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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

Young dynamic lawyer in the Mail and Guardian Top 200
2016-06-27

Description: Adv Loyiso Top 200 M and G Tags: Adv Loyiso Top 200 M and G

Adv Loyiso Makapela
Photo: Stephen Collett

Each year the Mail and Guardian produces a special report on that year’s top 200 young South Africans who inspire, have talent, and drive. This year, we celebrate one of our own, Adv Loyiso Makapela, who has been nominated as one of the top 200 Mail and Guardian Young Achievers of 2016 under the category of Education. Loyiso is an outstanding academic, lecturer and mentor. At age 27, she is the youngest lecturer in the Faculty of Law.

With two Master’s degrees under her belt, she has been awarded the Desmond Tutu Doctoral scholarship by the National Research Foundation and will commence her PhD at both the University of Stellenbosch and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam July 2016. With a keen focus on research, she has presented papers and chaired sessions at various conferences locally and internationally in, for example, the United Arab Emirates and Greece, and in Oxford, England.

“The fact that I was nominated under the category ‘Education’ is undoubtedly one of my proudest achievements to date, because there is nothing I am more passionate about and love than the education of young South Africans, particularly women. This is only the beginning, and I hope my story and accomplishments will inspire others to walk out in determined pursuit of their goals and dreams,” said Loyiso.
She is in the final stages of launching a lifestyle website that aims to engage young and ambitious South African women, titled “Young Women of Power”. Through this platform, Loyiso hopes to bring together influential women in business and politics, to empower and enlighten younger women.

The Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans have, over the years, positioned themselves as leaders in their fields and gained local and international acclaim. The selected 200 will be announced later this month.



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