WOMEN OF MARIKANA
Primrose Nokulunga Sonti
Primrose Nomzekelo Nokulunga Sonti’s rise from the shacks of Nkaneng to South African Parliament is truly a story of empowerment. As a community leader dedicated to the well-being of her neighbors in Nkaneng, Wonderkop, Primrose was an influential mother-figure who organized the women of Marikana on the day of the massacre. Primrose decided to unify the women of Wonderkop by forming the Marikana Women’s Organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), which has been instrumental in helping the community through the aftermath of the massacre, and continued fight for justice and development. From being a community leader, Primrose has become a political leader and has her sear in Parliament.
Thumeka Magwangqana fought, cried and prayed next to Primrose during the events of the 16 August 2012 and in the days that followed. As Primrose’s right-hand woman and best friend, she has helped organize all the rallies and protests within Sikhala Sonke. Thumeka wants to be a voice for the voiceless and is dedicated to uplifting the women and community of Wonderkop, Marikana. In Primrose’s absence whilst in Parliament, Thumeka leads Sikhala Sonke. She becomes a psycho-social supporter believing Marikana needs to become a non-traumatised community. However, when faced with crippling poverty, stifling patriarchy and almost no accountability of the legal obligations owed to the community, Thumeka decides to achieve something that not even the striking mineworkers managed to achieve before they were killed.