The loss of a sibling can be devastating. It means the severing of a shared history and common memories. But the grief can be overshadowed by that of children, parents and partners. Kim Chakanetsa talks to an Irish writer and an academic from Botswana about how the death of a brother and a sister changed their lives.
Dr Senzokuhle Doreen Setume is a professor at the University of Botswana. She researches the impact of ignoring traditional rites in grief counselling. Her twin sister died when they were 37. As well as losing the person she’d shared her whole life with Senzokuhle lost her identity as a twin. She says the cultural pressure to not show grief affected her deeply.
Carmel McMahon was living in New York when her 20 year old brother died in a car crash. Her grief triggered a long period of alcoholism and she turned to writing to help her recovery. Her book, In Ordinary Time, mines the ways trauma reverberates through time and through individual lives. She draws connections from tragically lost siblings to the broader social scars of Ireland’s long history.
Produced by Jane Thurlow
(Image: (L) Carmel McMahon, credit Lauren Carroll. (R) Senzokuhle Setume, courtesy Senzokuhle Setume.)
Women and chronic migraine pain
Headache, nausea and sensitivity to light are all common symptoms of migraine. According to the BBC, one in five women suffer from migraines. Studies also show that between two to three times as many women endure them as men – a ratio that fluctuates depending on stage of life. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to two women whose lives have been shaped by migraines.
Sarah Shaw from New Jersey, USA, has lived with chronic migraine for 10 years. After years of searching, Sarah finally had a breakthrough with treatment last year – when she found a Black neurologist. Sarah journey with migraine led her to a job in patient advocacy for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) patients, with the non-profit patient advocacy organization, the Global Healthy Living Foundation.
Lise R Øie is a Norwegian neurologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Norwegian Headache Research Centre (NorHEAD). Lise conducts clinical research on migraine treatment, and is currently looking into a blood pressure preventative treatment for migraines.
(Image: (L) Sarah Shaw, courtesy Sarah Shaw. (R) Lise R Øie, courtesy Lise R Øie.)
Women fighting for equality in divorce
Divorces are often messy. In countries like Turkey and Egypt, they can also put women at risk of losing everything: their financial independence, the right to see their children, and their social status.
İpek Bozkurt is a lawyer based in Istanbul. She focuses on cases of violence against women and works with a grassroot organisation called We Will Stop Femicide. Her story was featured in the documentary “Dying to Divorce”, which was the UK’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Nada Nashat is a human rights activist based in Cairo. She is the Advocacy Coordinator at the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA), an organisation supporting women who want to divorce their husbands. She’s also campaigning to make divorce legislation fairer.
Produced by Lorna Treen
(Image: (L) Nada Nashat, courtesy Nada Nashat. (R) İpek Bozkurt, courtesy İpek Bozkurt.)
Champions of women’s football
Women’s football is being played in front of record crowds – interest and attendance has soared and the game is flourishing but getting here hasn’t been easy and there are still some significant hurdles to overcome. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two players at the very top of their game who have been instrumental in helping bring about change.
Sara Gama is captain of the Italy women’s football team and Serie A club Juventus. Growing up she was unaware women even played football and was the only girl her team. She’s been pivotal in gaining greater recognition and equality for the women’s game in Italy which finally became professional in July 2022.
Women’s football has changed a lot since Rafaelle Souza used to play barefoot with the boys in the small town in Brazil where she grew up. Rafa went to the United States on a football scholarship and studied civil engineering, she then became the first foreigner to play for a club in China. She’s now at Arsenal.
Produced by Jane Thurlow
(Image: (L) Sara Gama, credit Getty Images. (R) Rafaelle Souza, credit Getty Images.)
Women with a passion for wine
Kim Chakanetsa talks to a multi-award winning wine expert from France and a young sommelier from Kenya who was part of the first all-female team to take part in the World Wine Blind Tasting Championships 2022.
Pascaline Lepeltier was studying for a PhD in Philosophy when she switched to work in a restaurant and pursue her interest in wine. She went on to become the only woman to have been named “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - Sommellerie”, and also in 2018, Best French Sommelier. She has a passion for championing organic, natural and biodynamic wines and is beverage director at the New York restaurant Chambers.
Melissa Mwende is a Kenyan born and raised sommelier and wine educator. After working as a wine ambassador for a brand in South Africa she opened a small wine shop outside Nairobi and works as a wine consultant. She wants people to learn about fantastic wines produced across the African continent.
Produced by Jane Thurlow
(Image: (L) Pascaline Lepeltier, credit Cedric Angeles. (R) Melissa Mwende, courtesy Melissa Mwende.)