Mbuyiselo Botha
Gender Activist, Dedicated Father

Mbuyiselo Botha has been called “a lone voice in the wilderness” for tirelessly campaigning for gender equality. He feels passionately that men should shoulder the responsibility of creating a safe and equal society for women and travels the length and breadth of South Africa holding workshops challenging cultural notions about what it means to be a man.

His own upbringing was distressingly dysfunctional in many ways - he grew up under severely impoverished conditions and did not know the paternity of his own father. Today he has found some measure of healing by striving to be a fully attentive and loving dad to his own children. He says that children have an innate wisdom, and often teach us how to “walk our talk”.

His story is a powerful lesson in forgiving and letting go of past hurts. Shot during the Sharpeville rent boycott in the mid-80’s, Mbuyiselo became partially paralysed overnight. He feels no anger or bitterness, but says that he chooses rather to see the incident as a gift of life.

Mbuyiselo also talks to us about emotional banking for healthy relationships, laughter as the best medicine and finding guidance and inspiration in the popular media.

“I want my daughters to be able to grow up in a safe South Africa – we need to create a violence free society for women.”




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