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Thandile Chinyavanha is the Quote This Woman+ Voices of the Year winner in the Environment category for the year 2022. Thandile has made a career out of intersectional solutions within environmental studies: where she finds complex resolutions and approaches for the issues surrounding underserved, overly vulnerable women who are disproportionately affected by extreme climate events and adjacent injustices. 

She has made huge inroads – both on social media and traditional news platforms – in alerting the general public as to how climate change, extreme weather events and poor energy policies (like loadshedding) affect poorer, Black women to a much larger and more harrowing degree than any other demographic in South Africa. She is often called upon as a thought leader and campaigner in the space to speak on these matters in the media, and has featured on numerous media broadcasting stations, TV and Radio, speaking about top news in her area of expertise. She was also recognised as Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans.

She makes accessible and logical links between Gender Based Violence, generational poverty, Eskom, the floods in KZN and low grade 12 pass rates among girls and women – and has agile and workable suggestions on how to address these interwoven social knots. Thandile is unafraid of challenging her peers to view climate justice from a humanities perspective; and to include its most affected victims rather than to talk over them. 

Education: Chinyavanha has a Bachelor of environmental health from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She is an IEMA accredited Carbon Footprint Analyst, experienced in carbon footprint accounting and reporting, and carbon tax calculations. Chinyavanhu has done a short course training at the Biogas Institute (in China).

Thandile’s quote on the importance for women+ to use their voices:

“The lived experiences of women and non-binary people add depth and perspective. These deserve to be highlighted and celebrated.”

Contact jordan@quotethiswoman.org.za to Interview Thandile For Your Next Story.