Page 1







brownsense | 2

#CallItOut Editorial

BrownSense Travel Editorial

Your Money Loans: The Real Cost

Books Mmathabo Mooa: Telling Her Own Story

Community #TheTotalShutdown is leading over 80 000 women to demand concrete action against GBV

Travel Start planning your adventures through the African continent with Phaka Dludla

Lifestyle The EAT.DRINK.PLAY.SLEEP guide for Brownies around South Africa

Women are arguably the hardest workers of our nation. They take care of the home, ensure the children are fed, sufficiently clothed and schooled. While men may be away in the cities working, they will tend to the livestock and crops. Often, this work is not treated as such, and therefore remains unquantifiable. Women make up a large portion of South Africa’s population, and according to various studies, just about 32% of the entrepreneurial landscape. TM

BrownSense InSights reports a marked increase in female entrepreneurship, with many taking it up as a “side gig”, and others going all in, putting their heart and souls into making their dream work. Support for female entrepreneurs should look further than finance, but to structural support closer to townships and rural areas, visible policing, as well as support for the home in the form of better quality and safer educational and recreational facilities for children. If entrepreneurship is the vehicle that will help South Africa soar to great heights, then women are the engine that powers it. BrownSense stands against GBV, and believes that women should be able to exist without fear of being at the receiving end of any kind of violence and victimization from anyone. It was for this reason that we had #THETOTALSHUTDOWN at our last market so they could share about the movement, and also have some of their members write about their experiences for this issue of BrownSense Magazine. We call on all men to stand with women as they fight this war, by calling out their friends, family, colleagues and neighbours for abhorrent behaviour, and by holding each other accountable.  #CALLITOUT


brownsense | 4


Jhene Aiko’s ‘while we’re young’, one of my favourite songs, takes my mind on a trip. It sets my spirit free, and my mind to wander. It reminds me of a quote by Jennifer Lee: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”. Strangely it’s from her album called “Trip”. Mzuzukile Soni

Everything about BrownSense has been organic.

We launched the BrownSense Travel business with a fun

From the growth in the group, to the opportunities

Zanzibar trip under the headline “Mzansi v Zanzi”

that have presented themselves to us. So, when the

scheduled for 9 – 17 November 2018.

opportunity for us to get into the travel space came up, we saw a chance to work on a lasting change

BrownSense Travel’s focus is corporate travel as well as

within the travel industry, which is largely dominated

personal. Part of our long term goal is to create for

by white people. Everything about BrownSense is

opportunities for Brownies in the travel space to benefit

really about   shaking the tree, and sometimes about

from. Look out for these as we expand.

uprooting certain trees because if there is anything we need to be the most, is to be

Look out for more packages we will be introducing by


following our Facebook page, BrownSense Travel or sending enquiries to

Not in a reckless way of course.

brownsense | 5


Nkazi Sokhulu

Loans: The Real Cost

It’s been a bruising first half of 2018 for consumer pockets - the vat increase to 15% and hefty increases in the fuel price are already impacting the cost of food and transport, and SA’s dismal economic growth figures have many of us concerned about the increased costs of living in the months ahead. Chances are all these factors will see a hike in inflation, which means the cost of everything is going up – except your salary!  

With July touted as savings month, use the opportunity to

If you currently have a personal loan, you will have credit life

cut back on unnecessary costs as far as possible – the

insurance, which banks require as security for your debt should

obvious areas to cut back on are luxury items,

you become unable to service your loan repayments due

entertainment and the like, but did you know that an

primarily to death, disability or retrenchment.  Most likely, you

overlooked area of reigning in spending is the hidden

had no idea that you even had this cover, how much its costing

costs associated with your personal loan?

you, or that you are not obligated to take it with the bank, as there are much more affordable options that offer better

You may think that these monthly repayments are fixed,


but significant savings can be realised on the cost of the credit life insurance which most banks make mandatory

Even on an existing loan, you can switch your credit life

when taking out a personal loan.  

insurance to Yalu for lower rates, and better benefits without any repercussions to your loan as long as there is no break in

Yalu is a newly launched black owned, black managed


digital insurer that offers credit life insurance.

