*Tamunodein is a third-year student at SU, studying a BA in International Studies. Her passion is transforming words into experiences and her blog, Surviving South Africa: a black girl’s guide, discusses the black female experience.

Surviving SA


THE 9th of August is celebrated nation-wide as Women’s day. In commemorating the tenacity of the women that helped shape current day South Africa, it dawned on me that the strength of these women lay in their self-assertiveness.

Before you can impact any change in others you need to ensure that you have the strength within you to perform such a task. For the black girl this means that you need to emancipate yourself from any physical, psychological or social notions that restrict your strength. Emancipation is a dual act; you first need to recognize what is tying you down. Then you need to free yourself from it.

I have noticed along the years that the biggest problem amongst fellow black girls is that we have yet to be free within our own skin. By this I am referring to the unnecessary beauty pressures we place upon ourselves and the ones we allow the world to place on us.

It is virtually impossible for you to truly embody strength in all forms if you see yourself as a lesser being. The reason the march to the Union Buildings was highly successful was because these women did not see themselves as subjects that could be restricted by pass laws. They knew their strength and power, and most importantly demanded that this strength be recognized.

In turn the black girl needs to recognize the power she holds so that she can transfer this strength unto others. However, before your strength can be actualized you need to be comfortable in the skin that this strength will need to ooze from.

There is a cliché saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, once you realize that the beholder you speak of is actually you then you will know that you are enough. You will know that the only opinions that should matter to you are your own. You will know that you are an unstoppable force compounded with an immeasurable strength.

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