Women's Month - Lucinda

For 75 years, we’ve been on a journey with the women of South Africa. What started off as one store all those
decades ago has grown into something that represents all women and celebrates our inspiring diversity.

We have never stopped looking to you to inspire the way we do things. Every day we set meetings and gather
around tables, all to discuss one thing: you. From how we can better serve you, to how we can craft every
garment so it fits you perfectly whether you’re a size 32 or size 50.

Our dream to build a brand for women everywhere becomes more of a reality every day. That’s all thanks to you.
Simply put, we’re inspired by women everywhere.

“… To never to give up advocating for the protection of all our bodies, until the violence stops.”

Community activist, gender-based violence campaigner, protector of the vulnerable and warrior in the war against
food poverty, Lucinda makes no apologies for her ferocity – she has seen more violence and oppression than
most. She lives in Lavender Hill, one of the most gang-infested and violent areas of Cape Town, and it is here that
her organisation started its journey some 14 years ago. Humble beginnings in Lucinda’s dining room and garage
morphed into developing local safe houses in her backyard and more recently the repurposing of twenty-six
containers and an official name – Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women). The centre is an integral hub that focuses
on supporting, protecting, teaching, feeding and mentoring vulnerable members of her community.

“A few years ago, while travelling in the Transkei, I fell ill and was too sick to continue any further. I parked on the
side of a bridge and slept in my car overnight. Two women, complete strangers, stayed next to my car through
the night, protecting me,” she says. “It was a profoundly moving moment in my life and in appreciating what we as
women do for one another.
“I discovered the isiXhosa word ‘philisa’ on that trip, it means ‘to heal’ and I knew that one day when I formalised
our centre that word would be part of the name. After all, healing is what all women and many of the people in my
community need so desperately,” she says.

Lucinda cites her grandparents as significant sources of inspiration in her own endeavours, both were intensely
involved in their immediate communities. As a young woman she was acutely aware of their roles as peacemakers
and indeed, as shapeshifters. Now it is Lucinda’s turn to continue as they started.

Visit www.philisaabafazi.org to donate or get involved!

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