by Lerato Ntlatlane-Malibe
Like any other woman, my bag is my pride. I am not ashamed that I am a collector of handbags. Each of my bags represents my mood, from my leather work, “The Devil wears Prada” to my “I am easy and relaxed” bag.
One common thing though about these bags is the content inside. My bag carries my life, my survival tools. My bag always contains: my cell phone- my tool for communicating with the world, my newspaper, radio, GPS – since I am the worst when it comes to directions.
It also contains my makeup purse. I can leave my house without make up on, but you never know what might happen along the way that might need me to whip up my magical look. Make up always does wonders- and there is nothing that a red lipstick cannot solve.
Also in it are my shades – just like handbags, I am addict to sunglasses. I can never get enough of these. Shades in all shapes and sizes define me.
My wallet and coin purse – You just do not want to get stuck anywhere without money, or bank cards and a form of identification.
You will always find my Chanel perfume and a pair of flat shoes in my handbag. Someone said, “Life is short but heels should not be.”
But I know that every now and then I need to give my feet a break.
Seeing that my bag is so special, I decided to invade my femme friends’ bags to find out what five essential items they do not leave the house without.
Palesa Mothibe (21) Nail Technician from Johannesburg hides these in her bag:
Sanitizer and hand cream: because I come into contact with clients all the time, my hands need to feel soft always.
Gum/sweets: When I talk to clients I am pretty close to them, so my breath must be fresh and I feel confident when I know that it is. Note pad and pen: I always use these to take down details of potential clients everywhere I go. Dry lips do not make a good impression especially in my field of work so I carry lipgloss.
My Blackberry notifies me of everything I need to be doing for the day, I get in touch with the world and yes I will not survive without the social space.
Pantsu Matjokane (40) and lives in Pretoria
Vaseline and lipstick make a great combination for delicious looking lips.
Facial Powder makes my face look radiant and wonderful the whole day. I carry facial tissue- in case I need to refresh my face and I also carry my perfume because I just love smelling good.
Borala Kekana (20) a student from Mokopane in Limpopo:
I carry a makeup kit because I always want to look good and up to date. I smoke so I have cigarettes and lighter, I don’t want to find myself walking up and down being day or night desperately looking for a smoke. It must be there when I need it. I carry a twin plug and charger because I just hate not being able to communicate because my battery died. I need to be in touch with the world always. I always have petty cash or my bankcard in my wallet. I carry ID – you never know what can happen throughout the day, you might be in an accident or something- its important that I can be identified should something happen.
Nomali Mndebele (18) a student from Pretoria:
It is so hot and I can never be caught with sweat all over my face so I carry wipes. I need to look good at all times and my lips are my priority so I carry lip gloss. I carry my cell phone to stay in touch with the world. I need these to protect my eyes and sunglasses make me look good. In my purse- my money, my cards are all stacked up in it.
Kholofelo Lamola (26) a Toll Collector in Limpopo:
I cannot imagine my beautiful face without a lip gloss and my lips have to glow all the time. I like sunglasses, I feel good wearing them. At the moment I am looking for a better job and I cannot miss an opportunity for an interview. I also live with my mother and it’s just the two of us, so she must be able to get hold of me anytime she needs me. And I am a social network freak. In case of emergency like the rain pours on us, I need to be covered and with the Limpopo heat an umbrella is a must. I always carry an extra pair of earrings, in case I lose one of my earrings or I feel the outfit I am wearing does not match the earrings then I always have an option to change.
Now after a chat with these ladies, I understand why handbags are getting bigger and bigger. These are a must for every woman, unlike in the past where we carried a tissue paper and lip ice only when going out. Bags are not only stylish they are essential, and coming to think of it, these are just the essentials in our bags meaning there is more. Femmes and bags are simply inseparable.
About the author
Lerato Ntlatlane-Malibe is writer and the founder of Divine Image– an organisation that focuses on spiritual development of the LGBTI community in Mokopane, Limpopo.
She is married to Lebo Ntlatlane and both are parents to their 11 year old daughter.
Apart from her passion for writing and being a voice for the voiceless, she is also a law student aiming to specialise in human rights.
She was a columnist for the Rise n Shine newspaper for two years, writing on issues pertaining to the gay community.