By Vidal Thaver
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 8 of VARSITY News.
With the current social climate we have around issues like gender-based violence and femicide in this country, it is no wonder that the way we view National Women’s Day has changed. The day prompts us to evaluate womxn’s role in our history as well as in our society today. The old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is” is put to the test when discussing issues plaguing South African society today. In a StatsSA report on Economic Empowerment between 2001 and 2017, it was said that female participation in the labour market is important for many reasons, including reducing poverty and increasing control over resources. That being said, here are five small businesses owned by black womxn for you to consider supporting.
Founded by Anita Hlazo, the Afrogrunge brand aims to create a space for people of colour to embrace counterculture when counterculture itself does not feel inclusive. Afrogrunge sells a range of branded clothing items and tries to redefine contemporary ideas of blackness. Anita uses her love of fashion to break grunge culture’s status quo and establish new norms.
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Tukiya’s Closet (@tukiyas_closet)
Tukiya’s Closet is an online shop with curated second-hand pieces, run by Tukiya Mulusa. “Anchored by sustainability, our garments are specially selected and curated with the conscious individual in mind,” says Tukiya. “I often ask myself when I find an item suitable for Tukiya’s Closet, ‘Is it a good quality item? Is it timeless? Is it stylish?’ I spend a lot of time cleaning garments, steaming them, shooting the item, being VERY specific about sizing, fabrics and packaging them so that my customers feel special when they receive their parcel.” Tukiya said she hopes what she is doing is empowering to other womxn, as she is a big believer in womxn supporting each other and being informed.
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Ennie’s African Designs (@ennies.africandesigns)
Ennie creates products from unique African patterned material. Each product is handmade from a range of colourful prints. You can order a variety of products from Ennie like picnic blankets, sunhats, reusable shopping bags, pet beds and more!
Indwe Designs (@indwe_designs)
Indwe Designs creates handmade leather accessories with a local African flair. Most items are completely original and one of a kind. Earrings and neck pieces are their forte with an array of colour schemes to choose from.
NEIZ Home Spa (@neiz_homespa)
NEIZ Home Spa sells handmade facial, body, bath, and aromatherapy products. The business places an importance on authenticity and simplicity. They want customers to feel like they are at a spa treatment when using their products at home. They hope womxn who use their products will be encouraged to love themselves through the process of self-care.
“When you are taking care of yourself, you become confident and [feel] able to win in every area in your life,” says NEIZ Home Spa owner, Munei Nevhudogwa. Supporting womxn, especially black womxn, in their business endeavours is such an important part of celebrating Womxn’s Month. Buying products from local womxn not only empowers them, but empowers their households, their family and ultimately the community at large. We all benefit when womxn succeed.