Sometimes seemingly simple conversations can become hard. Often we find ourselves talking AT each other rather than TO each other; in an effort to be heard. Our conversation with Stima unfolded in this fashion. She expelled her thoughts under the topic of ‘money and power’; an ever-so-present and prevalent force in the silencing of domestic workers like her. No irony there.

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The ladies reflect on last week’s parody show, Your Bantu Servant and You. They try to figure out what parts of this whacky document by the Department of Non-European Affairs of 1962 are fact or fiction in present day South Africa. They also introduce us to an official open letter published by the domestic workers of the Ma(i)de Sessions this week titled, ‘Dear Madam’.

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This broadcast has been prepared by the Department of Non-European Affairs in hopes that it will help you in your day to day dealings with your Bantu servant. Remember ladies, never appear in front of your male servants in a state of undress! This and more in a Ma(i)de Sessions feature, hot off the 1962 press!

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What if you left the country on a holiday to visit your spouse who was working in Zimbabwe to feed your family? What if suddenly you couldn’t come back home and had to leave your kids in the care of their grandparents in a South Africa that was being run into the ground by Jacob Zuma, who had become a lunatic dictator out to crush all opposition and get revenge on the whites? How about if the only work you could get in Zimbabwe was as an undocumented domestic worker or builder? Sound surreal? Not so much! This is exactly the reality of our guest Sibahle and many a Zimbabwean immigrant living amongst us. Join the Ma(i)de Sessions and Zim Conversations for a surprisingly breakthrough podcast which brings to light much of what South Africans take for granted.

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Amanda is a white South African whose earliest memories of domestic work are from the dark (or rather white) ages of Apartheid. She talks us through her bittersweet experiences with the women who have played an indelible role in her life. Amanda’s is a South African journey in all its glory, with colourful tones and powerful shades of human consciousness. Part 2 of the series.

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Amanda is a white South African whose earliest memories of domestic work are from the dark (or rather white) ages of Apartheid. She talks us through her bittersweet experiences with the women who have played an indelible role in her life. Amanda’s is a South African journey in all its glory, with colourful tones and powerful shades of human consciousness.

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Domestic work is one of those areas where in many ways South Africa is considered the special child in the global community. Ruth is an expat living in South Africa and she joins the Ma(i)de Sessions to give an outsider’s observations on our local remix of this global institution. To paraphrase Trevor Noah: the world goes one way, and South Africa goes “Sha’p guys, we’ll meet you there – going to take a sho’t cut!”. Ahhh… this is why we love it here.

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What is the difference between polygamy and cheating? Is a man a financial plan? Should married couples have separate bedrooms or even houses? And then there are mother-in-laws… ’nuff said. This and more in Pt 2!

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21st century marriages are a dramatic affair with the old and the new constantly battling co-existence. Langa and Mandla come from different generations and have 35 years of domestic work experience between them. Drawing from their own experiences in addition to having worked for a variety of couples, they provide interesting observations on this evolving domestic institution.

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What determines our aspirations? Is it our concept of opportunity or its concept of us? We asked two domestic workers about their personal aspirations to help us unpack this conundrum.

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