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Be bold for change

When I heard about the theme for Women’s Day this year, ‘Be bold for change,’ I thought, ‘Oh, wow that’s so cool.’ Actually, that’s my general reaction to most things. But then I gave it more thought, especially about how change has affected my life, world politics and just about everything.

I come from a beautiful country where the landscape tantalizes almost every tourist’s taste buds. Our people are as colorful as the rainbow. Culturally, it is one big melting pot of stereotypes and changing identities as our country tries to shed the shackles of its oppressive past in favor of one united cultural identity.

I grew up in South Africa during times of change; watching the first democratic election and being part of a dynamic changing social landscape. I’ve watched our democracy change hands from a highly respectable freedom fighter to a corrupt misogynist. I too battled with constructing a new cultural identity amidst all the changes.

Once I accepted that change became the constant fire starter in my life, I learned to adapt. My life changed from having only South African Indian friends to leading a life that my parents were taught was unlawful, to now being married to a German, learning a new language and having a family of international friends. Sounds pretty cool, but I can assure you that transitions aren’t easy.

At first, change is scary, whether you’re a parent for the first time or relocating to a new country; change requires something more from you. That certain something that nostalgia will make you doubt you have. I’ve learnt that while nostalgia brings back the comfort of the “good old days”, it also makes you feel as if you have lost something that is no longer there. I’ve had to learn that the old ways don’t define me but neither do the new. Like the saying goes, “one doesn’t discover new lands until one has courage to lose sight of the shores.” To truly be able to set forth and conquer new challenges, new dreams, new adventures and create new opportunities, one must lose sight of the shore – but it takes a certain kind of mindset to accomplish this.

Change requires boldness so that something new can be experienced. And so my strength came from recognizing that I have the power to benefit from changes. I made a conscious decision to focus on the positive things that lay ahead. Today, I am raising my daughter in Germany, touted as the powerhouse of Europe, headed by Angela Merkel, a strong yet passive woman.

As scary as it is to raise my daughter in a country where people do not speak the same language as me, in a culture that I don’t fully relate to, I’m grateful that she will know a picture of two extremes and that being a woman isn’t a limitation. In fact, now more than ever women have the power and influence to change the world. Maybe we will change the world around us in a big way, maybe we won’t. But if we are not bold and courageous even when small opportunities present itself, how will we ever know the impact our lives can make on those around us?

One thing is for sure is that change is inevitable, so instead of being fearful of the inevitable it is really the perfect opportunity to be bold for change.

Author: Sarona Wolter

Editor: Marjory Linardy

Sarona Wolter is a South African law graduate, turned mum and content creator now living in Bonn Germany. She can be reached at


08.03.2017 | 7:24