Seasoned 5FM newsreader and DJ Sureshnie Rider prides herself on being compassionate and eager to stand up for a cause she believes in. And there are many, from the protection and safety of women and children, to education and women empowerment. Since last month she has been part of a special #IconicWomen campaign – alongside several South African women including adventurer and author Letshego Zulu and actress and presenter Nicole Bessick – which is aimed at empowering and inspiring South African.
CITYLIFE/ARTS: Tell us more about the Iconic Women campaign, what it stands for and how it came about?
Sureshnie: This #IconicWomen campaign was especially set out by the team at custom performance vehicle manufacturer Shelby South Africa as well as Road to Race South Africa. Their aim was to empower women to recognise the power they have within themselves to be the change they want to see in the world. It was also an opportunity in Women’s Month for us to nominate fellow Iconic Women to celebrate their success, in the hopes of inspiring all women to take up space.
CITYLIFE/ARTS: The conversation around women, equality and GBV has been a constant, what do you think we should be doing to make noise like this, support causes and each other and all year round?
Sureshnie: Supporting a cause like this all year round, increasing the volume on campaign’s fighting Gender Based Violence and stronger punishment will be the kind of measures that I know will make the difference. We cannot have just one month of calling out injustice and then it becomes a mundane routine. We are reading far too many stories that are making us numb to these chilling headlines and the stats then don’t change. We need to really help each other and start calling out perpetrators and punishing them timeously.
CITYLIFE/ARTS: You involve yourself in various projects around children, women and education – what drives you to support these causes?
Sureshnie: I am extremely passionate about supporting women, children and education drives. These three are the cornerstone of a successful society. As a parent of a young child, I’m determined to make this world a safer one for her and one that she can thrive in without any fears. I have always believed that lending support is part of my community duty and extending the spirit of Ubuntu. We need to take care of each other and let compassion and humanity become part of our lifestyle.
CITYLIFE/ARTS: This lockdown over the past few months have been difficult in many ways for many people, how have you been keeping yourself positive and motivated?
Sureshnie: From a mental perspective it has been a very tough year for many of us, struggling to deal with this pandemic. I personally have found that it has helped me cement my relationships with my loved ones. It has driven home the fact that we are all on borrowed time, and I have found myself wanting to spend more quality with my family and friends. I have recently discovered my love of Korean TV, and I’m trying to learn the language in my spare time. I’ve also realised that home schooling and being a home school mum has opened my eyes so much, and I love using the time to do arts and crafts with my child. Whilst I enjoyed making banana bread, the other hobby I’ve been improving on is cooking meals I was once too afraid to try.
CITYLIFE/ARTS: What’s the first thing you want to do once we return to some sense of normalcy?
Sureshnie: I would love to be able to host a massive family braai, free of masks and to be truly able to hug people with all of my heart. I miss hugs and socialising the most. So once normalcy returns . . . stand by for a Sushi hug!