blatant patriarchy and a punch to the sisterhood?

The absence of the ANC Women’s League during the trial of Khwezi who accused Jacob Zuma of rape was very disturbing. Women in South Africa today place political party loyalty infront of gender redress. Why does Judge John Hlope have a fan club and not Judge Bess Nkabinde? Why haven’t women nominated a women for the position of Chief Justice but are out backing men candidates?

Where is the ANCWL as the Men’s Forum is taking ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to the Equality Court to demand that he apologise for defaming a women by insinuating that Khwezi enjoyed sex that is why she asked for taxi fare and left in the morning?
Today, women-owned SMMEs are forming a bulk of service providers providing catering services to government departments during functions. Immediately emphasis is put on capacitating them on that front accusations of pigeonholing fly that there is more to women than catering, hospitality and tourism.

Where is Nolitha Fakude, Monhla Hlahla, Uyanda Mbuli, Lebohang Pheko, Basetsana Khumalo, Sibongile Sambo, Lorraine Letswele to mentor these women before they are given big projects by virtue of being women?

Wa thinta abafazi wa thinta imbokoto!”. They say 'the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room'. And with the slogan sounding louder in August, it’s the more the weakness is highlighted. Malibongwe! What for? - My consolation; they don't make women like they used to in the '50s.

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