Laura

…where you come from does not have to define where you are going, you can be anything you want to be, as long as you dream it.

From: Cape Town, South Africa
Age: 46

On Ubuntu

“So talking about Ubuntu as a Xhosa woman, for us, it’s something that we grew up practicing because Ubuntu comes from the word, Abantu, which is a Xhosa word meaning “people”, we as the people are expected to practice Ubuntu which means humanity. So for us, it’s something that always just came naturally, and is something that was expected of us to practice in our day-to-day life… my understanding is that it is an extension of yourself, meaning... to extend yourself to other people”.

Background

“..my Dad had three wives, my Mum was the 2nd wife then my father had a wife, the youngest one is 2 years older than me. So I come from a large family, with 16 siblings, alive, now”.

“One of the hardest things growing up…I witnessed brutality of white people as a child; when my mother was thrown out of a train, a moving train, with my sister and us…. We got into a train carriage that was supposed to be for whites only, but because the train was about to leave, we jumped in and as we jumped in she was pushed out of white men out of the train because of colour”.

Her work…

“Well my work was inspired by the death of my son, who died at the age of 9 from Cerebral Palsy. When my son died, of course it was painful for me, but it was also a lightbulb moment. It was an eye opening moment for me, to look around me to open my heart and not to close my heart because of my pain… I saw so much need for the children living in these townships”.

What is an important lesson you’ve learnt?

“…where you come from does not have to define where you are going, you can be anything you want to be, as long as you dream it”.