Guests : Orefile Malebo
Menstrual cycles are natural – period. But sanitary products, though necessary, are
expensive. When people can’t afford pads or tampons, they use dangerous and
unhygienic substitutes. Orefile Malebo is addressing this issue by teaching people how
to make their own cheap, reusable pads.
Through social media, Malebo posts videos demonstrating how to sew sustainable and
hygienic sanitary pads from common household items such as cotton face cloths and
plastic bags. The tutorials aid women in becoming more self-sufficient and keeping
their dignity intact.
Because the pads are reusable, they help people who don’t have access to waste
management resources, as well as the environment, by eliminating the use of products
that take up to 500 years to decompose.
Malebo’s videos are part of the Sis Paddy project, an educational initiative which she’s
been running since 2016. It’s created a sanctuary where people can speak freely about
periods and abolish the embarrassment caused by warped perspectives of bodily
Are you watching your life go by without achieving your goals? Enhle Gebashe isn’t
going to be one of those people. At 11 years old, she’s already designing her own
clothing – and taking South Africa’s fashion scene by storm. Gebashe’s label brings her
fantasies of dressing like an African princess to life. When it comes to her ambition,
nothing is going to get in this couturier’s way.
The young visionary was already picking out clothing at the age of two and soon began
sketching outfit ideas. Noticing Gebashe’s penchant for fashion, her mother, Desiree,
encouraged her by stitching the designs. When she shared these creations on social
media as Enhle Babes Couture, it garnered thousands of followers within a day. Today,
Gebashe kits out girls from four to 12 in bespoke couture. Inspired by Nigerian fashion,
her ensembles range from skirts and summer dresses to glamorous gowns and
She’s met Beyoncé on the job. And yet the glamour of being an entertainment journalist
no longer resonated with Lerato Mogoatlhe’s soul. She craved far off-lands, ancient
architecture, and a deeper understanding of Africa. Beyond the stereotypes of poverty,
danger and corruption, Mogoatlhe desired an authentic experience. So in 2008, the
writer resigned and booked a flight to Senegal with no accommodation or concrete
plans. Mogoatlhe set off to traverse countries and connect with the continent.
Mogoatlhe moved out of hotels – and her comfort zone – to immerse herself among
locals. Between losing her passport and running out of cash, she picked up native
languages, befriended strangers, and watched the beauty of Africa blossom before her.
In the deserts of Sudan, people left clay jars of water outside their homes for strangers
to quench their thirst. At a taxi rank in Ghana, drivers pooled their money to contribute
to Mogoatlhe’s transport fees. She marvelled at the kindness, honour, and community
spirit that prevailed in every one of the 27 countries she lived in.
When last did you see a black woman in a comic strip? Was it an accurate
representation? Joel Matladi, who goes by the name Cyzo in the digital arts industry, is
set on delineating of African narratives in mainstream media. His project, Black Snow, is
a series of illustrations that’s shifting inaccurate perspectives of African women.
Sparked by his father’s passion for doodling, Matladi taught himself the art of digital
painting and animation. His current project is influenced by anime, comics, and gaming.
Drawing inspiration from African visual identity and heritage, Matladi’s futuristic
chronicle pays homage to the strength of African women and conjures feelings of selfassurance
and pride. Each character is entirely unique, detailed specifically to
symbolise a myriad expressive tools and identities.
Matladi’s high-concept digital art showcases the diversity of his skills and of the people
he depicts. In 2017, he was selected to be a part of the Design Indaba Emerging
Creatives Programme, where he exhibited to an international audience. Since then,
Matladi has continued to subvert previously exhausted African stories told from a
Western perspective and offer a fresh take on representation.
Guests : Orefile Malebo
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