Anne Hirsch. Picture: Instagram
Anne Hirsch believes in empowering women and making their voices heard.

The Great South African Bake Off presenter, who hails from Bloemfontein, said those she admired were women like former public protector Thuli Madonsela, fellow comedienne Tumi Morake and journalist Marianne Thamm, “to countless artists, activists, entrepreneurs, teachers and even bloggers. Women are owning the space”.

“There are some phenomenal women in this country. I mean, there have always been, but thanks to social media, we get to know so much more about them now,” Hirsch said.

Her career kick-started after she won SABC’s So You Think You’re Funny Season 2. She made moves with her unorthodox talk show, The Anne Hirsch Show, that had been adapted for radio stations Jacaranda FM, East Coast Radio and OFM and nominated for an MTN radio award.

Speaking on the positions that women should fill in society, Hirsch said: “Well, seeing as we make up 51% of the population, I would say, whatever we want to!

“But to take it further, I’d like to think that women’s role in society is also about supporting each other, not tearing each other down.

“Mentoring each other and creating a healthy, positive competition in all industries and spaces.”

That will be achieved by not settling for second best, she added.

“Women fighting for change is not a new thing, but I think we’ve reached a point in South Africa where we can demand change,” Hirsch said.

“I think an even better question would be ‘how can men take SA forward?’

“Men can start teaching young boys to respect all people equally, to pay everyone equally for the same job, and to start talking a little less loudly and rather listening a lot more.”

Hirsch said women should be able to live a care-free life and do whatever they want, just like men, as well as support one another.

“In the performance world, men are still getting paid more for often turning out sub-par work, while women are hustling and getting paid less,” she said.

“And if one more journalist asks, ‘so are women as funny as men?’, I might just have to move back to Bloemfontein and start that melktert (milk tart) business.”

Hirsch is also a full-time writer, MC and content director, as well as a “part-time Game of Thrones addict”.

@AmandaMaliba