Levels! Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng Makes It on the BBC 100 Women 2021 List. South Africans have been doing amazing things on international lists of phenomenal personalities this year. Just a few weeks ago, a number of South Africans were named on the Tropics Magazine 2020 African Doers List. The likes of Dr Precious Motsepe, Bonang Matheba, Caster Semenya, Somizi and Refilwe Modiselle made part of the list.
Another list has just come out, and once again South Africa has a representation. Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng is on the BBC Women 100 list, and we are so excited for her. Many know her as Doctor T, and she is a medical doctor and rights activist for women’s sexual and reproductive health, who advocates for universal health access, HIV care and family-planning services, as well as an author.
Dr T is currently the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health, making her the first woman, the first African, and one of the youngest people to hold this position. She is also the best-selling author of Dr T: A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure.
Mofokeng was also one of the 2016 winners of the 120 Under 40 award for young champions of family planning, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
The BBC’s 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by the BBC’s network of World Service languages teams. They were looking for candidates who had made the headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn’t necessarily make the news.
The pool of names was then assessed against this year’s theme – women who are hitting “reset”, playing their part to reinvent our world after the global pandemic has forced so many of us to reassess the way we live. It was also measured for regional representation and due impartiality, before the final names were chosen.