Today’s Dame of the Day is Thuli Madonsela (September 28, 1962-). Born in Johannesburg, Madonsela attended the University of Swaziland and obtained a law degree. While she has been involved with the ANC for years, she respectfully declined a position in Parliament because she felt she could make more of an impact through law. In 2009, South African president Jacob Zuma appointed Madonsela to be the nation’s Public Protector.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Ferial Haffajee. Haffajee began her career in journalism as a cub reporter for South Africa’s Mail & Guardian and worked her way up to editorships at the South African Broadcasting Company and the Financial Mail. In 2009, Haffajee became editor of Johanessburg’s City Press, making her the first Indian woman editor of any major South African newspaper.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Brenda Fassie (November 3, 1964-May 9, 2004). Known as “The Queen of African Pop,” this South African chanteuse owned the charts throughout the 1990s. When she lay dying in the hospital, Nelson and Winnie Mandela and Thabo Mbeki visited her bedside. Check out “Vul’indela” to hear a snippet of her greatest.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Irene Grootbroom (1969-2008). Although the South African government promised permanent housing for Cape Town’s Wallacedene settlement, they did not deliver in a timely fashion. In 2000, Wallacedene resident Grootbroom took the government to court and won. While the system failed her (Grootbroom died in 2008 in her makeshift shack that the government still had not replaced), she is revered by her community and beyond for giving a voice to the voiceless.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Lillian Ngoyi (September 25, 1911-March 13, 1980). As a widow supporting two children and her elderly mother, the South African activist carved out time from her busy schedule to join the African National Congress’ Women’s League. Her involvement resulted in prison terms, solitary confinement, and house arrest before the nation abolished apartheid in 1991. Ngoi helped found the Federation of South African Women and was the first woman to serve on the ANC executive committee.
Back in 2010, I developed an unhealthy obsession with Jenny Slate’s web short, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” There was something about Marcel’s jerky movements, miniature accessories, and high, squeaky voice that made me laugh until I cried. What is it about tiny things that is so incredibly endearing?
Needless to say, I fell hard for Lorraine Loots’ “365 Postcards for Ants.” The Cape Town-based artist’s attention to detail is astounding.
From seascapes and springboks to portraits of Madiba himself, Loots has created one tiny masterpiece per day since January 1, 2013. Now that’s dedication!
To view Loots’ complete body of work, check out her Tumblr. Keep it up, Lorraine!