Media Hot Mama-Suliwe Sihlwayi

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I caught up with the ever stylish and bold Suliwe Sihlwayi, a well-known face in and around the Bay. Suliwe is the presenter and producer of her show “Gals Night In” on Bay TV, Channel 260, and for a change she was the one on the receiving end of questions. Suliwe is a free spirit and wants this freedom to be felt by everyone in the room

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SS: Besides being a TV show host, what else keeps you busy?

SULI: I’m a full time student at NMMU studying towards a BA MCC degree this keeps me very busy! When I have the drive, time and energy for it I DJ and on weekends I host a radio show with my two talented, dramatic, informative and funny co-hosts Charlie and Lusi at Madibaz Radio. I read, books have become my friends. I sometimes neglect them, but I always go back. Music also keeps me company, finding it, listening to it, and playing it at the station or clubs is great.

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SS: We notice that you are building a brand around your name, what tools and platforms are you using to do this?

SULI: Hmmm i don’t know if I’m building a brand more than I’m making a career out of something I love i.e. TV, entertainment etc. Just like an accounting student would do when he/she is working towards that final board exam. I’m just tryna make a living from something I love. The concept of building a brand terrifies me because I connect that with having to be a certain way or stifling my sometimes spontaneous self for this purpose of building thus monumental brand. I don’t want that and also I don’t have a team working with me or for me, I just have these platforms in which I operate from so I just try to make sure I do my best and let that speak for itself.

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SS: What does feminism mean to you?

SULI: We live in a patriarchal and sexist society. It isn’t neutral how things are setup and women are most affected, men too, but women are in serious chains man! The genius thing that this setup was able to do is make the chains that we wear (men and women) a part of our wardrobe and we then wear them willingly. So feminism for me is a movement that wants to first show you those chains and then help you remove the chains and then once you see the difference, the load that’s off you, help others remove their chains too. That’s in my own words ….but my shero bell hooks defines feminism as a “movement to end sexism, sexual exploitation and oppression.” So you see it’s not gender specific because we are all affected by patriarchy. It’d not a fight for women against men.

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SS: What plagues women in media the most?

SULI: Having to fit a certain stereotype of what a women is and should be. This plagues all women, in public and in private spaces, but I think because media perpetuates and enforces a certain view in a massive and instantaneous way, that society inevitably buys into, for women to contribute in this field they have to conform to that view/ideal.

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SS: How can you help this situation?

SULI: By breaking down the doors and to keep pushing back you know. Freedom was never given to anyone, you fight for this thing and you just hope others see your fight so that they can join and help make things easier for everyone else.

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Suliwe just has a presence about her, you can’t miss her! Great things are coming your way DJ Sulz :)

Imagine if you didn’t have to try..

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Imagine being unapologetically YOU.

Imagine expressing yourself the way you choose to

Imagine a life where the noise of society falls away like a drop in the ocean

Cavalierly walking the streets, barefeet

Imagine.

 

Imagine not having to prove yourself to be better than..

faster than…

prettier than..

smarter than…

A life without comparison, just imagine

 

Imagine being taught this song as a child, have it melodically impressed in your mind

Imagine the freedom and power bolting through your veins every single day

Stress free, worry free, make up free… HAPPY

One can only imagine

 

Imagine being influenced by what or who is in you..

Not having to try anything to make others like or accept you

Imagine being your own leader, creating your own norms

No jurisdiction, no laws, no chains, no saws

 

Stop imagining.

Be.

Miss Eastern Cape- a pageant with a purpose

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I recently had the experience of being on a panel of what I thought was a beauty pageant. At the time of accepting the invitation, I had several reservations. Based on what I write about and who I am, you would know that I never want to be in a position of power that “judges” people according to their looks and legs and not who they are. That’s not who I am (anymore).The All-Girls’ school paradigm and standard of mainstream beauty has long evaded me and helping ladies feel secure in themselves is who I have chosen to be. I also advocate against the objectification of women which exploits their souls by the instrumentality of their bodies.

I walked into the venue filled with giggling girls in their high heels. Some looked eager, some nervous and others inert.

I spotted the organizer and brains behind the initiative, Zikhona Ngxata, who looked like one of the girls herself. Zikhona was a pageant queen and still holds the title and passion in her heart, which is why she brought this competition to life.

Of course, I snowballed her with questions about the pageant before sitting on the judging seat, just to ease my conscience.

Firstly I learnt that the pageant has two categories, Miss Eastern Cape (Ages 20-30) and Miss Eastern Cape Teen (ages 13-19). Secondly, the beauty pageant is focused on developing and empowering young girls and young women from the Eastern Cape.

