It’s A Feminist Thing Talkshow

It’s A Feminist Thing is an 8-part, uniquely South African talk-show, that captures the zeitgeist of the contemporary South African women’s movement – a feminist which has patriarchy squarely in its sights. The talk-show explores relationships between women, gives real expression to the ways that women love, support and empower each other, and shows patriarchy’s divisive and destructive power.

It’s A Feminist Thing is inspired by women’s rage and the spontaneous uprising of young women galvanised into action by the low-grade civil war being waged on the bodies of women, girls and gender-non-conforming people.

The show was catalysed by the feminist revolution that took shape as the #TheTotalShutdown, the #SandtonShutdown, and in the protests of women who took to the streets after a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student was tortured, raped and murdered in a post-office on the 24th of August 2019.

It’s A Feminist Thing is hosted by Phinah Kodisang, veteran broadcaster Kgomotso Matsunyane, Thando Gumede and Nyiko Shikwambane - an intergenerational group of fiery intersectional feminists who tackle old and deeply-rooted systems of power that cut across custom, class, culture, politics, and religion.


Episode 1: Feminism 101

What is Feminism and why do we need it in S.A.?

This episode takes a look at feminism and the feminist movement in South Africa. What has been achieved and what still needs to be done. This episode answers the question, “why do we all need feminism?”.


  • Table Guest: Gail Smith - Feminist Writer & Journalist
  • Elders Corner Guest: Heidi Grunebaum - Activist & Acting Director at the Centre for Humanities Research, UWC 
  • Allies Corner Guest: Mthetho Tshemese - Clinical Psychologist

Language Term

Feminism: Tumelo mo ditshwanelong le kgololesego ya bomme/basadi


  • Feminism is for everybody. - bell hooks
  • You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Your life belongs to you and you alone. - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Take up the battle. Take it up. It's yours. This is your life. This is your world. - Maya Angelou
  • I am a feminist because I am a woman living in a world where if I am not vigilant, I will be erased, exploited or dehumanised. – Siphokazi Mthathi
  • There is a rich tradition of feminism in Africa - it needs to be documented and publicised! – Hakima Abbas
  • Women have found their personal will to stand up and be counted by refusing to be victims and spectators in a world of inequality. – Mabel Ule
  • Women are the people who are going to relieve us from all this oppression and depression...It is the women who are on the street committees educating the people to stand up and protect each other” - Albertina Sisulu

Episode 2: Unpacking Patriarchy

What is Patriarchy and how does it manifest in our day to day lives?

Unpacking patriarchy and the insidious ways it has been built into our societal structures. We look at the different ways in which patriarchy manifests and harms not just women, but men as well.


  • Table Guest: Dr. Vashna Jagarnath - Senior Research Associate, Centre for Social Change, University of Johannesburg.
  • Elders Corner Guest: Barbara Masekela - Political Activist, Poet and educator
  • Allies Corner Guest: Prof. Kopano Ratele - Director, South African Medical Research Council Men, Injury and Violence Research Unit

Language Term

Patriarchy: Tsamaiso kakaretso ya setšhaba, e e fang banna marapo le maatla a go busa le go gatlaka basadi


  • The greatest external threat to women, and by extension humanity, is the growth and acceptance of a misogynistic, authoritarian and violent culture of militarism- Amina Mama
  • When a group has internalised their oppression, they may find themselves unable to imagine living without it - Malebo Sephodi
  • I know that I have the right to be free, and to do what I like. – Aminata Dieye
  • Having more feminists in government and public spaces would change thinking towards a better livelihood for all. – Asma’u Joda
  • I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up. But I sometimes still feel vulnerable in the face of gender expectations. - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • There is no true social revolution without the liberation of women - Thomas Sankara

Episode 3: Culture & Customs - Effects Of Patriarchy

Exploring the ways that Indigenous cultures encourage the oppression and mistreatment of women and queer people.

Episode 3 highlights how African customs and culture encourage the oppression of women and queer people. We discuss the Tswana translation of the term Male privilege and the role it plays in customary beliefs. Author of A man who is not a man, Thando Mgqolozana, exposes some of the unhealthy and dangerous practices within male initiation schools. Ntsako unpacks lobola from a heteronormative and same-sex marriage practice, while Dr Nokuzola Mndende shares her contentious views on the evolution of lobola from a cultural and womanist perspective.


  • Table Guest: Thando Mgqolozana - Author of A Man Who Is Not A Man
  • Elders Corner Guest: Dr Nokuzola Mndende - Director of Icamagu Heritage Centre
  • Allies Corner Guest: Professor Kopano Ratele - Psychologist

Language Term

Male privilege: “Tlotlo e e faphegileng e fiwang banna, fela ka gore ke ba bong boo


  • The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued. - Michelle Obama
  • If you wish to know how civilized a culture is, look at how they treat its women. Bacha Khan
  • The overwhelming majority of women accept the patriarchy and protect it. Traditionally, the violated wife offloads her aggression onto the daughter-in-law. Men dominate women through the agency of women themselves. - Winnie Mandela
  • We need to live in a culture that values and respects and looks up to and idolizes women as much as men -  Emma Watson

Episode 4: Religion And Patriarchy - Effects Of Patriarchy

What role does Religion play in perpetuating patriarchy?

Whilst our constitution protects every human being irrespective of race, religion, sexual identity and orientation, our culture(s) and religions have a long way to go in catching up. Pastor, clinical psychologist and sangoma, Anele Siswana, joins the conversation on the intersections of religion, african spirituality and patriarchy. Ntsako discovers what peoples perspectives are on the ground on the problematic issues of Proverbs 31, and we are in discussion with Dr Miranda Pillay who speaks on interpretations of the bible; answering the question around what value there is in maintaining a religious system that excludes so many people?


  • Table Guest: Anele Siswana, Clinical Psychologist and Spiritualist
  • Elders Corner Guest: Dr Miranda Pillay, Theo-ethical feminist and biblical scholar
  • Allies Corner Guest: Mthetho Tshemese, Clinical Psychologist 

Language Term

Nonbinary (gender nonconforming): “Motho o tebego ya gagwe e sa netefatseng bong ba gagwe”


  • Democracy cannot long endure with the head of a God and the tail of a   demon. Josephine Silone Yates
  • And what would our ideas of God, of religion, be like if they had come to us through the minds of women? - Tom Robbins
  • Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way. -  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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