The Story of Every Woman

The Make of a Woman, which speaks about the struggles that women endure and overcome!

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Passionate author, Mpho Malgas, honours all women, every day, through her poignant book, Survivor: The Make of a Woman, which speaks about the struggles that women endure and overcome!

Your book is dedicated to women around the world and it will debut on 9 August 2019; South African Women’s day. While the launch date has obvious significance, in which way does it shine a light on and meaning behind women’s month? How will it serve to honour and celebrate women?

I’ve observed over the years, that there has been a missing link, as to why Women’s Month/Day exists, in the sense that most women may not have understood the meaning and the reason behind this celebration and Survivor comes to bridge that gap.

Celebration of women; which should happen daily, speaks to the core of womanhood; who we are and who we remain to be through all our struggles. Survivor’s here to honour every woman; for the survivor she is with all that life throws at her, through the stories of our contributors.

Who will be attending your launch and what has the overall response been like to news of the launch? Have you received a lot of support/encouragement?

Some of the contributors and media houses will attend the launch. We will also have other renowned authors, who have been my inspiration for writing this book, and some have coached me since I started with this project. And, of course, my family, friends and the whole Survivor team, who has worked around the clock to make this book a success.

Everyone is excited about Survivor, young and old—I think it’s because they can relate to most of the women’s struggles that the book talks about.

Most books tell a story of someone else, but here is a book, which talks about the story of every woman who will be reading it. Men have been placing orders because they want to understand the struggles of women in their own lives, which will place them in a better position to improve their relationships.

A book of this nature is a labour of determination, passion and love. What was the inspiration behind it and what sparked your drive to write it? How much personal experience did you draw from?

First of all, I have passion and love for writing. I love writing, and I write about everything and anything, especially women’s issues—I constantly have this desire and longing to reach out to women and make a difference in their lives. As a woman, as well as a survivor, I share some of my personal experiences, I have always believed that one can only be relevant and make an impact when you have walked the road. I believe that sharing our stories and how we overcame our struggles can save other women.

You wrote this book, not only to equip women with strategies to survive their daily challenges but also to raise funds for the #KeepOurGirlsAtSchool campaign—please tell us more about this. What are the struggles women often face and in which ways will your book equip them/what inspiration can they draw from it?

Well, as Survivor community, we have decided to stand up and reach out to girls from disadvantaged communities, who miss out a number of days at school during their monthly periods because they cannot afford sanitary towels. We say, “No girl should choose between her period and education.”

Women face struggles daily in their lives; from relationships, in the workplace, parenting, decision-making etc. and Survivor gives them practical tools and strategies to navigate life through all these challenges.

Many brave survivors contributed to your book, including Professor Thuli Madonsela, the former South Africa Public Protector, and June Steenkamp, who lost her daughter, Reeva, in 2014. How did you approach these women to feature and tell their stories?

My heart has always been drawn to women and their struggles because I can relate to them. And so, I have been watching these amazing women throughout their journeys, and I have seen them rise above their adversities, changing their narrative—which is what Survivor is all about. It was then easy for me to make those calls and share my vision for Survivor, and they not only believed in it, but they wholeheartedly wanted to be part of this life-changing story.

Would you briefly share one or two of the stories in order to give readers a very small preview of what they can expect?

Perhaps the one I can mention is the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Pakistan, who defied the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education. She spoke against it publicly, which made her a target, and in 2012, on her way home from school, she was shot in the head in a school bus. This is unusual for a young girl to stand for what she believes in, to a point of sacrificing her life. 

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