Basetsana Kumalo

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Basetsana Julia "Bassie" Kumalo (née Makgalemele; born 29 March 1974)[1] is a South African television personality, beauty pageant titleholder, businesswoman, and philanthropist.[2]


  • To my son – don’t let anyone take you for granted. Always hold your head up high. Never stop believing in yourself.
  • Just go forth and aim for the skies. I may not carry you in my arms anymore, but I will always carry you in my heart.
  • You have given me so many reasons to be proud of the man you have become, but the proudest moment for me is telling others [that] you are my son. Love always, Mom.
  • To the Tribe [family] that came to see him off, they say it takes a village to raise a child. Thank you very much. AmaNtungwa [clan name] ayabonga [say thank you].
  • When I was a small child, I looked up to my mother who taught at a school in Soweto, where we lived. I have always wanted to be the one standing in front of the class with a black board and some chalk in my hand and this is why my first degree was in education.
  • The universe had other ideas for me though, and I now believe that my classroom is wherever I am called to speak, write, and add my voice. There are many ways to Impart knowledge, and my passion is to keep learning, so I can teach.
  • To be a woman is to be soft and strong all at once, and there is beauty in this duality. We are strong enough to birth children, and nurturing enough to raise them, but we are also fierce enough to be leaders, businesswomen and captains of industry.
  • I think mentorship is a key component of sharing knowledge and helping young women to reach their goals. There is really no reason why we should not be sharing our lessons to empower the younger generations
  • I think it starts with telling them they don’t have to change the way they look to be acceptable or beautiful. Young girls don’t have to have straight hair in order to look “professional”.
  • Regarding representation, I think we have to use our power as consumers. Do your research and support the brands which are serious about representing you and people who look like you.
  • GBV is a huge issue on our continent and in a world where patriarchal power structures still dominate. Male leadership is still seen as the norm, and men hold the majority of power. Patriarchy is a social and political system that treats men as superior to women – where women cannot protect their bodies, meet their basic needs, participate fully in society.
  • Until this power dynamic is changed, women will continue to fall victim to violence. Our job as leaders is to push back against the oppression of women in all spheres, and to speak loudly about abuse. GBV will not go away if it continues to be cloaked in secrecy and shame.
  • I think patriarchy is an issue all over the world, not just in Africa. Men have been running the world for so long that modern women have no choice but to take back their power.
  • This doesn’t mean that women have to be disrespectful to their male counterparts, in fact, I have found that most men want to be helpful and they themselves are trying to manoeuvre and find their place in a changing world.
  • We still respect the customs instilled by our parents. We still respect tradition, but we have to know when to say no, and push back
  • The modern woman is whoever and whatever she wants to be, because she is fiercely independent but also open with her vulnerabilities.
  • She’s strong and stands tall but also gentle, loving and compassionate.
  • There is no shame in being direct, being firm and fighting for what you believe, and it actually doesn’t matter if other people feel uncomfortable with your talents and your prowess.
  • I was a very shy child, but whenever I had to participate in a pageant, I was forced outside of my comfort zone, which I feel is one of the biggest life lessons I learned from my mother. We only grow when we are outside of what is familiar and easy.


  1. "Basetsana Julia, aka "Bassie" Kumalo". SAHO. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  2. Bröll, Claudia (25 May 2009). "Basetsana Kumalo: Mit Minen und Mandela" [Basetsana Kumalo: With Mines and Mandela]. Frankfurter Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 31 March 2014
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