The Workers Issue

“I’m a career focussed mom and wife”, that’s the shortest way I can describe myself. I’m particularly proud of myself for coming so far in who I am as a career woman, a mom and a life partner. And, the work that we do together as a couple ensures that our bond remains firm and our home remains a safe space.

But one cannot deny the disproportions of labour at home and in the workplace.

In my December 2020 Editor’s note I wrote: 

“The pandemic brought forward so many societal issues and one that rears its head in many homes (and mine) is men taking credit for “building” a home when the women do the work. We cook. We clean. We care for the children. We are badass the hell out of our careers and businesses. And men kind of sit there on some “Jeez I chose well” and then walk back into their studies. Parity in the boardrooms, will not happen if we do not have parity in the home. This has been an area of significant growth for my husband (partner in crime) and me.”

I knew that parenthood, marriage and career meant a great deal to me – that’s what I want and have wanted. Though I hadn’t fully comprehended the other emotional and mental work it would take from both myself and my husband, more so in the pandemic, to undo the entrenched gender norms and stereotypes in our home. And taking the first step in redistributing responsibilities for Cooking, Caring, and Cleaning in our home, so that we can both have time resources for our Careers.

In this issue, we chat with Sihle Bolani. Durban Born, Johannesburg based, Sihle was raised by a single mom and continuous education. Growth has been the running theme of her life. She is a Workplace Transformation Specialist, Corporate Communications Strategist, a mother to an amazing daughter and author of the hotly controversial book entitled, “We are the ones we need” and the new offering that she describes as a deeply personal and heartbreakingly honest account of life as an unmarried woman taking on the double standards and intrinsic prejudices of African society, in which she takes on the outmoded traditions and stereotypical beliefs  proving that by harnessing our quiet power, women can and will thrive, “Nah Keep Your Strength”

Sihle Bolani believes that rising above the ridiculous expectations that make her feel she will never be good enough, she lives with the shame of violation and the pain of abandonment and struggles with the destructive power dynamics and harmful behaviour that exist within both families and communities.

 And as a third-generation single mother, she battles the complexities of parenting, career challenges, financial woes and relationship fails with a strength born of necessity and fueled by a deep abiding love for her daughter. 

By breaking the cycle of abuse, inequality and humiliation, Sihle implores us to stand in our authentic truth and intuitively realize that resilience should not be a characteristic born of fear, but an innate response to the right to a beautiful life. 

I hope we all find our voices, I hope we all become part of the move to not only be our ancestor’s wildest dreams while still carrying the trauma and burden of labour but as Sihle would say, “it is necessary, if not essential, to take care of yourself first and to accept that by expecting yourself to be the perfect mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter or friend you not only do yourself a disservice but set future generations of girls up for failure.”


AoS x Sihle Bolani

Olwethu and Business Consultant, Career Coach, Speaker, Facilitator and Author of ‘Nah, Keep Your Strength’ Sihle Bolani talk about the importance of ‘Workers Day’ and the importance of placing value in not only identifying, but also talking about inherited trauma and it’s a generational impact. Hear more about why Sihle believes the work of healing is so important and how it can not only help in creating inclusive and equitable workplaces but exponentially improve your understanding of yourself as a mother, daughter, professional and how you identify with and define womanhood.

How South African Labour Laws Compare to Other Developed Countries

South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world; soaring past the 35% threshold in the fourth quarter in 2021. As a South African, it’s become tough to see any positives, especially when it comes to employment. However, there are many reasons to stand tall and on this Workers Day we are shining the spotlight on our world class labour laws.