Notes from the Field: Women's Day in South Africa


Deb Snyder, 2010 Teach with Africa fellow, has a BS in Global Strategic Management and an MBA from Dominican University of California.

August 9th is a holiday here in South Africa.

The story goes that in 1954, 20,000 women marched to Pretoria with a petition that they wanted to become law.  From that day, Women’s Day has developed.

Today is a real legal holiday, as in everything is closed, and there are celebrations everywhere.  The one we participated in was at the South African Methodist Church, here in Langa. [Langa] was one of the first Black Townships developed after Apartheid was enacted.

The celebration was to honor women in the Langa community who have given back to the community.  Mama from the soup kitchen was honored, as were a number of other women.  I am a bit vague as to who was honored, as the entire celebration was spoken in Xhosa.

Just about the only thing that was said in English was by the moderator, who said “When you sing, you need to stand up” and from that time on, every time the LEAP Choir started to sing, all of us Fellows stood up.

As always, the voice of these kids was beautiful.

The day was pleasant, the company was good, and the cause honorable.

Help send a teacher to South Africa.

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