It struck me in a conversation I recently had with my sister, that South African women really are pretty hardcore.

We work to put food on the table and sandwiches in the lunch boxes that we lovingly make each morning before school. We mostly do the school lifting, I know there are some dads who help with this, but 90% of the time its the moms that I see at drop off and pick up, some of them in their surgery scrubs, some in their yoga gear, all of us juggling our own balls.

We look after our homes and the incredible people who both live and work there. We support more families than our own, we feed the homeless, we educate other peoples children, because our hearts break under the pressure of the suffering we see around us.

We cater dinner parties and Sunday braais like Nigela freaking Lawson, we look after our elderly parents. We exercise, paint our nails, tint and wax misbehaving hair and make sure we look our damn best too.

We lock our cars more than once when we leave a parking lot. We check our rear view mirrors for criminals following us home. We pack emergency bags at 2am during violent rioting in our suburbs. We hear gun shots in our suburbs and tell our children it was “just a car”. We leave our kids at school hoping that crime wont target their school.

Some women are CEO’s, entrepreneurs, some photographers, some artists, some are architects, some make a profound impact at the NGO’s they champion. Some are famous food celebrities, some are farmers, some are models, some own restaurants. Some clean peoples homes and catch a few taxi’s to get to work before the sun has come up. Some clean our streets, some teach our children. Most of us have been victims of crime, be it sexual or violent or “thank goodness they only took my bag”. We all live with a little bit of extra fear in our hearts. That our children will be okay, that our car wont break down and leave us stranded.

And yet… we LAUGH, we LOVE, we GIVE, we THRIVE. We may have 10m high walls, and arm 17 sets of beams every night before bed. We may track each other when we leave a dinner party alone to make sure home is reached safely. But we are proud, strong resilient South African women. And I love my life here. I love my badass friends. I love my badass life.