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Why Women Count: South Africa - Finding Grace
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Why Women Count: South Africa - Finding Grace
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A Game for Life
Seventy-four year-old Ma Grace Masuku is a community health worker with a mission. She works with young women in South Africa's rural areas, passing on the traditional knowledge she learned from her grandmother to encourage entrepreneurship and self-respect.
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Editor: Nancy Rosenblum
Associate Producer: Denise Slabbert
Executive Producer: Kethiwe Ngcobo
Filmed, Produced and Directed by Karin Slater
Production: Durga Shakti Films

Coordinated by tve.

Learn more about the series Why Women Count.

Series supported by Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Global Opportunities Fund (FCO), UN Population Fund, UNIFEM/UN Women, and Al Jazeera English.

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Segment 1

TITLE
Why Women Count
TITLE
South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. Yet, 150 women are raped every day and one in five young women die of AIDS.
MA GRACE MASUKU
You know, we are so rural, if we don't just stand up and do things for ourselves, we will die.
TITLE
Finding Grace
MALE RADIO PRESENTER
In New York City, as we approach twelve noon, you are tuned to listener-supported, commercial-free community radio WBAI.
FEMALE RADIO PRESENTER
Our guest, Ma Grace Masuku, is a widely recognized traditionalist, environmentalist, and community worker. Ma Grace, welcome to Global Medicine Review.
MA GRACE MASUKU
Thanks. I come from South Africa, and in South Africa when you grow up you grow up with the grandmothers. As people got more sophisticated and educated I remembered my grandmother. And I said, "I'm not going to die without [passing on] this education." So I started what I call traditional conservation clubs in schools. Come closer and have a look at this. This is the best measles cure you have on this earth. It gets all the viruses and all the bacteria out of your system. I think in the past we had our hands tied, because we were not allowed to think. We had to toe the line all the time. But today you can do anything.
TEACHER
You may start typing.
MA GRACE MASUKU
Women have come out now with mighty talents that we did not think of. That's your main challenge. The challenge is to create sustainable livelihoods. I bring women together and we hear from other women about what they are doing in their communities. We tap into the experience of the women there -- what they do best. And what is important is that it's not something that she copied, it's something within her culture. These women, without a salary from anyone, are running this road safety creche. And they are dipping into their own pension money to keep the creche running. They give the children food. They wash the children. That is the most significant thing about these women. They are just wonderful. They are just wonderful. Mrs. Mbeki asked us to start what she calls a caravan where we go into a community and stay for a time, to help them start projects. It is always the woman who brings light. This is the sign of the sun and the moon and this home has got light. And then when the projects are firm and we can see that they are well established, then we can move on to another province. Because that is the only way you are going to fight poverty and unemployment in South Africa. I don't think there is any other country that has even passed a law that encourages everybody to have women as entrepreneurs, as whatever.
MALE RADIO PRESENTER
Well, we're slowly winding down here. Ma Grace, please, any closing words for us?
MA GRACE MASUKU
When you come to South Africa, don't come as a tourist. Come to the village! Let me take you to other old women. Get exposed to Africa itself. Sit with us in the evening and see how we mentor the young children and prove to you that what I say is not myth, and that Africa is still Africa.
MALE RADIO PRESENTER
You've been listening to our special guest from South Africa, Ma Grace Masuku.
TITLE
[End credits]