The Ac­tivism Is­sue

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - EDITOR’S LETTER - Holly Mead­ows Ed­i­tor

ne of my favourite quotes of 2018 is by Meghan Markle: ‘Women don’t need to find a voice; they have a voice… They need to feel em­pow­ered to use it, and peo­ple need to be en­cour­aged to lis­ten.’ I came across these words around the time we started con­ceiv­ing our Au­gust is­sue. Meghan makes a cru­cial point – one we wanted to carry through in our first-ever ac­tivism edi­tion.

One woman who isn’t afraid of speak­ing up for what she be­lieves in is our cover star, actress Nomzamo Mbatha. She’s turned her celebrity sta­tus into a spring­board for pow­er­ful ac­tivism, from hu­man­i­tar­ian work with refugees across Africa to tack­ling men­tal health, #MeToo and misog­yny on set. In her own words, ‘My plat­form serves a pur­pose be­yond tak­ing a selfie: I want to use it to tell peo­ple that there are real is­sues.’ And since 70% of Mil­len­ni­als iden­tify as ac­tivists, it’s you who’s shap­ing what our coun­try will look like in the fu­ture.

With Au­gust be­ing Women’s Month, this is­sue is ded­i­cated to em­pow­er­ing your voice. On page 48, we fea­ture eight fear­less in­di­vid­u­als fight­ing for change – from a pi­o­neer in the #FeesMustFall move­ment ad­vo­cat­ing for equal ed­u­ca­tion to a law stu­dent cam­paign­ing for women with dis­abil­i­ties. On page 40 we de­bunk the myth that fem­i­nism is about burn­ing bras and hat­ing men, and help you decode your brand of girl power. And in a world in which 84% of peo­ple say sex­ual ha­rass­ment goes down in the work­place, we call #time­sup on that with a sev­en­page fea­ture on how to iden­tify – and stand up to – soft sex­ism.

Ac­tivism is about en­act­ing change. It’s about iden­ti­fy­ing what you be­lieve in and liv­ing that truth – whether that’s through weekly re­cy­cling, silently boy­cotting a com­pany or call­ing out the guy who spoke over you in a meet­ing. You have the power to be a change agent: you shape your fu­ture.

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