Their cultures, languages and circumstances are diverse, but they all share one home.
Travel to every province of South Africa with News24 to meet nine women, each with a unique story shedding light on what it is to be a woman in this country today.
This is Mzansi, Through Her Eyes; a special Women’s Day series.
KwaZulu-Natal, Tammy-Lee Smith
Big wave events are almost exclusively the domain of male surfers.
But look carefully next time a storm swell rolls into Cape Town and you’ll likely see a petite figure among all the neoprene-clad souls risking life and limb in the monster waves at Dungeons.
Western Cape, Thandi Ngushelo
When Thandi Ngushelo’s sister died unexpectedly, she suddenly found herself having to care for her sibling’s 6-month-old baby girl.
The double shock came just one day after she found out about her sibling’s HIV status.
North West, Boene Ntshilo
Boene Ntshilo says she always knew she wasn’t like the other children.
Born in Schweizer-Reneke in the North-West, Boene began sporting her sister’s clothes at an early age and went to primary school one day wearing her sibling’s bright blue eyeshadow. It ended with a hiding from her teacher, but her mother promptly went to the school and gave them an earful.
Limpopo, Elizabeth Mabuza
When Elizabeth Mabuza fell pregnant in her Matric year she didn’t see it as stumbling block.
Now, 44 years old, Elizabeth now sees this life-changing event as the catalyst for her passion – mentoring young children in her hometown of Tzaneen.
Northern Cape, Angela Isaks
The former teacher from Upington in the Northern Cape had become so used to being surrounded by hundreds of children all day, the move to the Augrabies Falls National Park came as a shock to the system.
But she stuck it out and 17 years later Angela is the manager of the Namaqua National Park and the only woman heading up one of the five parks in the arid region.
Eastern Cape, Juanita Bellingan
Juanita Bellingan never dreamt of farming when she was growing up.
Yet today the 25-year-old angora, sheep and game farmer from East London is making a name for herself – not only in her district, but in the industry as a whole.
Gauteng, Courtnaé Paul
She has shared a stage with international superstars like Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Jay Sean, and Akon.
But Courtnaé Paul says her success as a breakdancer, DJ and choreographer only came when she finally started leaning into who she is.
Free State, Louzanne Coetzee
She is smart, fast and determined to succeed.
And for Louzanne Coetzee being born without sight has not held her back one bit.
Mpumalanga, Portia Malele
When Portia Malele finished high school, most of her classmates decided to pursue more mainstream careers like accounting, teaching and medicine.
But she had other things on her mind.