Celebrating Strong Women: From abused wife to community pillar – Bukiwe Limane

She was once a victim of gender-based violence – now, years later, Bukiwe Limane fights for women’s rights in Mbekweni near Paarl in the Western Cape.

Many years ago, the mother of four, now activist and paralegal, was physically and verbally abused by her husband. Limane said she was in an abusive relationship for 18 years before she decided to take a stand.

“He beat me, cheated, and I realised enough is enough one day. So I moved into a small shack, where I found peace and love,” she said.

Limane describes herself as a strong woman, as she endured years of abuse and still managed to lift herself up.

She worked at Mosaic, a Cape Town organisation which empowers women and girl survivors of domestic violence and abuse. The non-governmental organisation offers holistic and integrated programmes to prevent abuse and violence against women.

Limane said she assisted women with interdicts at court; since then, her work has never stopped.

“I am very passionate about empowering our women and girls. Information is important, and I feel that the more we educate and equip our women, the more confident they become and can stand up for themselves.”

While sitting with Limane on her couch in her lounge, she looks through her massive folder of certificates and awards. Her phone never stops beeping. She reckons there’s not a day that goes by that someone is not knocking on her door.

Limane has been a paralegal since 2010 and assists workers in the labour sector.

“I help people when their matters reach the CCMA, I help them fill in their forms, and I stand and represent them. I really enjoy it,” she says.

The grandmother of three is also assisting the family of Siphokazi Booi, whose burnt body was found at a dumpsite near the Mbekweni train station.

“When I heard about this case, I immediately went to assist the family. We cannot allow our women to be abused and killed like this. It is time we as women take a stand against the perpetrators of violence”.

As she walks down her street, it is evident that Limane is well known in her community as more than one person calls her name. She understands the issues and wants to see more being done to improve the lives of residents living in Mbekweni socially and when it comes to basic service delivery.

Limane sees herself as a jack of all trades: “Put me in a community meeting, court, or church; I will stand up for what’s right. For too long, we’ve been silenced. We need to use our voices for good,” she says.

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Action Society will protect and save all relevant personal information as described in the applicable legislation and shall only use such personal information for the purpose stated herein. With completing the above form you agree and confirm that Action Society may contact you in future. We thank you for your support.