01 September 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
Esihle Mhluzi
“As a small-town girl from the Eastern Cape, the only thing I have ever inculcated within myself was the validity of my dreams.” – Esihle Mhluzi #WomenOfKovsies

“I was determined to be more than just ‘the girl on crutches’; I wanted my brilliance to speak for itself,” said Mhluzi in response to the question, “What inspires you?”

As part of its #WomenOfKovsies campaign for 2019, which profiles inspiring women on our three campuses, the UFS celebrates LLB Law student, Esihle Mhluzi. She has served on a few SRC executive committees, UFS women empowerment organisations, and is also the Chairperson of the Universal Access Council for 2019.

Mhluzi says she was ‘graced’ with a physical impairment at the age of 10. She uses the word ‘grace’, because she appreciates what it means for the world and for women today to be in a body like hers. She also recently started pursuing a career in modelling, forming part of the top five of Miss Capable SA, and is currently one of the finalists for Face of Free State Fashion Week 2019.

Mhluzi explains that her decision to pursue modelling was propelled by her rationale to infiltrate spaces that were not necessarily designed for girls who ‘looked’ like her. She found that society seldom embraces and ‘accepts’ young women of her calibre on prestigious modelling platforms. Her mission is to ensure that she becomes the voice for the many women she represents. “With my additional modelling career path, I envisage us – women – running towards victory hand in hand,” said Mhluzi.

For her, being a woman means “being empty of yourself in order to create a better life for your fellow sister”. She believes a woman’s purpose is to extend grace and create safe spaces for each other to exist, heal, overcome, and conquer the world together, being in control of your narrative, and starving the noise. “Being a woman means having the audacity to be unapologetic in your brilliance,” she enthuses.

Mhluzi, who describes herself as ‘multifaceted’, believes that Women’s Month should be celebrated in order to pay homage to the phenomenal women who went before us. She highlights the importance of picking up where they left off. 

“I look forward to the day when being a woman simply means BEING.”



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