brownsense | 7

New credit life insurance regulations came into force in August 2017, capping credit life insurance to R4,50 per R1000 loaned, and to make it permissable for the consumer to select their own preferred credit life provider rather then the bank’s, as well as to switch, should you find a product that better meets your needs. It’s important to note that the capping fees for credit life insurance premiums only applies to new loans, and none of the loan providers have revised their existing credit life premiums downwards for loans granted prior to August 2017. This means that if your loan predates August 2017, you could very easily be paying more than double the new capped rate for your credit IMAGE SOURCE: SUPPLIED

life insurance! Too many consumers are paying too much towards credit life insurance. Here’s a simple example to illustrate the potential monthly savings you could enjoy with Yalu: On a personal loan of R60 000 with a repayment period of three years:     


• Total credit life paid at R3.50 per 1000 over three years: R210/pm x 36 = R7 560 • Total credit life paid at pre-Aug 2017 rate of R8.50 per R1000 over three years: R510/pm x 36 = R18 360 • Difference: R10 800 over 36 months or R300 per month  Switching your credit life cover to more affordable rates and better benefits with Yalu gives you the freedom to use the savings towards paying off your existing loan, and reducing the impact of compound interest on your pocket. As a new digital insurer on the market, Yalu makes credit life insurance smarter, faster, transparent and easier to access. 

Yalu Benefits: • The premium automatically reduces every month as the loan amount reduces. You only pay for the cover you need to settle your outstanding loan and not a cent more.   • The policy rewards you with 10% of premiums back at the end of the loan term if you have not claimed on the policy. • Its simple: the only credit life insurance policy in the market that can be purchased effortlessly online in under five minutes, and guarantees you coverage for all the benefits that your current insurer provides. • Affordablility and transparency are some of the other benefits; with clearly defined benefits and speedy claims processes.  • One policy covers all personal loan commitments - saving you more money on unnecessary admin fees and debit order costs.  So, before you think that swopping your existing overpriced credit life cover isn’t worth the hassle, consider what it would mean for your pocket and finances if you could pay the savings on your credit life policy in on your loan repayments instead. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and that means being diligent about saving and enjoying the cumulative impact of all your cost-cutting measures. For more information go to  

brownsense | 8

Say Hello To Secure Trading Today. Register on

brownsense | 9


Despite a constitution that guarantees the right of children to be protected from harm, we hear horror stories almost daily of the pain and trauma children have to endure. These stories and the characters in them can often feel far removed from our own realities, and many people suffer from shame, making it difficult enough to fully grasp the trauma experienced by so many. Mmathabo Mooa’s trauma of rape at the hands of her uncles led to a festering hatred for her father, whom she tried to kill. When that plan went pearshaped, she ran away from home to live on the streets. It was during this period that she started prostituting herself to survive. As depression set in, she started self-harming and feeling suicidal.

brownsense | 10

She speaks frankly about her experiences and takes ownership of her decisions, and as part of her healing process, Mmathabo has written about her life. Her hope is to bring hope to those going through similar situations, and to get people to start talking about the things that languish unspoken. What Other Choice Did I Have? Is an open, true story of being in the eye of the storm, and finding your way out of the darkness to find peace. Brownies have purchased the book in their numbers, with many expressing a resonance in her story.

Images Courtesy Mmathabo Mooa

Telling Her Own Story. "I have suffered depression at one point of my life, so I started to burn, cut and insert objects into my skin and no it was not painful, then. I cannot count the number of men I have slept with using my fingers or the sticks in a match-box, the list is longer than the tallest of buildings."

Stand a chance to win* a copy of What Other Choice Did I Have?: Answer the following question, share the link to BrownSense Mag on Facebook, and tag @BrownSense! Question: Which government Ministries will be given demands by the leadership of #TOTALSHUTDOWN on August 1 2018? *Winner will have to arrange collection or courier of book.


South African women are organising against the scourge of Gender Based Violence and femicide in our country. Since inception of the #TotalShutdown action in July 2018, over 70 000 women have pledged to shut the country down on August 1 2018, the beginning of Women's Month, to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, and to demand action from all levels of our government to put an end to the terror that all women in our society are constantly living under. brownsense | 11


Gender Based Violence has been recognised as one of the most destructive ills that plague South African society. Every week, news of murdered women and children shock our society. The statistics are grim, and as more and more people speak up, society continues to become aware of the nightmare that South Africans are living. Mandisa Khanyile, one of the organisers of #TheTotalShutdown, gives us more insight into the movement and how they aim to change things for the better. Q. Who are the founders of #TheTotalShutdown, and why did you decide to start this campaign?

