Black Sash still a relevant roleplayer

La Femme took Nelson Mandela Bay’s Black Sash provincial director Alexa Lane out to lunch at Kaffeine Espresso Bar in Summerstrand Village

THE days of marching may be over but the 58-year-old Black Sash is still going strong, says its Port Elizabeth based provincial director Alexa Lane.

She said it had a strong human rights track record of protecting and promoting constitutional rights through giving paralegal advice, rights education, monitoring service delivery and advocacy programmes – and was as relevant today as ever.

It was her first time visiting Kaffeine Espresso Bar – formerly Friends – as Lane said she was not up to date with Port Elizabeth’s rapidly changing restaurant scene.

Over a filling Kaffeine Salad with bacon, avocado and feta cheese, Lane revealed how her serious job title does not define who she is as an individual: one who says she has no fashion sense, but does have a sense of humour.

La Femme asked Lane:

The Black Sash is relevant because … It’s important for our democracy to have independent civil society organisations to assist in ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable in communities are realised.

When I was 16, I wish I knew … That I didn’t actually know everything. I think it might have made my teenage years a bit less complicated!

I should have studied … A lot harder at university but please don’t tell my children because that’s not the line I will be giving them when their time comes!

I’d love to party with … Madiba. Who could possibly resist that Madiba shuffle?

I’m listening to … Lady Antebellum.

The people who have taught me the most are … My parents and my 95-year-old granddad, Teddy Farrell, who really does know a lot about a lot and taught me that “it’s nice to be nice”.

My fashion weakness is … The fact that I don’t have any fashion sense whatsoever and tend to wear whatever’s comfortable.

I have a soft spot for … All cats and my darling dachshund, Zoë.

Nothing makes me happier than … Seeing my family and friends laughing, and watching people listening and engaging with each other in a caring and meaningful way.

Please never give me … The opportunity to voluntarily undertake any activity that involves flying or free falling – I’m petrified of heights!

I am saving to buy … Mosaic tiles.

I share my life with … My husband, two children and our two cats and four and a half dogs (we count the dachshund as a half).

I chose this job because … I want to live in a country where our human rights are recognised in law and respected in practice.

My proudest moment was … Queuing up to vote in the 1994 elections, knowing our country would never be the same again.

I go to work everyday because … I feel motivated. Everyone has the ability to make a positive difference to our society.

My favourite places in the metro are … My home in Maitlands and our Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

I can’t go a day without … Spending time with my family.


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