American poet, Maya Angelou, once said: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” This quote is an embodiment of who women are. We’re fighters, survivors and conquers. In celebrating Women’s Month, we have asked the TL staff the following questions: 

Audrey Maloka – Sub Editor 

What do you appreciate most about being a woman? 

The ability to bring life into the world. Not just by having children, but also by the nurturing and caring nature we, as women, express to the people around us. I appreciate the fact that we can be firm, strong and courageous, but also loving at the same time. 

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self? 

Be kind to yourself and not let other people dictate who you can be or can’t be. Dream big because you’re talented, unique and awesome. 

READ MORE: Six women making waves in 2019!

Kemong Mopedi – Content Editor 

What do you appreciate most about being a woman? 

Let me start off by saying that nothing in this world makes me happier than being in the company of grounded, beautiful, funny, authentic, supportive, opinionated, generous, carefree and hardworking women who are committed to uplifting other women in whatever little way they can. The days of women pulling each other down are as old fashioned as black and white TVs. I like the fact that I can be a combination of all the things I absolutely love — a bum short-wearing content and travel enthusiast, God-loving and working mom, and a hip-hop head who’s swimming against the biggest tides just so she can have Ciara’s thighs and be an all-round pleasant person. The biggest mistake I ever made was allowing people to tell me that I could be one thing and not the other.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self? 

Dear Kemong. You should have never feared dreaming wildly. But there’s no need to fret because there’s still enough room and time to be anything you want to be! Secondly, own that kiss-kiss boo because that sh*t is sexy! [chuckles] 

Sisonke Labase – Journalist 

What do you appreciate most about being a woman? 

It’s a double-edged sword…I appreciate our strength and resilience considering the tough times we go through, but we still do it in what seems like an effortless manner. Most of us deal with those tough times so graciously but I feel like it shouldn’t be that way. The world should be lovely and respectful towards us, but it isn’t.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self? 

Stick to your guns and don’t let doubt get in the way! Although I think my younger self was so sure of what she wanted, the world quickly started letting her doubt who she was and her purpose. I think my younger self was so fearless but because life happens, she got tainted by this world’s opinions and views that she started to feel reluctant to just leap and take risks. So, she must definitely stick to her guns! 

READ MORE: 10 famous quotes by the legendary Toni Morrison

Khathu Thusi – Production Manager 

What do you appreciate most about being a woman? 

I appreciate how we naturally have intuition as women and being able to be guided by that through life. I also appreciate how I would not sleep for days but still get up and keep going. [chuckles] As women, we’re strong and get through the toughest times in life. We just have that “thing” in us. 

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self? 

I would say, “Never be afraid to express who you are. You should do those things that you have always dreamt of doing.” It took me so long to finally study fashion design even though I knew I was passionate about making clothes. I spent so many years working in industries where I shouldn’t have. I’m now blessed to be in a fashion environment but I feel that I arrived late. So, again, I would say to my 15-year-old self, “Go do what you’re supposed to do!”