Basetsana Kumalo and Celeste Ntuli
She’s a trailblazer who brings hope and spreads it across all those she encounters, I had the pleasure of meeting her and we spoke about life, her new book, #AllTheFeels and advice that she has for all of us young people.
GLAMOUR: Your book ‘’
: It took 2019 to finish a book that I started writing many years ago because I have been journaling through the adult part of my life. I have been through so many life experiences and I thought it would it would be important to chronicle it in literal form, so that young and old people across the race colour line and gender can be able to find inspiration and to hopefully glean from the journey of my life which includes hope. My book is a very candid account of my life, it’s raw, it’s honest and I’m very vulnerable in the book. I decided to write a book where I will not sanitize my life because I think a memoir is a depiction of who you really are and you don’t want to disrespect the reader by being selective with what you revealing. In the book I deal with gender-based violence, I tackle entrepreneurship, women empowerment, leadership and paying it forward. Some themes in the book is about conversations that we need to continue to have in South Africa, the book is not a self-indulgent book but it’s about how my journey is juxtaposed with the everyday lives of what South Africans are facing. What do I want a young South African girl to pick up from the book and I want young people today to dare to dream, to be audacious with their dreams, to not be afraid to fail and also to have a consciousness to be able to pay it forward and it doesn’t matter what you do or at what stage in your life you’re at but they need to remember that there is someone else who could do with your help and so mentoring and passing the baton forward and seeing young people come into their own is inspirational. I want young people to not allow their circumstances of their upbringing determine or define their future. They need to know that it is possible that a child of a teacher or a bus driver could be able over the years to create jobs, make an impact, use her voice and challenge the status quo of what a girl can achieve. There’s a saying that says, ‘If you can allow ourselves to see who we could become then we know that it is possible’, I want when they see what I have journeyed through that they too can be that, we need a mirror to see what we can become and who we can become. That can only happen when we tell our stories as the older generation so that when the millennials could be able to see themselves. Young people are born into a different time, whereas we were born in the apartheid system and the system of the past relegated us to people who will not amount and we were perceived to ought to be rebels with no future by the apartheid system. Young people are born into a new country, a new democracy where we have freedom. We are liberated and we need to understand that people died for it and young people need to understand that, they have a bigger responsibility which is to chart a different narrative. The book is really about knowing that even when the going gets tough, pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and you keep walking.
GLAMOUR: Why did you write and how have the reviews been from the wider audience?
25 years ago, I was crowned Miss South Africa, I look at 25 years of being a television producer, an entrepreneur and 25 years of my walk with Christ. It all felt aligned that 2019 was the correct time to finalise the book and get it published. I turned 45 in 2019, something also happened to me when I turned 40, I had my daughter at the age of 40 and I remember looking at her in hospital and I asked myself how would you measure your life? Would you measure life with the three children that you have? And I said no! I asked myself what would be your legacy? Having had an incredible platform and I thought that it’s important to write it down and I have just been overwhelmed with how the book has been received with reviews. People have been tagging me and are sharing their stories of hope whilst mentioning that they have read my book and they’ve gleaned to the knowledge which was imparted in the book and received hope and this brought to my attention that.
Basetsana Kumalo and Zozibini Tunzi
I want a GLAMOUR girl or woman to know that it’s not only about glamour and face beat and about the lashes. I want them to find their true north and once you find your true north that makes you beautiful and it’s not about your outward appearance but it’s inherently living your truth and knowing that it’s okay sometimes to walk alone, be aware that you don’t have to follow the crowd but lead. I want a young girl to allow glam to go hand in hand with their life purpose, that they use their talents for the greater good and not only just to be self-serving.
GLAMOUR: Why did you partner with Woolworths?
Where we are in life and all over the world people just need hope and this is why I partnered with Woolworths because this campaign is really about igniting hope, optimism, oneness, unity and shared joy.
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Introducing @basetsanakumalo, former Miss South Africa (1994), media personality, entrepreneur and mother. A trailblazer who brings hope and spreads it across to all those she encounters. #AlltheFeels #AW20 #Together
A post shared by GLAMOUR Magazine SA(@glamour_sa) on Mar 30, 2020 at 8:49am PDT
GLAMOUR: What does All the feels mean to you?
Laughs, don’t get me started. South Africa is such an incredible nation we come from the past that has that was just there is just evil but as a people, we have traversed and succeeded to overthrow the apartheid system as a country. South Africans are optimistic, resilient, driven and focused people. If we remember that about ourselves then we will know our sense of community and oneness is what makes us unique. We have so much to celebrate in this country as much as much as we have many challenges, but equally so we often forget how to applaud ourselves, how as a country even around the continent and the world, we are a beacon of hope. We really need to think of what happened in 2019, we brought back the Webb Ellis trophy home, Zozibini won Miss Universe2019, the Ndlovu Youth Choir took the world stage by storm and that’s who we are. We are a people that when we win, we collectively win. We are a country and a continent of song, we are a people who dance when we happy, and the beauty about All the feels campaign by Woolworths is that it brings all of those elements that make us uniquely South African where you literally get goosebumps with all that we have achieved as a country. We are such a resilient people and we come far and this movement is what it is doing because it continues the momentum of unity and positivity. Being part of this is an honour.
Photographs by Ulrich Knoblauch