by Wakhe Sebenza
She is a mother to a beautiful daughter Lwandi who is fortunate to have two mothers in her life ever since her mom, Phindile Madlala came out as a same gender loving person. As anyone would wonder how do you even tell your daughter that you are lesbian? Also how do you prepare them for being mocked outside by other children? This was not the case for Phindile, Her daughter takes pride in having two mothers that she would even brag about it when she is with her peers, and also still having a present Father on top of the two mothers. After losing everything, Phindile ended up staying at her daughter’s Father’s home with her same sex partner Wendy. This is a unique story right? Good man still exist out there, lets get to know Phindile.
Phindile Madlala was born and bred in Durban, Umlazi, She is a former Agriculturalist, she’s worked with the department of agriculture for more than 20 years. Although she would have chosen a different career path if there wasn’t lack of career guidance during her high school days, she ended up having a passion for agriculture although after more than 20 years she felt it was time to relinquish her position to start her own company.
It took her a month to come to a decision that she has exhausted her stay in the agriculture department, and she felt there was no growth, her core function was to teach small scale farmers the good agricultural practices (Animal production), this was more relevant to the course she studied and it was possible to do when she was in Northen Zululand. After her mother passed on she asked for a transfer to work closer to the family. Moving to Durban, due to lack of space of farming, she was now cornered to one catergory which was Poultry, unlike in the Northen Zululand where they were doing livestock as an umbrella commodity which is cattle farming, goat farming, sheep farming and pig farming. She resigned to start her own company which didn’t work the way she planned.
Phindile shares a personal story, although it might be mortifying for her but it might help someone out there. After she got her funds from resignation she invested those funds to the wrong pots and she lost all of it. One of those wrong investments, She was to work with a friend who is known as a Tenderpreneur, a person she trusted with her money, transferred her funds to this Lady’s business account for her to buy things they needed from China to supply the department of health as per business agreement. That didn’t go according to the plan instead she was furnished with fake documents, this case is still pending.
Phindile met with Proffesor Sir Zanele Muholi at a wedding they were attending, Phindile was with her Partner, Wendy Khumalo, Proffesor asked to take a picture of the two, that’s where all it started, Today she works with Proffesor under Inkanyiso Media. Recently She was given an opportunity to assist as an Educational Officer for Ikhono LaseNatali Exhibition by Sir Proffesor Sir Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama interpreted by 25 KwaZulu-Natal visual artists.
Phindile is Planning to study Photography next year. This is a buildup to her Agricultural background and the traveler that she is. Her photography is going to focus on landscape and livestock photography. She wants to wipe out the idea that agriculture is a punishment of some sort. Phindile made an example where a student who has not done their homework is “punished” by doing some gardening at school. “Agriculture is not a punishment, it is a career you can make a living out of,” proclaims Phindile.
She also shares a wonderful experience she had assisting and facilitating an international project recently. About 12 Students from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia recently came to South Africa to document South African hot stories, including the impact of floods in Durban, Ikhono LaseNatali exhibition, Transgender violence story in Durban.etc.
Find the podcast of this Conversation on our Soundcloud account. Inkanyiso Media. https://soundcloud.com/user-432865677/a-conversation-with-phindile-madlala