Mandisa Khanyile

Mandisa Khanyile: A group of women from all walks of life who subscribe to feminist ideals got together and said they don't want to sit back and not do anything anymore. Too many women and gender non-conforming people are dying, and there is no decisive action being taken.   Q: How do you plan to shut down the country?  MK: Women are 52% of the population in this country, so any action taken collectively could bring this country to a standstill. Women on the day will down tools for a set period of time. All of us will observe thirty minutes of silence between 13:00 -13:30. Women from all walks of life will be marching to Parliament, the Judiciary, the Executive, as well as provincial legislatures to hand over demands and propose action plans to help end the scourge of genderbased violence. Q: What does it mean to be an intersectional movement?  MK:We recognise the different types of oppression individuals can suffer based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and class, and we are an all-encompassing movement, that is home to all women and GNC people who are survivors of gender-based violence. It also means we are inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community, because they too have been heavily affected by the violence. Q: What does it mean to be an intersectional movement? MK: We recognise the different types of oppression individuals can suffer based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and class, and we are an all-encompassing movement that will be home to all women and GNC people who are survivors of gender-based violence. It also means we are inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community because they too have been heavily affected by the violence visited upon their bodies via GBV.  Q: We see marches against gender-based violence all the time. What is different about this march? MK: The difference is that we are an action march. We are not here to create awareness or run a campaign. We are here for solutions, and we will give the state deliverables and a timeline to meet our demands. If they fail to come to the party, we will be taking action.  Q: What are you demanding from Parliament, the Judiciary and the Executive? MK: We have different demands for the three legs of state, and those details will be in the memorandums that we will be handing over. We will be addressing precedent with regards to sentencing in GBV cases to the Supreme Court of Appeals, plus gender sensitive magistrates and judges at lower courts. We will be proposing policy documents to Parliament and we will be giving the Ministries of Women , Correctional Services, Police, Social Services and the Presidency demands at the Union building relating to rollout and implementation of programmes that can prevent and combat gender based violence.    



Reverend June Major, an ordained priest in the Anglican Church has decided to join #TheTotalShutdown movement against genderbased-violence. Major says her experience as a woman in the church has been horrific and her position as priest did nothing to protect her.     Rev. June Major

I'm an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in the Cape Town Diocese. A few years ago I was raped by another priest, and I was told to remain silent to protect the name of the church. In 2014, I eventually grew weary of keeping quiet and approached my Bishop, requesting to move to another diocese. He gave me his blessing, but it was short lived because it all turned out to be lies. I laid a charge against the priest who raped me, but the court refused to take the matter further, and never furnished me with the reasons why my case was not pursued.   The police told me that it was attempted rape because he did not ejaculate inside of me. I believed them, for all those years, but have come to realise that it was indeed rape because he penetrated me. My Bishop indicated that I have nothing against the Anglican Church as it has a lot of money, a strong legal team and contacts high up. I was later offered a job abroad, and I needed referral documents from the Bishop. He refused to give me the papers and the job offer was declined. I ran out of money and ended up on the streets at times and dependent on others. I sent letters to the Archbishop begging for my documents but never received any. I went on a hunger strike in 2014 outside the Diocesan offices. On my 7th day the Archbishop came to see me and promised to deal with the priest who raped me and assist me with getting a chaplaincy post with the SADF, I was again given promises that never materialised. At a meeting with the Bishop and our legal teams, I appealed to the human heart within him and told him I am single, without a job, and homeless, again begging for my documents, he looked at me and said no. That is when I decided to institute a law suit against the church for loss of income and suffering. I cannot speak much about the court proceedings because a court date is yet to be set however a summons has been issued.     

