South Africa: Friday Activist - Aviwe Funani


At 29 years old, Aviwe Funani is determined to be visible, to be a role model to young black women in South Africa.

"I am a shocker. I like to create controversy. It's my trademark." These words by late pop star Brenda Fassie are one of Aviwe Funani's treasured quotes. "I wonder where we would have been as African women had people like Brenda Fassie not said yes to the call of controversy," says Funani. "The call to be different, the call not to fit in and to appease the world."

Her tactics are perhaps more subtle than those of Fassie.

Maverick Citizen first met Funani in February at the British High Commission's pre-SONA (State of the Nation) cocktail party in Bishopscourt. At the bash, Funani sipped Appletiser while speaking with former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille (who would be named Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure the next day). She does not drink alcohol.

Funani is friendly, soft-spoken and charming. She attended the commission's function in her capacity as programme monitoring manager at Waves for Change, a not for profit organisation headquartered in Muizenberg.

This week, during a Zoom interview from her home in Plumstead, Funani's words are...

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