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with women's rights activist Rita Nyamupinga
March 20, 2012
Full interview with Rita Nyamupinga - Read
yourself in five words.
I'm a social, economic justice and women's rights activist.
I'm passionate about women's issues.
the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When I was asked could you take care of your children? These children
are part of you and they will always need you.
the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I can't remember.
is your most treasured possession?
My children. I have five children, vakura. They are all
do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
It was losing my father in 1996. It really affected me a lot. I
had lost my mother earlier and became very close to him. When he
died I felt the walls and earth crumbling in on me.
have any strange hobbies?
I do have some strange habits. When I get home I leave my bag and
shoes in the lounge. Then I take the newspaper or any other reading
material and take it to my room and start reading.
do you dislike most about your appearance?
I hate the weight. I used to be a model, and used to appear on billboards
and what have you. So now I'm trying to get used to it, but
there are times I feel I am over weight. I hate my teeth too. There's
one long one.
is your greatest extravagance?
Hembe (clothing). I've got so many. Some I don't
even wear. I just buy just to have it. And of late jewellery.
do you have in your fridge?
Plenty of water and chicken. I'm trying to get rid of red
is your greatest fear?
Losing, that's why I could never be a politician.
have you got in your pockets right now?
I've only got R4 to take me back home.
is your favourite journey?
When I went to the Amazon in 2009 for the World Social Forum. I
loved it! Oh wow!
are your heroes in real life?
My parents. They never went to school and were self taught and so
successful in their lives. They managed to send me and my siblings
to boarding schools. My mother could read the Bible. My Father could
speak English, repair bicycles and do so many things.
and where were you happiest?
After my last born child because I had no other problems. I was
just looking after the children and enjoying watching them grow
up. Then I got full time into activism. It was now my time. I didn't
enjoy my girlhood very much.
You know kudhara
what was happening was that it was like an achievement to get married.
We were focussed on being housewives. So whatever happened in the
marriage was your greatest achievement.
is your biggest vice?
Failing to manage my time. At times I get carried away.
were you like at school?
I was very bright. I remember winning so many prizes but then I
didn't value them. I was a very good swimmer; I also won several
trophies and awards for swimming.
are you doing next?
I want to see this project growing; maybe it will take me into my
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