It takes a lot for me to pay attention to a particular cause. Perhaps its because nowadays we are inundated with petitions and drives, or perhaps that I just don’t feel the genuine passion of those driving these causes.
So I really felt compelled to shine light on the a cause that resonates with me so deeply that I myself was surprised. My first encounter with BeeFeminist started on a random Sunday morning, sitting in church listening to the announcements and mulling through the grocery list I’d have to tick off when I leave there when I heard that the church would be hosting a ‘black/feminism” type conference the following Saturday. The young lady making the announcement was none other than the founder of this foundation/organisation, Miss Buhle Dlulane. I was intrigued, more than intrigued. So I got home, got online and booked myself a seat at this conference – still unsure whether I would actually attend or not.
So Saturday 17 March rolled around and the weather was awful! Everything other logical human being would have tucked in to a good book and sipped on some tea and enjoyed the weekend rain. But something inside of me just really wanted to attend this conference! So there I was, waiting to be wowed – and boy was I wowed!!!
The day was filled with talks from 4 amazing women of colour, all with very different backgrounds who embodied the notion of “black girl magic” in their own very different, but very obvious ways. The space was open for real conversation, questions and sharing about being a black woman in different industries, finding a place to be a proud black female who can raise a family and break through frontiers at the same time. No man-bashing, no name-calling – just relating and empowerment. I can’t retell the stories to the correct level of justice, all I’m saying is, watch out for the next BeeFemisinist conference. My biggest regret was not bringing my friends and family along.
I spent the next few days recalling all I’d seen, heard and learnt at the conference. And asking myself, why nobody else had thought of this. It’s simply a platform for women of all ages and backgrounds to fortify themselves in their awesomeness (for lack of a better word).
So I had to sit down with the brilliant mind behind this movement.
Buhle Dlulane is an 18-year old activist (yes, she’s only 18).
As she tells me her story and how this movement came to life, I realise that nothing and everything about her is extraordinary. An intriguing young woman, indeed.
She is a girl from the Eastern Cape, raised by a single mom who tried her utmost to provide her with the best. And that meant the opportunity to attend one of the prestigious Crawford Schools in Sandton, Johannesburg. Nothing extraordinary, right?
But when faced with financial exclusion at the dawn of her matric year, Buhle didn’t give up or hope that her mother would make a plan, or wait on a bursary or scholarship like the most teens would. Instead, through the help of her Drama teacher from Crawford, she enrolled in an American home-schooling program. The school actually sponsored her studies, assisting her to pass matric and SAT’s (Scholastic Aptitude Test).
All the while, Buhle was in the process of starting a revolution of Black Girl Magic and Resilience. She describes Bee Feminist as vision that God had placed in heart years back. She had never had the time or resources to fully hatch the plan until after writing her SATs and deciding to take a gap year. She noticed that the youth of her church did not have a solid youth program and thought, perhaps that would be a good place to start gathering support for her cause. So she drafted a plan, pitched it to her pastor and with the support of the church family, her mom and others – Bee Feminist came to life,
The movement is about education, equality and empowerment. Giving exposure to young, black girls to opportunities and networks that they otherwise would not have exposure to, a place for men and women to stand united in changing the way girls are socialised to believe they are less than. She is an inspiration to me, and a great many of those who meet her.
I urge you to follow her on social media and keep your eyes peeled for the next Bee Feminist event because this is the beginning of a revolution.
Facebook: Bee Feminist