On Friday 3 October, activist Candy Bowers visited a group Year 9 girls including myself in a session called, ‘The Stella’s Writing Poetry Class.’ Candy Bowers is an actor, social-activist, comedian and producer, a woman of plentiful talents.
She kicked off the class by telling us a little bit about herself with tales of being a multi-racial South African woman in a dramatic world full of men. Candy was quick to hand the story over to us, asking us about the stereotypes facing women today. To our dismay, we filled the whole board with confronting stereotypes. But there was hope and ambition in the class, the next column was filled with all the compliments we could find for ourselves, eg Ambitious, Strong, Compassionate, Intelligent. We simply wrote down the truth.
Feeling the empowerment in the room, Candy got us to stand in a circle and repeat a tune with the four words, ‘Heart, Body, Mind, Soul.’ She then split us into four groups and gave us the task of writing a small slam poem about one of the key words. We had to make sure it also went to the beat of the song. Having been given the subject of ‘body’ my group created a funky and small, but still powerful slam poem which left the room in a sway of empowerment.
In fact, empowerment would not be the only word I could use to describe this experience; I also felt more profound. The opportunity to be in this class with Candy is something I’ll never forget and I am extremely grateful for her words and her confidence, giving us all plenty of confidence and inspiration.