I loved the fact that we no longer just celebrate Women’s day on 9 August, but that the entire month of August has been set aside to celebrate phenomenal women in our country while shedding light on women’s issues. When I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed on women’s day, it was evident that some people confuse women’s day with mother’s day. I love my mother and without mothers, none of us will be here and thankfully there is a day set aside to celebrate motherhood. Consequently, I made a list of women who to me exemplifies what women’s month is about. One of the first ladies who came to mind was my dear friends, Natasha Natalie Boks.
Cecil Afrika is currently South Africa’s top points scorer on the Sevens World Series circuit, and third highest try scorer with 156 tries. “It is not about personal achievements. It is important that we follow the processes in order to reach our end goal as a team.”
Eli Wolff is a former USA Paralympian soccer player and current Mentoring Coordinator at Partners for Youth with Disabilities based in Boston. He is also the co-director of the Sport and Society Fellowship programme at Brown University. I met Eli at the end of last year, after he delivered a thought provoking talk at Stellenbosch University, where he highlighted three fundamental concepts, strategic to my interest; Sport, Inclusivity, and Diversity. I was curious to know more, and arranged a coffee.
Katlego Maboe is one of South Africa’s most well-known celebrities. The multitalented 30 year old has been a presenter on the SABC3 Expresso Morning Show, for the last six and a half years. He was named best TV presenter for this show consecutively for 2015 and 2016 at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA). “My first SAFTA award was really special. It came after being in the industry for five years and I did not expect to receive the accolade. It was a huge honour, knowing that the public voted for me.”
Van der Merwe ended his twelve-year career as a professional athlete by winning bronze in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, in the 100m T37. He gave his all and clocked a time of 11:54, the same as the silver medalist. He unfortunately had to settle for the bronze medal as his component went for the head dip before him. Van der Merwe was the defending champion, having won gold in both Beijing 2008, and London 2012. The 30 year old handed the baton over to his 23 year old teammate Charl du Toit who won gold and set a new world record.
A dream was birthed at the age of nine when Cornal Hendricks played his very first rugby game for Wellington Primary. “It has ever since been my dream to play for the Springboks.” Says Hendricks. As a nine year old boy, you understand that your dream of playing for your country’s senior national team will not be reached over night. There are many hurdles which you first have to jump, a ladder to climb and ranks to move through. However, that nine year old boy somehow never found that ladder to climb. As a schoolboy rugby player, He never once received provincial colours. The hope of one day playing for the Springboks was never fueled in that way.