Face Masks
Interviewed By:  Jarette Petzer on ImStayingMedia

We all know Mmusi Maimane.  But do we really know Mmusi Maimane?

In an interview with Jarette Petzer on #ImStayingMedia, we learn that Mmusi is delightful, witty, eloquent, and insightful.  We are taken on a journey from his childhood in Dobsonville, Soweto to his vision for South Africa today.

“Everybody lived in everybody’s spaces.”

When recalling his youth, Mmusi paints a vivid picture of what it was like growing up in Soweto.

Township life is a communal place to grow, life is wonderfully more colourful, and your community become your parents.  You learned to share as there was only one telephone for the whole street, television was a luxury, and shared electricity the norm.  Mmusi talks of “communal collective spaces” and the importance of them.

One truly gains an appreciation of the life he lived in Dobsonville, Soweto. 

A contrasted lifestyle, without a doubt.

“But, at the same time, life was hard,” he says.  He gives a realistic picture of life there during the 80s.  There was division between black and white, Tswanas and Zulus.  There was lots of political upheaval, a time when you ran from the cops, burnt tyres, and the smell lingered on you for days! Surrounded by violence, he says,

“I learnt how to make a petrol bomb before I learnt to ride a bicycle because you had to learn how to survive.” “You may not have been interested in politics, but politics was interested in you.”

“She gave me a vision of myself, to challenge the status quo.”

When asked what shaped him, Mmusi talks about the influence one activist Catholic nun teacher had, and still has, in his life.

“She gave me a vision of myself, to challenge the status quo.”

It is also one of the reasons he is so passionate about education.

Do what you can, where you can, to effect change!

On the subject of the One South Africa Movement and moving South Africa in the right direction, once again Mmusi reiterates the importance of education, but also touches on the importance of learning languages, and casually mentions he speaks eight!

Mmusi stresses the need for us all to do our bit – do what you can, where you can, to effect change!

“Our people are great and beautiful and if you bring them together, they can do beautiful things.”




Compiled By: Michelle Pagel