First Lady Tobeka Madiba-Zuma Thinks Women Need Men If They Are To “Have It All”

Tobeka Madiba-Zuma


Having it all, here, means achieving a “[balance] between motherhood, a successful career and the role of loving and supportive spouse”.

It has been a busy few days for Madiba-Zuma. Last week she visited three child-headed homes in rural KwaZulu-Natal for the Nelson Mandela Day activities.

She then visited the Leading Lady Lounge at the Durban International Film Festival, where she spoke to young girls aspiring to achieve screen stardom. The event was attended by celebrities such as President Jacob Zuma’s daughter, Gugu; Nomzamo Mbatha; Mampho Brescia; Thembi Seete and Thishiwe Ziqubu.

Fulu Mugovhani was hired to promote and raise issues facing women in the film industry.

After encouraging young girls to go after their dreams, Madiba-Zuma told The Times that she knew and had seen women who “have it all”.

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“I’m not necessarily a feminist. I think for us to succeed in our struggles we cannot leave men out of the equation,” she said.

“We need to have men because they play an important role in our lives, and I think if we are to win the struggle we have to have them on board.

“Rope them in and educate them.”

US first lady Michelle Obama was recently chided by feminists for her comments that “at the end of day, my most important title is still mom-in-chief”.

Facebook chief Sheryl Sandberg has been reminded that her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, is no feminist manifesto because she got to the top thanks to powerful men.

But Madiba-Zuma, President Zuma’s third wife, believes that motherhood and a successful career can run concurrently.

“Life is a balancing act. I’ve seen women being able to work but still keep a home together.”

The first lady said she did not delegate but ensured she had a “strong support system” around her.

“If you create that environment, then people just volunteer to assist and you then take advantage of that.”

When asked what she made of the hype around her weight loss and fashion choices, she laughed.

“I’ll know I’ve too much time on my hands to fret over that. There are women dying of cancer out there,” she said.

Madiba-Zuma is in Windhoek this week to attend the Forum of African First Ladies and the Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference .


Source: Times Lives

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