If you strike a woman, you strike a rock
This prominent phrase was adapted from the song which was sung by 20 000 strong, fearless and committed women on the 9th of August 1956. Wathint’Abafazi Wathinti’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock). These brave women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. They marched in peace and with dignity to protest against the legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas.
The courage, strength and ever inspiring show of female camaraderie that these women displayed on that day sixty years ago, deserves both our respect and recognition. Hence the public holiday on the 9th as well as the month of August pays tribute to the women of our nation, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, we salute you!
And we who are young, salute our mothers
Who have given us
The heritage of their queendom!!
Gcina Mhlophe, Extract from “Praise To Our Mothers”