Natasha Allie is committed to gender inclusivity and the empowerment of women and girls. She believes that there is a dearth of literature that focuses on women and so, to close this gap, she has co-authored a children’s book, Her Story: Daughters of Modjadji, a bilingual anthology of short biographies about South African women who made their mark on history. The book is aimed at inspiring young girls and showing them that they can be just like these incredible women when they grow up.
“I am the projects and communications manager for the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation, a 100% Black, female-run organisation charged with promoting the legacies of these two giants,” says Allie. “I have been so encouraged by the women that I have been privileged to work with, such as Getrude Shope, Frene Ginwala, Brigalia Bam and Thenjiwe Mtintso. Every day, the foundation strives to improve the lives of others.”
Gender inclusivity and the empowerment of women is close to her heart and the book Modjadji was published by a Black, women-owned publishing house, with the illustrations done by young women at high schools around Johannesburg.
“The stories of these women are told in such a way that young children can see themselves reflected and aspire to be like them,” says Allie. “I want to further my formal gender studies knowledge and learn as many languages as possible so I can be a catalyst for the development of women around the world. I want to live in a world where gender inclusivity and gender intersectionality are the status quo.”
Allie is committed to ensuring that women of colour do not have to constantly fight for their place in the world. “There have been people who have been so instrumental in my life,” she concludes. “My parents worked tirelessly to give me the best education and life experiences and I have been lucky to have been raised by formidable women. From my mother to my godmother to the women I call my friends, they inspire me to do the work I do.” — Tamsin Oxford