Having looked at the social ills in our province, Zikhona’s team together with the Departments of Health and Education, found that the Eastern Cape is one of the provinces that is mostly affected by teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, poverty and illiteracy. Zikhona’s company came up with this campaign that tries to deter these young girls and young women away from the streets and instill value and principles of self-love and self-value.  Lastly, Miss Eastern Cape looks to develop these young ladies from a holistic approach; spiritually, politically, economically and socially.

Miss Eastern Cape (incl Teen) will instill values of gratitude,with the knowledge of the blood shed for our freedom. The onus  is on us to sustain and maintain this honour instead of abusing it. Furthermore, the women will work together with their chosen communities to build an even brighter and better future for our lovely, province and country.

Eastern Cape is the ‘home of legends’ and if we do not step up to the plate as young people, that statement will remain a part of history.

Women have  power to influence and need to be cognizant of it and activate it. This collective  influence will raise an army that will go together in fighting the social ills and making the province a better place to live in.

I believe this is the start of great things for the Eastern Cape and South Africa at large. The message behind this concept “beauty with purpose” completely overturns the external trajectory of outer beauty and focuses on the inner, truest beauty, compassion and social responsibility.

Needless to say, I was happy to be part of the Port Elizabeth panel and a keen supporter of this cause. Women, thou art loosed!

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*Miss Eastern Cape will be held at the East London International Convention Centre on 6 December 2014. Miss Eastern Cape and Miss Eastern Cape Teen  tickets are R 120.00 normal seats and R250.00 for VIP, (VIP includes a 3 course cocktail meal) and are available at Computicket!

15 things you should do at least once in your life

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The sky isn’t the limit, it’s my office!

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We are often told that the sky is the limit. Oyama Matomela, a commercial pilot license holder at 22, South African brand ambassador and strong believer in our living God disputes this, saying it’s more like her office. She is a loving, fun person, with a whole lot of spunk. She believes that laughing is one of the best things on earth and describes herself as sassy, driven, goal-orientated and ambitious beyond her abilities (sometimes). She is added to the ever-growing list of Sorority Sayings contributors, and this is what she had to say!

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SS: When did you realize that you wanted to be a pilot?

OM: Early memories of family trips taken to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch in fascination while the aircrafts take-off and land, brought to me an unimaginable dire need to venture into Aviation and Piloting in my teen years

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SS:When did you qualify?

OM: The Department of Roads and Transport of The Eastern Cape awarded me a bursary to commence my initial pilot training (theoretical and practical) at 43 Air School, Port Alfred in January of 2010. A life-changing year and eight months was spent in what was the most challenging and seemingly impossible experience that without a doubt tested my passion for flying. This tested me, drove me to work harder than I ever thought I could. There was no limit I would not stretch to, to achieve my goal of becoming a multi-engine, instrument rated commercial pilot in August of 2011.

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SS: What where the biggest obstacles to obtaining your wings?

OM: It became difficult for a low hour pilot such as myself, to find a job in this ever growing Aviation Industry. In December 2012, I self-studied gearing myself to write the Airline Transport Pilot License Examinations in March 2012 which I did and successfully passed all of them.I then enrolled for the September 2012 Grade III Flight Instructor Rating course (fixed wing) with the aid of The Department of Roads and Transport of The Eastern Cape, which I successfully completed and became a qualified Grade III Flight Instructor in December 2012.

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SS: Please share some of the struggles that women face in this industry.

OM: As females we are, for the most part, raised in a different light. Playing with dolls in princess castles rather than being exposed to machinery, while men are generally exposed to racing cars as young boys, this raises the stereotype that compared to men, females do not have the natural ability to fly. As a female pilot in a male dominated industry, you take these stereotypes in your stride and pray more often, work harder, practice discipline and sacrifice your all. With passion, half the battle is won.

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SS: You recently won an award, what was it and how were you selected?

OM: I was recently nominated for CEO Communications’ “Most Influential Women in Business and Governance”. I was notified by CEO Communications that I had been nominated. I then had to fill in an extensive questionnaire of my qualifications and role to society in the Aviation Sector. A selection process narrowed the nine thousand nominations and entries to just under one hundred. It was an incredible honour to be nominated for this role and an overwhelming surprise to receive a finalist award in the Aviation Sector.

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SS: How do young girls, who look up to you, join the industry?

OM: I would definitely encourage young women and girls to pursue a career in the Aviation industry. Young girls should start off on the right foot at school in concentrating on Mathematics and Science. These are two subjects that sponsorships and bursary benefactors base their selection processes on.

Mostly,as women we shouldn’t limit our dreams. Nothing is impossible, even the word says “I’M POSSIBLE”.

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Happy Birthday Captain Ojams! We celebrate you! Keep rocking the runway!

#Womandla