“The women who made me” by Jeremy Loops

The mu­si­cian talks fe­male power, ac­tivism and cen­tre-stage love.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Guide -

Brigitte He­witt Mother

My mother taught me the les­son of self-be­lief and the con­fi­dence to go af­ter my dreams, as long as I was pre­pared to put in so much ef­fort that the time would be worth­while, even if I failed.

Paula He­witt Grand­mother

My grand­mother was the most dig­ni­fied per­son I’ve known, as well as an in­cred­i­ble prag­ma­tist with a talent for see­ing things as they were, in­stead of how we wished they could be. De­spite the gap in our ages, she was one of my clos­est friends.

Dr Mathilda Men­nen Girl­friend

The med­i­cal pro­fes­sion is a de­mand­ing one, es­pe­cially in a coun­try like ours, and Mathilda’s com­pas­sion, self­less­ness and burning de­sire to help other peo­ple are a huge in­spi­ra­tion to me.

Tracy Chap­man Mu­si­cian

Tracy was just 24 when she wrote her Grammy Award-nom­i­nated de­but sin­gle ‘Fast car’, and de­spite her suc­cess and achieve­ments, she al­ways stayed grounded. She’s also lever­aged her pro­file for so­cial ac­tivism, which res­onates deeply with me.

Au­dre Lorde Poet and ac­tivist

Au­dre was a bril­liant writer and way ahead of her time as a civil rights ac­tivist, so much so that we are still com­ing to un­der­stand the con­cept of the in­ter­sec­tional ac­tivism she cham­pi­oned decades ago.

JK Rowl­ing Nov­el­ist

What could be a bet­ter come­back story than the one that be­longs to this nov­el­ist? A sin­gle par­ent, liv­ing on wel­fare and down to her last dime, she per­sisted in writ­ing a book which went on to be re­jected by many pub­lish­ers be­fore it be­came the most suc­cess­ful fan­tasy se­ries of the last cen­tury. Now that’s de­ter­mi­na­tion, re­silience and mo­ti­va­tion if I’ve ever seen it!

Jane Goodall (Pri­ma­tol­o­gist) and Wan­gari Maathai

(en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist) I had the im­mense priv­i­lege of meet­ing both of these icons, and those meet­ings are high­lights in my ca­reer as an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist. They both oc­cupy sim­i­lar spa­ces in my mind be­cause they cham­pi­oned im­por­tant causes long be­fore the rest of the planet re­alised the need for ur­gent ac­tion. And the fact that they were women op­er­at­ing in hos­tile, male­dom­i­nated en­vi­ron­ments says a lot about their courage and willpower.

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