The police told me that it was attempted rape because he did not ejaculate inside of me. brownsense | 13


Indescribable Horror I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had heard a lot of stories about boyfriends killing their partners, but I never thought it would happen to someone I knew. Thembi* was a free spirit. She had survived being shot by her boyfriend several times. The impact was so severe she lapsed into a coma. At the time of the shooting, she had started a new job in Rustenburg, as a qualified teacher. She was my cousin, my sister. When she woke up from the coma, our whole family was shocked. It was a miracle.    In 2014, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved to Rustenburg permanently. She was determined to start a new life. She was doing better than before and I knew she was okay. Not long after that, we received a call from my father. His voice was trembling, I knew things were bad. He told us that Thembi had been killed. Thembi’s neighbour had called her mum after hearing noises in her room. She could hear that there was a fight and was afraid something bad would happen. Police were called to the scene, they had to breakdown the door as it was locked from the inside. People in the area remembered seeing her ex-boyfriend coming over to see her. My aunt was asked by the police not to go inside the room, and she decided to call my father and uncle. Police found my cousin’s body and that of her ex-boyfriend hanging from the bulks. This was the same man who had shot my cousin several times. She had a cut from her throat to one of her breasts, her mouth had been filled with what looked like baked beans and tinned fish, the room was a mess showing evidence of a struggle. What horrified us even more, was the writing on the laptop, “I did it all for love”. His mother later confirmed he left their home saying he was going to kill my cousin then take his own life. They didn’t believe him. I cannot describe the hurt, nor can I describe what kind of love men in our society express. How someone can brutally murder someone like that without a conscience is baffling to me. We have been left with so many questions. Why did he have to torture her like that? What was the point of feeding her dead body? This is why #IWillMarch on the 1st of August. Thembi* is not the victim's real name, and the author has chosen to remain anonymous.     .   

MY BODY - NOT YOUR CRIME SCENE. brownsense | 14


Transgender Lives Matter, Too. Radical feminist Ntsiki Skosana is a radical feminist is the Vice Chairperson of the Social, Health, and Empowerment (S.H.E.) Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa based in East London. She is also one of the organisers of #TheTotalShutdown, a movement against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which plans to shut down the country on the 1st of August. Gender based-violence (GBV) is a broad term, yet society’s Ntsiki Skosana understanding of it is limited. The conversation around the impact of GBV mostly focuses on how it affects cisgender women (women whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex), and fails to explore how transgender women and gender nonconforming (GNC) people are also victims of GBV. GNC is a term used for people who may have been assigned male or female at birth (AMAB or AFAB) and don’t either identify as such but could Identify as both or neither. A transgender person, is a person who was assigned female or male at birth, but identifies as the perceived opposite of what they were assigned at birth.   I joined #TheTotalShutdown to effect change, because our society does not care about the realities of transgender people, until we perform our pain for it to be recognised. I have been thrown out of bathrooms because of people’s transmisogynoir and this is part of what inspired my activism, which mainly focuses on issues affecting black trans women and GNC folk. GBV and femicide affects us as much as it affects the cisgender community. For a trans woman and a GNC person, existing in predominantly cisgender and hyper masculine spaces can prove deadly: if we aren't Queer bashed, we're attacked verbally - especially if you don't meet society's ideas around beauty.   In our community, GBV is layered. It’s not just intimate partners that abuse and kill us: our colleagues, family members and our neighbours are also implicated. In many cases, we are easy targets, because the police completely ignore our plight. In 2017, a trans girl from Duncan Village in East London was stabbed in the chest by a man. Sihle was walking back home from the store with a friend when it happened, she died a few moments later. We still don’t know what happened to the murder case. On a daily basis, trans women are mis-gendered, dead named, over looked and forgotten after being killed. Dead naming a trans women is when you use a name that a transgender person may have gone by earlier on in life, as opposed to their new chosen name. This contributes heavily to our subjugation, and the statistics not reflecting the number of trans women who are killed in this country.  The most common experience for trans women is being dismissed by police officers when we report a crime. We are ridiculed when seeking security and justice, “But isn’t this what you wanted? You changed yourself into a woman to experience what women experience you should be grateful”, they often say. It gets worse, as police officers also assault trans women. If we cannot trust the police, where are we safe? This is why it’s important that #TheTotalShutdown on the 1st of August is intersectional, because our experience with GBV is also valid. Year after year, conversations around this issue focus on cisgender women and our existence is ignored. It’s not enough that there are NGO’s in the country that work to change trans people’s lives but we need the government to humanise us and for the greater society to respect our agency and existence. 




