“I wish to see a South Africa that has complete economic sovereignty. A South Africa with economic policies that are about economic development that centres people and their social needs.”
Funzani Mthembu is an investment/ economic analyst and an activist advocating for ethical economic practices. Although her work concerns numbers, she’s also interested in how those numbers affect how people in society actualise. She is a member of the Fallist movement and was one of the ground activists who stood in the forefront of mobilising the Fees Must Fall movement in her university.
“I think about the circumstances black women live under a lot; the courage to do so much, while also building communities and families, is awe-inducing. The women who wake up every morning to make huge sacrifices so they can provide for their families remind me that I have the power to do more.”
African women are constantly breaking barriers set by a patriarchal system to find their voices and pull through for one another in the midst of adversity. It’s all the more important to not be afraid of challenges that inspire the confidence needed to move through this world.
“I knew that corporate South Africa had its barriers for women, but I still get shocked by the experiences. Constantly having to prove one’s intelligence is exhausting and unfair; however, I am pleasantly surprised by my ability to navigate every space I find myself in with grace and assertion,” says Funzani. She doesn’t limit her contribution to professional excellence alone, but also pays it forward with community service.
Being able to build a bigger house for her parents is Mthembu’s proudest moment. “Seeing the consistent and constant pride and support they hold for me — that is where I find my well of strength.”