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August 2020
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Helen Zille: You Either Love Her Or You Don’t!

I have always found Helen Zille to be an interesting person not for the mere fact that she is a woman but because of all that she stands for and her history. It is so easy to look at South Africa’s racial history and assume she is just another white woman, what has she got to offer black South Africa or anyone at that? Watching this edition of African Voices with Robyn Curnow has got me thinking that she does stand for what she truly believes in and is willing to fight for those same values.

It takes a strong heart to go into politics and when you are a woman, the hurdles are unending in some political climates. In a country like South Africa where politics is widely defined by race and skin colour, Zille in my opinion and this is my opinion and mine alone, most likely thinks like a man and acts like a woman. This is the first time I have heard her speak outside the political arena and learnt new things about her. I never knew she was a journalist let alone that she was also involved with one of the stories – the death or should that be the unlawful death of Steve Biko at the hands of the apartheid authority, another event which also shaped South Africa’s painful, dark and somewhat colourful existence based on the colour you decide to use for each stage of the story so far.

She is heavily criticised in the media, mocked and ridiculed on the political platform too but I guess that comes with the territory and she has developed the ability to deal with it. It cannot be easy and you never get used to it but you do learn to deal.

While I don’t live in South Africa or know much about her policies, the level of respect I have for her has gone up a whole lot. It really does take a formidable character to stand up for something and be counted. It takes a lot of strength to stand up and be in opposition to the ANC.

We need more women to go into politics and sit at the table where decision making is concerned, if not we run the risk of allowing a group of testicular boys run African nations into the ground. It is time to stand up, be counted and hold each other accountable for the future of the next generation on the continent. Where education is concerned, she has a valid point. We have to get it right!

Watch and make up your mind about her. For me, I respect her a whole lot more



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