Hands up if you have heard any variation of those, “I travelled “Africa” and it sucked” stories? More often than not, the complaints raised by the storyteller are due to their own illpreparedness for an adventure outside of SA’s borders. I have yet to meet a traveler who had intentionally set out to discover the richness of our continent and African people and not had an experience of a lifetime. So how do you get the most of your African adventure? 


Phaka is Founder of Zulu Nomad, and she is passionate about helping people explore Africa. Zulu Nomad - Say Yes to New Adventures

Images: Zulu Nomad

brownsense | 17



Keep An Open Mind Leave yourself at the border. Prepare to immerse yourself in the

authentic experience which you are embarking on, be open to different ways of preparing food and dining, different scents in the air, different music, and prepare for interactions with people who are so awesome but different to you. Listen, and respect their cultures. More than anything, humble yourself and bring the most authentic You on the experience.

Roadtrip Rules The cheapest way to travel the continent is

by road and for me, this is also the best way to experience her: you get to see more, discover little villages and a beautiful, almost untouched coastline that you would have otherwise missed, had you flown. Road tripping does have its drawbacks though! From the really bad roads in some parts of countries, to the tedious border crossing processes, this is just part of the experience you need to be prepared for. Your SA plates will attract attention: you’ll be stopped by traffic cops, who in some cases do not speak English, and in that moment, they are boss.  

required documentation. You need third party insurance for each country you travel day, regardless of whether or not your vehicle is insured in South Africa. Ensure your passport has at least 6 unstamped pages available, that you have all the vehicle documents on hand. Police clearance will be required on entry in certain countries. This takes about a month to process via your local police station. Double-check with the AA for any other documents required for your chosen country of exploration.

brownsense | 18

All The Smarts Learn a few phrases of the local language, and engage local

commnunities. Don't forget your basic street smarts, wherever you go. Don't flash your money around, or keep it all in the same place and always have some cash on you. Malaria is a real thing, and it really sucks to deal with. Don't be a hero: take the necessary meds before adventuring. Negotiate prices, but don't try rip people off, they are trying to make a living!

Images: Zulu Nomad

Documentation Ensure that you have all of the relevant


EAT. DRINK. PLAY. SLEEP Brownie Establishments For Every Occasion Nelspruit: Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge Why We Like It: It's just a short drive away from Kruger National Park, and the airport. It is a great base to explore the general region from., with some amazing tour packages led by another Brownie operator. They have self-catering and catering options Plot 74 and 75 Goedehoop Farm, Luphisi Rd

Johannesburg: Asanka Why We Like It: The decor is decidedly African chic, with Ghanaian textiles adorning the walls. The staff is attentive without being overbearing, and ambience relaxed. The menu presents an African fine dining experience that is difficult to match in Johannesburg. Cnr and, Rivonia Rd & Mutual Rd, Rivonia

Cape Town: Black Ribbon Cakes We We Like It: Capetonian Brownies can't stop talking about the delicious treats prepared by them. They have consistently good quality and can sometimes be found at the BrownSense Market in Cape Town. @BlackRibbonCakes

brownsense | 19


EAT. DRINK. PLAY. SLEEP Free State: Metsi Matso Lodge Why We Like It: Nestled at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains, on the banks of Metsi Matso Dam (Swartwater Dam), the lodge is a tranquil venue, perfect for weddings and other functions, or just to get away from the rat race. Activities include mountain biking, hiking and fly fishing.

Umhlanga Rocks: Unique Lifestyle Cafe Why We Like It: It's billed as an Afritalian Restaurant: a mixture of Italian and African cuisine. The upmarket venue is perfect for dinner with friends 250 Umhlanga Rocks Drive

Soweto: Just Badela Why We Like It: It's all about prime cuts and the best grapes to go with it! They are the only restaurant in Soweto with a Josper oven, which is standard in Michelin Star rated establishments across the world. Guaranteed good music and entertainment, as well as company. Get there and tell them BrownSense sent you! 11546 Mtipa Street Orlando West Extension

brownsense | 20



BrownSense Magazine Issue #4