Words: Aluwani Ratshiungo

Thirteen years ago on this day we lost an icon and the original care-free black girl, Brenda Fassie.

Brenda was a carefree black girl way before the concept became a movement. Before the internet was littered with brown girls wearing floral crowns with faces bronzed by the sun and clothes as colourful as their personalities. She owned her sexuality and gave the middle finger to respectability politics. She was joyous and eclectic. She loved fearlessly and she was an unapologetic mess.

Being a carefree black girl means refusing to be defined by hardships. At the centre of being a carefree black girl is the freedom to enjoy life’s little pleasures however mundane regardless of all the restrictions imposed on us; the freedom to dress however we want or love whoever we want to love but more than anything, the freedom to be who we want to be and Brenda was certainly not afraid to be herself.

Even though she was far more impetuous than carefree living a life filled with controversy and misfortune, it’s still important to celebrate just how inspiringly badass she was. She inspired many and continues to do so now and to this day, there are still people trying to be the next MaBrrr even though they could never.

Brenda Fassie