Hype Magazine Zambia has this month dedicated a special edition in celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) which occurs on a Sunday March 8th 2020.
IWD is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. The day, collectively founded by women, also brings attention to gender parity and women’s rights.
This year’s IWD theme is I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights which will be celebrated with the special 2020 campaign theme, #EachforEqual.
The #EachforEqual seeks to draw attention to the idea that gender inequality isn’t a women’s issue, but an economic one as gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
Business boardrooms, government departments and media coverage are just some of the key areas of focus highlighted by the campaign.
And by celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness of bias and calling out inequality, the campaign says, we can all help to bring about change.
The #EachForEqual campaign has become a symbol of the movement, which extends far beyond 8 March, with activities running all year long. The idea is to reinforce and galvanize collective action, holding events and talks that urge us all to share responsibility and play our part.
To comomerate this day Hype Magazine Zambia interviewed special women across Africa.
From South Africa, Hype Magazine Zambia had a heart-to-chat to Rosie Motene.
A Pan African Media proprietor, Rosie Motene holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts (Honours) from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Rosie operates as a author, speaker, feminist/activist, voice over artist and a Pan African entertainment manager and production consultant.
Her career has extend for over 25 years and she has been credited as an award-winning actor, TV and radio presenter, TV and film producer. She has also excelled as an author, global emcee, and speaker; voice-over artist.
Rosie is an accredited international laughter coach.
•What does this year’s theme of the International Women’s Day “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights, #EachforEqual mean to you?
I feel that it could come across as redundant, as gender equality is what we have been fighting for and we still have not achieved it. I feel that we need to be inclusive of all genders, and stop focusing on women. In many platforms, people see gender based violence against men or women and we need to acknowledge and highlight that there is a lot of abuse against LGBTQI people, specifically trans-people or gender non-conforming. With that acknowledgement, we can then understand the need for equality.
As a woman who strive to motivate and empower young women, what’s your take on equal opportunities for men and women in professional life and what are your experiences in this regard?
– That is still a long battle. In South Africa majority of the white men earn more than black men, in some cases white women are able to raise above black men but in most operations its the black women who are at the bottom.
– The dialogue around professional women is also undermining, such as strong women takes on CEO position, you wont see a headline stating strong man taking on CEO positions. We need to rephrase the term of being strong as it alienated women into separate boxes, stating that the weak ones are those who stay at home, which is wrong. Domestic care such as motherhood, baby sitting should to be compensated as it is a job and
women should stop being punished if they want to stay at home or choose not to have children.
•Which African countries do you think have made the most outstanding progress in creating the environment for equality and innovation amongst women?
On paper, there are many countries who are showing growth. I like to look to at Nigeria, I stand to be corrected but I have witnessed many female led broadcasters and channels. They have made major strides in the financial and mineral sector but have failed to create
safe apses for women and eradicate gender based violence.
As a whole Africa needs work and serious action.
•Is the call for equality just an aspirational slogan or does it genuinely reflect one of the major concerns of women in South Africa, and perhaps Africa, at this time?
I believe we need to focus on the violence that women and gender non-conforming people face. In South Africa we are in a crisis, where its not just men who do not see the issue but there are many women who have been so indoctrinated by patriarchy that they do not see the main concern. Our statistics on femicide, rape and abuse are high but are not as accurate as many cases are not recorded for many reasons, such as police corruption, intimidation and in rural areas, many victims/survivors cannot access police stations, they do not know their rights and often do not have access to adequate health care.
– Once again with LGBTQI we are called names, many do not have access to hospitals and are turned away due to their gender, that is a violation and violence in itself. Too many black lesbians and Trans-people are dying or being murdered yet their cases are never recorded or get justice, purely on the fact of their gender.
– Our governments have not heard our concerns on GBV and not enough budget has been
allocated and no proper implementations have been made.
•Have you ever been a victim of abuse from the opposite sex in a relationship or work place, if so how did you deal with it and heal?
– I am a survivor.
– I was beaten up by my boy friend whilst in university, it was in 1994 and I was not aware of my rights then so I never got justice. That is what pushed me into activism, as I knew that if I felt that way there were many less educated people and educated one who felt the
same. I trained through POWA ( www.powa.co.za ) and used my public palter to create awareness.
– 1996 I was raped. It took me twenty years to talk about it and seek counselling. Once again justice was never awarded to me.
– During 2004 and 2006, my boyfriend at the time had a business partner who on two occasions sexually harassed me. My boyfriend refused to help as he had not witnessed
it, only when i went public and opened a case was action taken. Fortunately we have broken up but I wish I had laid charges. There still is time.
– 2012- I was sexually harassed by a flimmaker, he has been named.
– 2013 I had my nose broken, this time I fought to the end, the perpetrator came forward and apologised and took responsibility for his actions.
– 2018 I was emotionally abused by women from a women organisation- I received counselling.
– 2020 I was manhandled and emotionally abused by a woman- she apologised but I know there is no remorse, I’m still dealing with that through therapy and self-love. She has promised to get help for her anger issues.
•What was your motivation in writing your book “RECLAIMING THE SOIL: A BLACK GIRL’S STRUGGLE TO FIND HER AFRICAN SELF?”
– I was brought up in a white Jewish home. My mother was domestic worker for the family and they fostered me. It was a great opportunity for my parents as I was awarded the life and education that my biological parents could never give me. It did come with challenges. Challenges for the foster family as they had to go up against the law and socialite pressures. For my biological parents, they watched their daughter been raised in
another culture, creed and religion.
– This then led to a major demerit crisis for me.
– My writing started at a phase in my life when I was going through an existentialist crisis, I needed healing and unlearning and self appreciation of being black and African. The journey took over ten years.
– It also gave me the opportunity and living with my biological parents and getting to know them and understanding who I was and where I came from.
– the synopsis and press kit are attached in the book.
•You found WAKA Talent Agency which is the first of its kind in Africa, what inspired you and how big is WAKA todate?
– I fell in love with africa in 2004 when I worked as TV presenter and producer on a TV show called Studio 53. I got to travel and work around the continent and I saw a gap for management and representation so I started the agency.
– We now have a footprint in 14 African countries- South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho.
– We represent TV and radio personalities, actors, emcees and speakers. We do not represent models and musicians.
•Which woman in the public sphere do you admire and why?
– I loved mama Winnie Mandela. She did so much for all of us with grace. She set out for freedom for the people and died trying to achieve it.
– Monan Eltahaway- the Egyptian activist. Her fight and knowledge and consistency is phenomenal. She used her privilege to fight for the less fortunate and those who did not believe they had a voice
– Like many of us radical activists, we are at the stage where we need to shake things upside down, we have played nice for too long. Her slogan is FUCK THE PATRIARCHY- I stand in solidarity with that.
•What are you most proud of doing?
There are many things. I have learnt to congratulate myself even for the small victories.
Completing my autobiography is one.
Standing up to patriarchy through my abuse cases, personal and for other people.
•What did you dream of doing as a little girl?
I wanted to be a dancer and do good for the world.
•What is coming soon from Rosie Motene as a person and as a brand?
– I am working on the Zambian book launch with a dynamic Zambian based PR company.
– The last two quarters of the year I plan to launch the book in the African diaspora spots of the world.
– I will buy land in Uganda which will be one of my retirement home.
..and as Rosie the activist
– I plan to write more of Pan African feminism and activism
– I will be working as a consultant within the GBV space across Africa
…As for WAKA, I wish to open a WAKA Office and do training in more of the SADC countries, starting with Zambia.
For more on Rosie
READ MORE HERE
Or follow and like her social media pages:
Facebook: Rosie Motene