Friday, August 14, 2015

Women's Day

South Africa loves their holidays and one I think is 
especially nice is Women's Day.

National Women's Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 
9 August. The day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country's pass laws that required South Africans defined as "black" under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a pass, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era. The first National Women's Day was celebrated on 9 August 1994. In 2006, a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans.

1956 Women's March

On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the "pass laws". The march was led by Lilian NgoyiHelen JosephRahima Moosa and Sophia Williams. Other participants included Frances Baard, a statue of whom was unveiled by Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins in Kimberley (Frances Baard District Municipality) on National Women's Day 2009. The women left bundles of petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at the office doors of prime minister J.G. Strijdom. The women stood silently for 30 minutes, singing a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo!(Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: "you strike a woman, you strike a rock") has come to represent women's courage and strength in South Africa.


In celebration of this holiday, Sister Dunn invited several of the sister missionaries to a day of shopping and lunch. Below are photos of the fun times we had.
The first stop was Art Africa, a shop filled with lovely handmade African art.

Love the beautiful, intricate hand embroidery and beadwork.

Of course I am drawn to the quilts. The close up shows tiny, intricate stitches. Love it!

This vendor had cloth that was stamped with potato carved stamps. I bought one like the blue elephant cloth on the table.

Items made by women in Limpopo at a place called Kaross. Kaross is an embroidery initiative started in 1989 with five Shangaan embroiderers and Irma van Rooyen, a visual artist, as creative director and founder. Sitting on a kaross (blanket) the ladies started creating works of art unique to themselves and their cultural background. The objective was to create pieces of excellent quality and a fresh approach to handwork. Over the past 23 years Kaross has become the voice of 700+ Shangaan people and their communities in the Letsitele and Giyani areas of the Limpopo Province. Kaross is re-writing a culture by exploring its heritage and re-applying it to modern, marketable products and artworks.
Kaross creates opportunities for mainly rural women to make a living by being creative within the realm of their own tradition and background. The job-creation and upliftment aspects of the project remain driving forces and are key to all developmental and business decisions in Kaross.
Kaross is located near Tzaneen, (about 5 hours drive) so we are not able to go to the shop, but many senior couples frequented it before the boundary re-alignment.

Sister Pond, with Sister Egan and Sister Walton behind her

Hand carved stools

When we visited Brett and Tamiko, Brett showed us the tree house flat he built on their property. A lovely Japanese style cottage where the upstairs in nestled in amongst a huge Jacaranda tree. I would totally stay there. 

The upstairs bedroom, with Sister Thompson and Sister Jefferies peeking out the window

The doors were found in India

Photo of the sweet seamstresses that create the beautiful pillows, cloths and bags that are sold at TJ Max in the USA

We then headed over to Olive and Plates, located in the Witwatersrand University.
Presentation was delightful, and the taste, unbelievably good. This is Sister Pond's salad.

Sister Thompson's Roasted Chicken Pie with vegetables

I also had the roasted chicken pie, but with salad. Yum!

Top L; Sister Hamilton, Sister Pond, Me, Sister Jefferies, Sister Egan, Sister Thompson
Bottom L; Sister Dunn, Sister Barton, Sister Walton


  1. fun! Looks like a group of lovely ladies out having a great time! I'm a tad envious!

  2. Cathy, you would have loved this day! I thought of you when I saw the beautiful handwork :D