Growing up in the little barely known settlement of Magagrape, who’d have thought Ms Berry Heart, would grow up to be this confident outspoken multi talented young woman, whose bountiful thigh is probably more popular than her and is currently trending on social media across the country?
At the 2014 BOMU Awards, Heart wore a dress with two identical slits which came right up to her waist. The media went ballistic, with others being for the dress whilst others were against it. Heart said, “I am not exposing my thighs to get the attention of men like many might be thinking. I am exposing my thighs to celebrate my feminity and to show the greater composition of Batswana women that a thick black woman can dress how they please.”
True to words she recently used as her Facebook status, “I AM MORE THAN MY EXPOSED THIGHS,” Berry heart has established herself in the arts and entertainment industry locally and internationally. In 2012 she was appointed as Botswana’s ambassador to the United Nation Creative Advisory Council where she has been working alongside Gender Affairs Department in the pursuit of empowering women and combating Gender Based Violence. Berry also has a contract with the European Union Human Rights Policy where she works with NGOs as being the voice in the forefront and helping them to attain their respective mandates.
Through various programs Berry is overseeing, she boasts that she has been getting positive feedback from communities she has been working with for the past few years from as far as Tsabong, Goodhope, Maun and Zwenshambe. “Women from these villages have given testimonies that they have removed themselves from detrimental conditions,” explained Berry Heart.
“Gender Inequality is something I was exposed to at a tender age as there was a lot of it around when I grew up. Women suffered as they remained home while their husbands went to look for jobs in the more developed areas.
There was a lot of Gender Based Violence.” It was then when Ms Heart decided that when she grew up, she was going to make a difference. “I was always a poet during prize giving ceremonies and other local ceremonies we had.”
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in English, an International Diploma in French and a certificate in German, Berry Heart is not just a pretty face and sexy thighs, she is a self proclaimed, “People’s Brand,” literally dripping urban swagger and is always followed with vile criticism, praise and awe to all which she faces with a strut in her step and a smile on her face.
She has 4 albums which were recorded for charity and she has donated towards established charities in a bid to improve the life of the girl child.
Berry Heart blames the conservative and misogynistic societal expectations that dictate to women to cover up and to be ashamed of their thicker bodies on the impact of neo colonialism. The west not only colonised African soils but their minds as well, so much that African perceptions of beauty have also changed from being the voluptuous fuller figure with child bearing hips to the size zero comprised of skin and bones splattered across fashion magazine covers being circulated by Western media. “I choose to be the scapegoat for African women to make society aware to the fact that there is more to a woman than her size. I am exposing my thighs to show that thick black women have nothing to be ashamed of.”
She goes on to cite that in pre colonial Botswana, women wore ‘Makgabe and Matlalo,” traditional attire which too left very little to the imagination. She also states that it’s a sexual liberation move and she is readying society for the woman who will fight for her rights against societal constraints.
Ms Berry Heart embraces the tremendous support and chooses to ignore the negatives as she will continue to work tirelessly on her gender agenda.