Urban design is, simply put, about public space: the spaces that we share. What we are comfortable to share is a reflection of the type of people that we are. Others learn about us through our public spaces. Apartheid spatial planning designed hostile and exclusive public spaces. The only thing that was exempt from that planning was domestic workers. Only domestic workers were allowed to be in areas where their race was banned. That role was the only glitch in a perfect design. You’d be surprised what that glitch has managed to do to our city growth in what was our very carefully designed separation.

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To extend the International Women’s Day celebrations from yesterday, The Ma(i)de Sessions dug up some good ol’ inspiring moments of womanhood throughout the shows to date and as you can imagine, there are plenty! The ladies have somehow managed to narrow it down to 5 moments; 5 whole moments that’s sure to remind you that womanhood is just a beautiful thing. Happy. Truly. Enjoy.

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Innocent and Koketso are 21 year old twins. They have only known each other for a month. Innocent, a boy, lived with their mother and Koketso, a girl, lived with their father, with only one of them aware that the other exists. Innocent was told that his father had died. Koketso was told that she had other siblings and not much else. This Khumbulekhaya-inspired episode takes us on a journey to uncover this ever-present South African condition of the engineered broken home.

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Nigel “the white guy they don’t want you to know about” Branken discusses how he got to pay a living wage, rather than the minimum wage to his then domestic worker, Loice. He helps us understand how this is no small feat, by tying into what we’ve come to know as our very networked economic machine.

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The ladies round up their impressions on The Help – the movie that tracks the journey of Skeeter, a young white female writer determined to write something meaningful with the courageous black maids in her town of Jackson, Mississippi in 1962.

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Over the next two weeks the ladies review The Help, a 2011 American film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel of the same name. The film and novel recount the story of young white woman and aspiring journalist Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan. The story focuses on her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, during the Civil Rights era in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi…

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Lebo didn’t matriculate with her class at age 18. Among other things, she fell pregnant and had to get her hustle on to support her child. This saw her leave her home in Limpopo to become a domestic worker in Johannesburg… which didn’t last for long because she has always had lofty dreams, which include Forbes Magazine spreads and sports cars. This is why at age 26, she has decided to pry her matric certificate out of adversity’s cold, dead hands. We could all take a page out of her book of hustle!

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Ever heard of Clothes by Christine? Bet you haven’t, so remember you heard it here first! Christine is a domestic worker by day and designer/tailor extraordinaire by night. She’s also her very own model, in more ways than one. The ladies interview her and uncover a business sensibility that could school the likes of Valentino. Check out her story and get your orders now before she takes the stage in Milan!

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Julie, much like her employer Penny, is a national asset – or what socio-business analysts might term a return on human investment (R.O.H.I. – it’s totally a thing…). She is the classic example of the benefits that accrue from treating our domestic workers as partners and equals. This is an instructive podcast for anyone looking to understand and unleash the power in their professio-personal (haha, that too is a thing) relationships.

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The Ma(i)de Model unleashes the most underestimated in a society by harnessing the ironic yet insane power of silence, invisibility, and obscurity. We run quite a few pioneering ventures that awaken historically unheard voices whilst elevating them to their rightful place in our social and economic order. As a third party common to all South African realities, domestic workers in particular provide us a powerful lens to navigate the most uncharted territory. Our inquiries are not limited to any single medium: they range from broadcasting, to economics, to fashion, to architecture, to storytelling, and so much more.

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