A Humansdorp-born celebrity returned to her hometown this month with an inspirational message for girl learners from a local high school.
Actress and singer Stephanie Baartman, who plays Bibi in the Kyknet soapie “Getroud met Rugby”, was at Humansdorp Senior Secondary to take part in Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks’s Women’s Month programme.
Using song and drama, Baartman shared intimate details of her life journey with the more than 1 000 girls in attendance.
Her tale touched on challenges she had to overcome growing up, including typical temptations young people face when they first leave home and an unplanned pregnancy which led to an abusive marriage.
“Stephanie took a few wrong turns in her life, yet she found the courage and strength to get back on the right path and pursue her dreams,” the Mayor said.
“No matter how bad a situation you find yourself in, there is always a way out. That was the message I wanted girl learners to hear this Women’s Month and Stephanie proved to be the perfect messenger.”
The girls were captivated by Baartman’s show and the hall’s roof just about lifted as they cheered her performance.
As one learner put it: “Stephanie, your story took me many places today. It touched my heart in different places. I never thought things like that can happen to you. I thought you were just a happy woman and that everything is beautiful in your life because you always wear a smile. I just want to say thank you.”
Hendricks said that his office would be working with the school to put support measures in place for girls who need help negotiating difficult situations.
The programme concluded with each girl receiving a balloon, blowing all their troubles into it and releasing it into the air.