One of South Africa’s most popular entertainment personalities and social media stars comments on the importance of actively empowering girls in South Africa ahead of local ACTIVATE documentary premiere.
Key corporates, government officials and local celebs recently came together to show support of ‘ACTIVATE: The Global Citizen Movement’ – a newly released documentary series created by National Geographic in partnership with P&G and Global Citizen.
The gala dinner was a platform for the local premiere of the series, with a special focus on the ‘Keeping Girls in School’ episode, filmed in Johannesburg and featuring SA’s Bonang Matheba alongside Gayle King and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Usher, Pharrell Williams, Hugh Jackman and other personalities, will also feature in the impactful documentary series, which aims to raise awareness about extreme poverty, inequality and sustainability issues and to mobilise Global Citizens to drive meaningful and lasting change on the Global Citizen platform.
Bonang’s involvement in supporting gender equality issues and environments that empower young girls goes beyond this powerful documentary. She has played an active role in many initiatives and has participated in The Unstoppable Girl – Rewriting the Rules panel discussion at the P&G UNWomen #WeSeeEqual Gender Equality Summit where she received enthusiastic applause for her strong stance on gender equality. She was also invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018 during the #LeaveNoGirlBehind discussion, and is a supporter of the Always Keeping Girls in School initiative driven by P&G’s sanitary pad brand, Always. The programme was created to empower young girls through essential puberty education, motivation, access to educational resources and donations of Always sanitary pads.
As the founder of the Bonang Matheba Bursary Fund that supports tertiary education funding for girls, Bonang has also seen the powerful impact of education. “The ripple effect when you educate one girl is enormous. It has a positive impact on her family, her community and society at large. Education allows girls the freedom to dream. That is where empowerment starts.”
“As individuals, we need to step-up and become role models to inspire hope, create conversations and actionable change for others who need it. Positive role models played a big part in her own journey to self-actualisation,” Bonang said. “I look up to women who made me feel it’s okay to be me. I admire women like Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, Khanyi Dhlomo, Connie Ferguson and above all my mother. Seeing these women succeed made me feel I can do it too.”
Watch Bonang in the ‘Keeping Girls in School’ episode, the 4th in the Activate: The Global Citizen Movement documentary series, only on National Geographic, DSTV Channel 181, on 6 October at 8PM.