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27 August 2018 Photo Sonia Small
Prof Thuli Madonsela persuades women to pursue their purpose
Discovering that she was “pretty” for her purpose gave Prof-Adv Thuli Madonsela’s life direction.

What does embracing womanhood mean? For Prof Thuli Madonsela it is about loving yourself and whatever you believe is your purpose in life. 

“All of us are designed for our purpose and are fit for our purpose, you should embrace that and make the best of it,” said South Africa’s former Public Protector in her keynote address to the Women’s Breakfast. In commemoration of Women’s Month, the University of the Free State (UFS)’s Employee Wellness Division hosted the annual event on 21 August 2018 where 900 women gathered under the theme: ‘Embrace your womanhood.’ 

Being a woman today


Law Professor and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, Prof Madonsela, urged the audience to look beyond the exterior and recognise “that we as individuals have a lot in common”. Speaking of unity in diversity, she praised some of the giants on whose shoulders modern women stand, such as Charlotte Maxeke, Olive Schreiner, Una Wookey, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Helen Joseph, Pam Golding, Bessie Head, and Ellen Khuzwayo.

These leaders are the epitome of following the purpose of “embracing everyone’s humanity and challenging things that diminish the humanity of others”, according to Prof Madonsela.

Remaining resilient and resolute 

Despite having to contend with a patriarchal system and face challenges such as gender-based violence, femicide, poverty, inequity, media stereotypes, as well as poverty, women continue to rise. Prof Madonsela called for women to capitalise on positives such as freedom and possessing a certain degree of power, legal equality, playing a role in political spaces, economic progress, and owning a public voice.

Drawing inspiration from her humble beginnings and the lessons learnt in leadership, Prof Madonsela conveyed a simple message to all women: “You are exactly as you should be. You are a perfect expression of your creator’s magnificence. You were created for a purpose and whatever you do, just step up and pursue your purpose.”

A word from an inspired woman

It was a memorable event for Burneline Kaars, Head of Employee Wellness. “This year it was an honour to host Prof Madonsela who could share both her academic background and professional experience. She accomplished this by skilfully incorporating lessons from our country’s history and her passion for justice,” she said.

News Archive

Two OSM students selected for KZN Philharmonic Youth Concerto Festival
2016-06-13

Description: Ketumile Moleleki designs KovsieGear  Tags: Ketumile Moleleki designs KovsieGear
Kamu Magou has been an occasional
studies student in violin performance
for the last four years at the Odeion
School of Music.
Photo: Supplied
Two students from the Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State have been selected as soloists to be part of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra National Youth Concerto Festival.

The cellist Chris van Zyl and violinist Kamu Magou will be part of the festival taking place on 29 September 2016 in the Durban City Hall. The KZN Philharmonic presents the festival annually, with the aim of providing gifted young musicians an opportunity to rehearse and perform with a professional orchestra. The orchestra will be conducted by Lykele Temmingh.

Cricketer playing cello since age of six

Chris, who is under the tutelage of Prof Anmari van der Westhuizen from the Odeion String Quartet, is a first-year student at the OSM. He will perform Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62, for cello and orchestra.

He started playing the cello at the age of six, under the tutelage of Michael Haller, a respected cello pedagogue and cellist of the then Odeion String Quartet.

Although a gifted musician, he also loves cricket, and, as a youngster, his mother had to bribe him by bowling plastic cricket balls in the lounge in exchange for five minutes of cello playing.

Violin student in residence in Amsterdam

Kamu has been studying violin under Sharon de Kock from the Odeion String Quartet, her violin lecturer at the OSM, since high school. She has been an occasional studies student in violin performance for the last four years.

Kamu, who is pursuing a BCom degree at Unisa, was in residence for a week recently at the acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. She and the Bloemfontein double bassist, Siyolise Nyondo, were part of an initiative by the South African Youth Orchestra Foundation.

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