Saturday, August 27, 2011

A "rural woman who made it on grit"

That's how the story, by Barry Bearak in today's New York Times, characterizes Ntsiki Biyela, a KwaZulu Natal woman who won a scholarship to study wine in 1998 and who, 11 years later, was named South Africa's Woman Winemaker of the Year in 2009. The "made it on grit" phrase presumably refers in part to the fact that the South African wine scene is dominated by whites, and also to the fact that Biyela undertook the study of wine even before she knew what it was. (Read Bearak's report for more details on this improbable occurrence).

Here's how Ntsiki Biyela describes her two worlds, which straddle not only rural and urban, but also black and white, European and African:

“I live in two worlds,” she said recently. “I’m still able to fit in the village, speaking Zulu and eating pap. I also fit in the European-style world.”

She pondered the difference. “In the European style it’s about striving, the ‘me life,’ everything about me. In the village, it’s all about the community.”

No comments: