Women’s Day in South Africa marks the anniversary of the 1956 women’s march on the Union Buildings protesting the extension of pass laws. It is a day to celebrate them and all of the women who fought and died in the struggle to end apartheid.

We also take stock of how far we have come since then. And of how far we still have to go to end gender-based violence and achieve equality for all. But it is a day primarily to celebrate the strong women around us. In line with that thinking, I am highlighting a few South African women who are well worth a follow on Instagram.

Olwethu Lola Ngcobo @OrganicBaddie

Olwethu Yekwani makes skincare for those who care called Lola&Co Organics

Olwethu is the founder and formulator of Lola & Co Organics, hand-crafted and cruelty-free body products. She is your go-to for inspiration on growing your own food, working with indigenous herbs and making your own beauty products. She also posts about sewing her own clothes.

Sydelle Willow Smith @Sydellewillowsmith

Sydelle is a writer, photographer and filmmaker who uses her platform to tell and share stories of people, identity and politics. She is the co-founder of the mobile solar cinema network @sunshinecinema which brings important films to communities around South Africa for free screenings. Sydelle runs theUn/Settled project on her Instagram which unpacks and challenges whiteness and settler mindset.

Jessica Kotlowitz @the_green_dietitian

Jessica is a registered dietician offering great advice about healthy and affordable plant-based eating. She provides time, waste-reducing and money saving tips. Jessica doesn’t push veganism but rather highlights the benefits of plant-based eating and how best to be healthy.

Kim Windvogel @Blazingnonbinary

Kim, a queer writer and poet, is the co-founder of Femme Projects: an organisation focusing on sexual and reproductive rights and education. She is also a fellow with OutRight International, a non profit organisation promoting LBGTIQ rights globally. Kim writes about issues affecting the LBGTIQ community including colonisation and racism.

Siphokazi Veti @siphokaziveti

The writer and speaker focuses on self love, body positivity and the liberation of self. Siphokasi’s beige and pastel feed features her poetry intended to encourage self-affirmation and acceptance. Her Instagram bio speaks to her mission: “I’m just an old friend, who’s just on time again to remind you how divine you are.”

Masego Morgan @Coconut_Cracked

Masego dedicates her platform to discussing sustainable and ethical fashion, and how this intersects with culture, race and politics of identity. She offers advice on Cape Town thrift shopping and regularly highlights important conversations to enrich her and our learnings on being better, more respectful human beings, most often with fashion as a medium.

Shannon Goodman @journeytozero_

Shannon dedicates her Instagram feed to beautifully curated imagery of her zero waste tips and market shopping.  She uses her stories to share plant-based cooking tips and complex and urgent issues like the climate crisis and environmental degradation. Her dry humour lifts the tone to prevent any eco-anxiety from setting in. Shannon’s feed is a breath of fresh air.

Side note: If you choose to follow any of these amazing women, please go into their spaces with respect and an open mind to listen and learn.

  • Follow Sarah on @sustainablesarah for sustainable living inspiration and climate justice stories
  • Image credits: Main image from Unsplash, others are from Instagram