In her new book, Induna’s Daughter, activist and Order of the Baobab recipient Joyce Piliso-Seroke shares her colourful, sometimes tumultuous but mostly courageous journey from growing up in the Crown Mines village of Johannesburg to being the founding chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.
Written with a deliberate calm and palpable strength, the book is the unbelievable journey of a woman thrust into a world that subjected her people to atrocities history knows too well and how she becomes a champion for human rights.
Born into privilege as a chief’s daughter, Piliso-Seroke is quick to question the environment around her.
This inquisitiveness is what leads her resistant existence from Kilnerton High School to Fort Hare and studies under the legendary late Professor ZK Matthews.
Her glowing CV and accolades are expansive but throughout her career, her wisdom, passions and values have been her guide: education, gender equality and leadership.
These values are a constant in the book as she has traversed life during apartheid and post-apartheid.
The book highlights the role she has played in many spheres of SA political history, not only hers but also the often disregarded women who were also on the front lines of the struggle.
As history mostly erases women, books like Induna’s Daughter are a testament to the importance of telling your story, so that history remembers.
With each chapter of the book, one delves deeper into her wisdom and unique insights of the world then, the world now and the instinct that led to many of her decisions.
What this book does well is record the musings and experiences of an iconic black woman in a way that whoever reads it will leave feeling hopeful.