7 Stories of Fearlessness from South African Women
Fear is a part of life but it doesn’t have to be all of it. And when we face our fears, despite our trembling hands and feelings of self-doubt, we strengthen our ability to overcome them – because being fearless is not the absence of fear but choosing to forge ahead anyway.
In the words of Judy Blume “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.”
With this in mind, we asked our customers to write to us about a fear they overcame - and these are some of many incredible answers we received. Everything from surviving a brain tumor to succeeding in predominately male industries.
Here are just 7 of the stories shared – all demonstrating women’s ability to forge ahead with sheer grit, resilience and determination.
- Maentle Mofokeng
Fear of the unknown. I still remember the day, when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor :15/12/2017. The biggest fear that I had was will I survive the operation? Will my life be the same, will I be able to walk, talk, continue with my career as a nurse, will I be the same person, will I be able to drive my car again, most of all I have family and kids to take care of, so many questions that I couldn't answer during that time. But as a strong woman I have faith because anything that I fear, I just look up and pray therefore I become fearless. Here I am today no double vision, no more paralysis of my left side of the body, I am back on my feet again FEARLESS.
- Slungile Ndaba
I remember when I went through the divorce with my husband and I had to start afresh with my two boys. The fear in me badly wanted to hang on to a toxic marriage and not move forward, as I was scared that I could not make it on my own. I remember the crippling fear, that screamed louder, telling me, how I have failed my kids. The fear was so bad that I would have panic attacks. I felt humiliated that as young as I am, I could not make my marriage work. But I faced my biggest fear and step by step I faced the fear of being alone and raising my boys. I faced the crippling voice inside of me that told me I could not make it. I bought my boys a house, I have healed, I no longer have the fear that I'm not worthy because I know I am a fearless woman destined for greatness.
- Bessie Mpe
Greetings. Being fearless is one of the biggest obstacles that one has to overcome. I remember telling my family how I wanted to do medicine, to provide good health services for my people, back then it seemed impossible and no one believed in me. My parents couldn't afford to take me to Varsity but luckily, I got a bursary and studied. I had to believe in myself throughout, I am the first medical doctor in my family, believing in myself when no one else did and still being able to finish medical school in record time is incredible. I am from a poor background, raised by a single parent. Where I come from most girls don't see themselves accomplishing their career goals and taking up space. I believe all women have the right to dream and follow their dreams. I believe in the woman being Imbokoto.
- Jeannette Moodley
In 2010 just after the completion of the famous soccer world cup l became the victim of a hijacking. I was waiting outside my kid’s school waiting for them to come when I saw three males approach the car in front of me. I realised they were hijackers and started my car. Unfortunately, I could not get out in time. The one guy started banging on my window with the butt of a gun asking me to jump off. I told myself that I was going to get away no matter what. I jumped over his extended hand and bailed out of the car like I was in an action movie. I rolled down the bank while a shot was fired. They got away in my car. It was a harrowing experience. I was shattered by the trauma of it all. I realised though that if I did not face my fear head on, I would never drive again. The next day I gingerly stepped into my husband's car and made that trip back to school to fetch my children. It was the longest and most arduous journey I ever made but I was triumphant because I did not let these criminals deter me for life. For a long while I battled with the fear of being hijacked again whenever any suspicious people approached me when driving my car but I slowly overcame this and now ten years later I am a stronger and fearless woman.
- Tanya Maluleke
I am a 30-year-old Mechanical Engineer. In a male dominated field, as a woman you are made to feel that you are not as capable as your male counterparts and you fear that you will never be good enough. That is something I have left in the past...I live fearlessly now because I am able to conquer and thrive where I was once made to believe that I do not belong.
- Martha Rakhathoe
When I was around 10 years old, my uncle used to visit my home and he would always bring sweets for me and my brother. He would also give my mother money and other things. We loved him so much and got very excited when we saw him. He used to put me on his lap and ask me about school etc, I would feel very happy. That excitement changed to fear when one day whilst on his lap he started to touch me in the way that it did not feel right to me. He would do that when my mother went the kitchen to prepare food or something for him. Because everybody loved him it was difficult to tell my mom. This happened repeatedly. Sometimes I would hide in the bedroom but he or my mom would call me out. I did not tell anyone until I passed my matric. During those years abuse was never discussed openly. I studied Social Work in order to help children that are going through the same thing and create awareness. Through counselling my clients, I got healed and gained confidence. I’m a strong woman now and I can stand my ground. I am fearless.
- Rolina Smit
Hello to all the Fearless woman out there! For 3 and a half years I was caught up in a very abusive marriage. I could not sleep and was anxious all the time. I started losing hair, became despondent and found myself in a situation where I did not want to go home after work. I don't know how I managed to focus at work at all. The situation at home affected all my other relationships as well (parents, family, friends as well as colleagues) and I ended up angry all the time. At some point I realised enough was enough. I realised I am a STRONG woman, a warrior not a worrier, and only I could change the course I was on. I decided to put an end to my marriage and not a single day has gone by that I am not thankful for being BRAVE and FEARLESS!
Thank you to all the women who shared their fearless stories with us. For all that you have fought through and continue to fight through, we applaud you.