Every year on 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, a public holiday that pays homage to the women of our nation; – the mothers, the wives, the sisters and the daughters who fought tirelessly against the tyranny of the Apartheid government. In the spirit of celebrating women, using nominations sent to us by a number of Makana’s residents via social media, Embizweni has compiled a list of nine influential women in Makana, who are making a difference and impact in various fields.
- Janet Buckland:
Buckland is the Director of UBOM drama company and has been responsible for the initiation and creation of a significant number of incredibly successful arts and culture projects in the Eastern Cape. The most notable project is UBOM!, the Eastern Cape Drama Company, which was the first full time professional drama company in the province. It brings theatre presentations and drama workshops to thousands of people in schools and communities all over the Eastern Cape.
She was also responsible for the growth and development of the Studio Project of the National Arts Festival which showcases Eastern Cape artists, and has been nationally and internationally recognized for her community work, performances and directing.
- Dr Nomalanga Mkhize:
Mkhize holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Cape Town and a MA in Hostory from Rhodes University. She is currently a lecturer with the Department of History in Grahamstown. She is a former presenter of the nature documentary series Shoreline and has been involved in community education initiatives since 2008. Mkhize is part of a number of community based organisations such as called Save Our Schools and Community, which functions in the Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown areas, Women’s Academic Solidarity Association, Save Our Schools and Community, Rhodes Parents Education Programme, Fingo Festival amongst others. She has also written articles for online publications such as bdlive and theconmag.
- Woineshet Bischoff
The Director of Child Welfare Grahamstown, Bischoff has trained as a social worker, and has a long standing background in health education. She was trained and educated in Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, and Papua New Guinea and has been engaged in NGO work on three continents (Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific). Over the past 17 years she has managed two well-established NGOs in Grahamstown, been involved in policy development, statutory social work services, fundraising, staff management and administration. She has made an impact on the lives of many local children, as well as their families, together with the rest of her team at Child Welfare.
- Lindsay Kelland:
Self-proclaimed feminist philosopher, Kelland, who has completed her PhD in Philosophy, is involved in numerous projects concerned with issues of gender based violence and rape in our society. Her work as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics promotes effective ethical agency through three distinct projects—research, teaching and consultancy. She is one of the organisers of the Silent Protest and is also GENACT’s representative on the Men’s Project Planning Committee. Amongst her variety of activities, Kelland has also delivered numerous talks concerning gender dynamics on behalf the Rhodes University Dean of Students Office.
- Professor Di Wilmot:
Dean of Faculty of Education at Rhodes University, Wilmot was the Faculty’s Project Leader for the HEAIDS Teacher Education HIV and AIDS Pilot Project, an EU funded project, in 2007/8. Prof Wilmot is a member of the International Network of Teacher Institutions associated with the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability; the National Environmental Education Teacher Network, and the National Teacher Education Network established for the purpose of integrating environment and sustainability education into teacher education programmes. She is a member of the Higher Education of South Africa Education Deans’ Forum, the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG), the South African Education Research Association (SAERA), and the South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education. Wilmot served on the Council of the Diocesan School for Girls in Grahamstown for more than a decade and while Chairman (2010-2012) led a team that conceptualized and built the new DSG Junior School the design of which was informed by contemporary perspectives on learning and pedagogy.
Dr Deborah Seddon
A senior lecturer in the Rhodes University English Department, Seddon’s passion for teaching earned her the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011. She is also the chairperson of the Gender Action committee. Seddon is also one of the co-facilitators of a community partnership project between the English Department and the Writers’ Movement, a group of local township writers. The group runs regular weekly meetings of a poetry workshop group, The Cycle of Knowledge, comprised of university students, secondary school students, and poets from the local community. The group’s praxis is informed by community engagement scholarship that advocates the formation of strategic partnerships for the mutual education of all participants. Seddon was recently awarded a two-year Newton Advanced Fellowship, from the British Academy, to work on a project entitled:An Arc to the Future: Preserving and Promoting Orature in the South African Literary Imaginary. The funding will help Deborah work towards the creation of a digital archive of South African oral and performance poetry to be calledWordArc.The aim of the online archive is to collect and adequately contextualize the seminal works of South African orature from the colonial to the post-apartheid periods.
- Diana Hornby
- Hornby was appointed Director of Community Engagement at Rhodes University in January 2011. She has 15 years experience in the Early Childhood and Community Development field. She directed the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University for six years and in this time developed a best practice ECD model that received national recognition. Hornby was also part of a team that established a national network for 70 ECD NPO’s in the country. In 2007 she took over the Angus Gillis Foundation, a rural development NPO with a strong focus on pro-poor models of development, winning SA’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award (Welfare and Community Service) for her work. She has an BEd Honours from Rhodes University and a Masters in Social Science from Fort Hare University.Pam YakoYako served as the administrator of Makana Municipality from September 2014 – June 2015, where she dedicated herself to formulating strategies to improve the state of Makana Municipality. During her tenure as administrator, she was the highest paid municipal administrator in South Africa. She is also the founder of Zenande Leadership, a 100% black female owned business which was established in late 2009 and offers services in organisational development consulting and advice on sustainability issues.
- Daphne Timm Real-estate agent by day, community activist by night. Timm is known locally for using social media as a means to communicate with fellow Grahamstown citizens as well as find solutions to keep the municipality accountable. She is an avid believer in active citizenship and is a member of the Grahamstown Business Forum. Her Facebook page Grahamstown Municipal Services Outage Reporting is dedicated to informing the citizens of Grahamstown on any service-related issues and currently has over 1000 likes. Timm is often commended by the local public on her efforts to facilitate communication between citizens and Makana Municipality.
On behalf of the citizens of Makana, Embizweni would like to let you know that the work you do for our community does not go unnoticed. We appreciate your dedication and commitment. Happy Women’s Day!