Activist Dr Nandipha Magudumana, 31, says it is important to speak about gender-based violence because it is unacceptable for women to constantly feel unsafe.
Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Every year, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign gets rolled out on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10, Human Rights Day.

Activist Dr Nandipha Magudumana, 31, says it’s important to speak about GBV because it is unacceptable for women to constantly feel unsafe.

“It’s reached an undeniably alarming rate,” Magudumana said.

The Joburg-based doctor says it is frightening how in most cases the perpetrators are close to home and yet these cases go unpunished. However, she says the narrative is beginning to change as men are being held responsible.

“We changed the narrative to get men to account as opposed to making women account for themselves,” she says.

The Eastern Cape-born activist says she has been passionate about medicine since the age of 6.

Dr Magudumana says her keen interest in the medical field saw her working at the local pharmacy from age 15. She worked on weekends and school holidays.

“I spent most of my childhood paying for my schooling,” she says.

Dr Magudumana obtained a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Sciences, pharmacology being her major, while working part-time at the pharmacy at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.

She then went further and completed her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBCh) at Wits University.

“While I was at medical school, my passion has always been to help women,” she says.

She says her practice is an all- female environment. She is the founder of Optimum Medical Group and Arum Holdings.

The businesswoman says she is currently part of two projects which are conversations with women (a platform that brings women together to discuss issues they are facing in the country), and as the practice, they support shelters where survivors stay, and they uplift them.

Magudumana says she looks forward to growing her company and its corporate social investment projects.

“Having an impact in people’s lives, especially women and children, is what makes me happy,” she says.

She plans to partner with other businesses in creating a safe space for women.

“It’s important to bring these conversations to the forefront.”