Women of Mzansi : Guiyani Monteiro
Guiyani Monteiro is an entrepreneur and has recently opened Ants, a lifestyle concept space with a retail offering, specialized events, gallery space and more. Her love for fashion, art, design and overall creative expression have led her to make this move which she plans to expand to other platforms and communities, building the Ants colony.
HB: What does being a woman in SA mean to you?
GM: South Africa is a very progressive country when it comes to women’s rights, the country has always been pro – women in policy, but in reality the country has to take a long look in the mirror. Many women are still marginalised and degraded on a daily basis, at all levels of society. We see jokes being made about “blessers” and “blesees” and it’s always the women that are degraded and young women at that, which really is despicable at times. However I do believe that there is general awareness in the challenges women face, headed by some very strong and inspirational women of all ages. Being a business woman in South Africa gives me a voice and platform to freely raise the issues faced by many of us and being in the creative industry makes me interact with amazing women that approach womanhood in an inspirational way as they juggle being mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, etc. Many people still don’t see the many faces and the power of womanhood, what a shame as it’s a beautiful thing to see and watch.
HB: Who would you consider as your role model, why?
GM: My mother. She has taught me to be kind, to be humble and to be loving. She is a excellent example of womanhood. Her selflessness is her strength her humility is her beauty.
HB: As a woman, what is the one thing you are tired of hearing?
GM: I can’t stand men that think its ok to catcall. It happens at the petrol station, at the neighbourhood Woolies , Builders Warehouse, traffic light. Worse of all is that men, no matter their social standing, believe that they have the right to make these degrading public outbursts.
HB: Why is women empowerment important to you?
GM: Like all empowerment it has to happen. It is not sustainable to have a gender imbalance in society. Societies must be representative of all who live in them.
HB: What is your personal philosophy?
GM: Always do what you love. Life is too short not to.
HB: What in your opinion makes a woman beautiful?
GM: A women who knows her self and her worth is the most beautiful thing to watch