Call for Submission of Stories: Tell your Mother's story

Monday, 4 April, 2022

This is a call for submission of women’s stories for the OHASA DSAC Coffee Table Publication Series “Tell Your Mother’s Story” – Volume Five. If you are a woman you may submit your life’s journey…your story. Kindly follow the guidelines provided under the Options on Page 2.  You may be as creative as possible. Other writers are encouraged to also submit women’s story by following the guidelines on the interviewing process and adhering to general ethics in writing as outlined below.
Ethical considerations when interviewing.
Before selecting respondents for the interviews, it is important for the interviewing author to understand and apply ethical principles. A brief explanation of the interview goal must be explained to the respondents. Details of the interview process must be shared. The respondents must agree to be a part of the interview in order to write up the story that will be submitted to the CTP TYMS series. All submissions must be accompanied by authentication granting permission to print the story.  Submissions will go through a rigourous editing and proof reading process with a final signoff by the submitting author.
Formatting Requirements                                         
1.15 Spacing: Arial Font;
Text (Paragraphs) Size10:                       Sub-headings Size 11;
Title Bold - Size 14;  
Author’s Name Bold - Size 13
900 -1100 Words; Provide a tite (<12 words); Write in paragraphs; Include 3 pictures with captions
Due Date for Submission of Stories: 01 May 2022 (Worker’s Day)
Suggested questions /guidelines when conducting the interview
1.     Could you start by telling me more about yourself? Name, age, birth order, occupation, parents’ origin. Follow-up questions: Where did your parents grow up?, etc Share details of your siblings, your school days and friends from childhood…
2.      How do you identify yourself?  Follow - up questions: Using markers in terms of culture, ancestral heritage, workplace persona, a family person, immediate or nuclear family, friends, society… provide a background as to who you are.
3.     What general or unique negative experiences did / do you have as a woman in the South African society or of the African Diaspora? Follow-up question: Did / do you face difficulties in your everyday life? If so, what kind? How did you oversome these? Have you experienced hate, gender based violence, racism or exotification in your daily-life? (Answer is optional)
4.     What about the positive experiences in your life? How did you ensure that you became successful?
5.     What are your most joyous life’s encounters or incidents? Describe them by sharing when, where and with whom.
6.     Religion, Sports, Hobbies?
7.     Your motto in life?
8.     What advice would you give to our young women today? Why?      
9.     How has your life changed post 1994?  
10.   Any final comments?   
     IF you are writing your OWN story, there are three options that you may follow….
These are the questions that you should consider when submitting your own story. Write in paragraphs.


Stages in life




Birth to two years:

Where were you born? Year?

Parents: Explain family background. Nuclear or extended family. Etc.


Early life

School, friends, family, life in general under apartheid

What was your life like while growing up?  Who were the important role players in your life?  What did you enjoy most while growing up? Etc. 


Teenage years

Difficulties / cultural disputes/ moral challenges, gender based violence

Did you face peer pressure? What influence did your culture / belief system have on you? Any memory of superstition / old wives’ tales/ folk tales / storytelling that shaped you? Etc.


Young adult life under apartheid

Trials / struggles / successes, hopelessness, violence.

To include family, children, spouse etc. influence of adult friends / civic groups etc.


Marriage / children / extended family life

What experiences can you share? Economic difficulties? Social issues? Political strife? The environment?

Did you work? Were you protected at the workplace? Remuneration? Uniforms? Travelling? Etc.


Mature adult and Life as a professional person

Changes in the country? Your contribution. Professional Life? What were your challenges and successes at work? Male dominated work environment? What are your retirement plans?

Were you active in movements that led to change?
Other experiences that you may have had. Etc.  Share experinces from your professional life. Where did you first work?, When did you start working? 


At present

Share your thoughts… hope for the future? Sadness? Achievements, etc.

If you could change anything what would it be and why?

Brief biography: This should cover birth, early childhood, schooling and life after schooling. A memorable moment in your life or your mother’s life under apartheid. It is almost given that when you request people to write about their lives under apartheid they would focus on the hardships and their resistance to apartheid, i.e. political activism. This is true for many people, and women in particular, who regrettably histories still remain ‘hidden’.  Contributors are urged to write about this.  Colleagues are strongly urged to begin to document about other aspects of their lives that remain dormant.  Contributors are also encouraged to write about any aspect of their life or their mothers’ life that they feel is pertinent and deserves to be documented. These could range from challenges unmarried women, especially black women, faced in acquiring accommodation in the urban areas; how they managed to survive and raise children, sometimes single-handedly through what the then government perceived as illegal means (e.g. beer brewing or street hawking); entertainment careers (Contributors must write about their memories or that of their mothers who were aspiring musicians, artists, sport enthusiasts, etc., in their communities); community developers, but due to apartheid laws, which restricted the advancement of black people, they struggled to achieve their dreams.  View about post-apartheid South Africa: Hope/Dream for the future? Sadness? Achievements, etc.  
Writers are also encouraged to tell community stories. These stories could revolve around the women that played the pivotal role during  the formative years.
   In Conclusion, remember to be creative. You can write as a family or as a group. We are looking for stories that cover the length and breadth of our country and the African Diaspora. We are looking for women’s tales from all provinces, the plaas, the plush neighbourhoods, townships and the international space as Women of Africa impact and are impacted globally. Join me in telling women’s stories. This is a great initiative. Should you require any further information, please email: or WhatsApp Dr Archary on 072 856 1988.
Regards, Dr. Kogie Archary (Facilitator: Coffee Table Publication Series Tell Your Mother’s Story)
Prof Christina Landman (EDITOR: OHASA)

Published date: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022