Hello! My name is Kim Windvogel and I am a 25 year old feminist 2016 and an Activator based in the Western Cape.
What is your field of passion/interest?
I am a feminist and I believe in the empowerment of youth to drive change in this country, where 66% of the population fall under the age of 35.
What are you doing to drive change?
I run an organisation with 2 other extremely dynamic womxn of colour: Kelly Koopman and Loren Loubser called FEMME – Freedom of Education Motivates Empowerment. We believe students need an alternative educational structure that encourages creative, interactive learning and focuses on the needs of the student.
How has ACTIVATE! Supported you in driving that change?
ACTIVATE! is a very emotionally and mentally taxing programme. If you are ever a part of ACTIVATE! you need to trust the process and completely immerse yourself in the workshops. It’s like with every module I feel my body and mind growing stronger and stronger. ACTIVATE! puts you into contact with like-minded people and challenges you to think about things critically and then to structure those thoughts to come to your own, better understanding.
Acknowledging August as women’s month, what does it mean to be a woman in leadership in South Africa today?
It means not merely filling leadership positions, but changing the narrative of patriarchy and to use your voice for the womxn and feminist agenda.
What should be the priority in setting the agenda for South Africa in the next 5 years?
Education that is not prejudiced and does not continue to push the agenda of the previous regime. Education that empowers our learners to understand their histories. Restructuring what food security means by distributing our award-winning South African produce to South Africans, not exporting it for profit. Dismantling the societal constructs (Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy – bell hooks) that prohibit people from growing and freely existing.
How do you motivate yourself?
I remind myself where my people come from and how far we still have to go. This means constantly opening wounds and being cognisant of the injustices we face as people-, and womxn of colour.
“Like the kings in the past who forced their sons to watch as they would perform the ritual of beheading the criminals, I am forced to look at the oppression of my people, womxn and not turn my head or even blink. I have to be strong. Not for my father, but for my mothers and my daughters”
Those who have voices that people listen to, it is not enough to ignore what is going on in the world and how it is a system of oppression that keeps society ill-informed to its doings so that it can continue the oppression of marginalised groups. It is not enough to turn away. We need to challenge and sometimes we need to take ourselves to places that seem too dark to process in order for humanity to heal itself and to dismantle the patriarchy.