Women Empowerment in South Africa

South Africa is the home of many female emcees. South Africa has the largest female emcee scene in Africa. With most of the female African artist being from South Africa, it is only natural that a message of women empowerment appears within the country. The theme of my playlist is Women Empowerment in South Africa.

Rates of violence against women is high in South Africa, where sexual assault and rape culture have sparked outrage. Stereotypes about women have had a long lasting impact on the treatment of women. African women are stereotyped as weak, inferior to men, and objects rather than people. African women are expected to raise children and take care of the household. Many female South African artists have defied the stereotypes/expectations placed on them.

My playlist begins with the song, “What’s Real” by Nthabi. Nthabi is a well known South African artist, who has been around for years. In this song Nthabi writes about ignoring what everyone else has to say. You shouldn’t care what someone has to say about your body, your attitude, or anything else. You can’t let that phase you. I started my playlist off with this song because the message is the backbone on which women empowerment leads on. Women cannot conform to societies expectations.

The second song in my playlist is a song for MarkLives #CampaignRadar. The song features Gigi Lamayne a South African native. Gigi Lamayne considers herself a feminist and believes it is important to celebrate women in her music. Gigi Lamayne worked alongside Lira, GoodLuck, and Mariechan for the song, “My Body (Stand Up) ” which they did as a collaboration with the organization “1st for Women.” Gigi Lamayne is one of the prominent figures for women empowerment in South Africa. In this song, Gigi Lamayne celebrates women and their body. The music video for the song features women and young girls of all ages and races. During Gigi’s verse she calls for unity between women. She encourages women to work together because working together is the only way women will be able to make a difference.

The next song on the playlist is Dope Saint Jude’s song, “Inside.” Dope Saint Jude is tearing down all the stereotypes attached to women. She represents herself in a way that is true to her. African women are expected to dress in traditional African wear, which mostly consists of dresses and/or skirts. Dope Saint Jude challenges this along with sexuality expectations. Her song, “Inside” carries a powerful message. She’s telling women and young girls that beauty is on the inside. Starting from a young age girls begin to compare themselves to other girls. They struggle with their appearance and start to believe that other girls are more beautiful than them. Dope Saint Jude encourages her audience not to do that and that what’s inside makes you beautiful.

The 4th song on my playlist is “Dintshang.” This song is by South African artist Ms. Supa. Women are expected to be conservative but Ms. Supa does the opposite in her song, “Dintshang.” Ms. Supa’s performance is braggadocio is every way possible. In the video she appears in “sexy” clothing and lyrics to make. This song spews out nothing but confidence. While listening to the song you can’t help but have a sense of confidence and want to have a good time. “Dintshang,” is the song you listen to on girls’ night out.

The last song on the playlist is another song by Dope Saint Jude. It is her song, “Grrrl Like.” The music video for this song has sparked many conversations about women stirring away from stereotypes/expectations. The music video showcases women in a different light. The women in this video aren’t depicted in bright traditional African wear. Instead the women in the video are dressed in all black, in clothes similar to biker wear. The video also acknowledges and celebrates relationships between 2 women. “Grrrl Like,” celebrates women and encourages them to stand in their truth. Reminding them to always be themselves.

Women especially African women have been viewed as the underdog for far too long. These South African artists are directly confronting the stereotypes and expectations that have poisoned South Africa and the rest of the world. Unity between women can impact the ways in which women are viewed dramatically.

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