Pregs Govender on the human right to clean water and the corporations who pollute,

waste and steal water in a capitalist world that drives inequality, poverty & war

21 South African Icons video adapted for 2nd edition of Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination


"Love and Courage is a guide for those deeply committed to social justice and radical transformation of our societies, economies, our world and ourselves. With Thousand Currents we distributed Pregs' book to hundreds of activists and revolutionaries, to Black Lives Matter leaders. Immigrant rights leaders, domestic worker organisers, artists and cultural workers, to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and more…we worked hard to make sure it was easily available for the thousands of feminists at the AWID Conference...because the depths of crises we are facing globally right now – the rise of white supremacist xenophobic, misogynist leaders – demand we respond with the most courageous and principled leadership imaginable."
Pamela Shifman, Feminist & Internationalist


Why now?

"I want to incite insubordination in each of us. Like you, I have felt the fear, greed and hate of subordination land on my skin, course through my blood, unsettle my nerves… its paralysis, impotent rage and helplessness… In searching for answers I looked to and learnt from so many who embody wisdom in their lives, their relationship to others and to the earth. There is wisdom in the everyday beauty of fragile complex beings grappling with contradiction…Recognising love as intrinsic to our being we evoke the courage to dance with our fear… When we forget, as we often do, we can look in the mirror of our selves, of each other, or let the rising sun remind us

of the radiance that is our birthright."

Why Love,

Courage & Insubordination?

... the radiance 

that is our birthright...


Mozambican Freedom Fighter & 1st Education Minister, Humanitarian

“This beautiful book is an inspiration to all those working toward justice and liberation in Africa and throughout the world."

Anti-Colonial Academic & Author: Life as the River Flows

"Pregs' perspective is needed for Asia-Africa solidarity based on mutual respect and understanding, rather than utilitarian economic exchanges or trade relations only."

Feminist Activist

Journalist & Author

"Love and Courage is one of the precious few that tells us how to make a revolution from the bottom up." 

Amnesty International SG

& formerly Greenpeace

Anti-apartheid activist

“Love and Courage is a gift to the world at a time of catastrophic calamity because of climate change and multiple persistent injustices.” 

Feminist Author, Co-Founder DAWN;  Caricom;

Gender & Trade Network 

"Love and Courage is full of ‘strategies for transformation’ – how to work through groups – to bring about gender justice, and how this is linked inextricably to economic justice and democracy." 

Feminist Writer,

African Women’s Development Fund

"Love and Courage is a precious contribution to our understanding of African liberation history... and leadership. We also learn the inner techniques of activism – of how to master breath, balance the body and find strength and joy in the midst of distress." 

Womanist Author;

Executive Director: Wellesley Centres for Women

"Meditation is a powerful tool for self- and social transformation. It deserves a more prominent and unapologetic place in our social change repertoire. As Pregs recommends, we must find ways to 'communicat[e] the practice in being so people learn without being hindered by their socialization.'"


Chair: The Elders;

Ireland's First Woman President, UN High Commissioner Human Rights

"I'd like to finish with a passage Pregs used in relation to her personal journey: 'Life, as it waxes and wanes, always provides opportunities for our humanity to emerge.'

I have every confidence in South Africa realising the opportunities for its humanity to fully emerge."

Honouring Ancestors 

of Love, Courage & Insubordination

Thirteen-year-old Autumn Peltier's 2018 UN speech shares ancient wisdom about water, the earth and humanity. She calls us to "Warrior up..." knowing that, "One day I will be an ancestor, and I want my great-grand-children to know I tried hard to fight so they can have clean drinking water."


The global climate strikes inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg reconnect to the wisdom of indigenous people who cared for the earth before being decimated by colonial genocides. Visiting the water protectors of Standing Rock, Greta recognised that, "Indigenous peoples... are often the ones who are affected the most by the climate and ecological crisis, yet they are not the ones responsible for it. They are also the ones who are leading the fight against it. We are now so desperate for their voices and knowledge how to live in balance with nature." 

Honouring Ancestors connects the past, present and future through lectures Pregs has delivered, including on Wangari Maathai, Ruth First, Victoria Mxenge and Julius Nyerere. Wangari Maathai was profiled at the time of COP 2019, to remind elected leaders that their loyalty is to the earth and her citizens, not to those whose greed for profit is destroying the earth and humanity. If the world heeds the wisdom of ancestors like Wangari, the earth's children, whose wealth was stolen from them, could play happily, their present and future secure.

1940 - 2011

Earth Warrior



1922 - 1999

African Socialist President


1925 - 1982



1942 - 1985

Revolutionary Attorney

“It is a brave and telling reflection on our contemporary history and opens the space for others to speak.”

Ahmed Kathrada


ANC Leader, Activist and ex-Robben Island Prisoner


Black and white photo of Pregs Govender and Nelson Mandela at Pregs' 'favourite book reading'. Pregs is sitting with Madiba and smiling.
Black and white photo of Nelson Mandela at Pregs' 'favourite book reading'. Madiba is sitting at his desk, reading Pregs Govender's book, Love and Courage, A Story of Insbordination

Pregs reading Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination to the late Nelson Rohlihlala Mandela. 

"If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it is to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact upon the way people live and die…" pg. 228

Book cover of Love and Courage: A Story of Insubordination, book by Pregs Govender, international feminst
Book cover of Love and Courage: A Story of Insubordination, book by Pregs Govender, international feminst

Linking the past, present and future.

Pregs wrote an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa for Human Rights Day 2020, addressing the need to overcome inequality in SA in order to fight the spread of COVID-19

Pregs is featured in the new UNFPA publication Icons and activists: 50 Years of People Making Change

Yo-Yo Ma and Pregs after reading from Love and Courage at Zolani Mahola's family home in Langa, February 2020, for an intimate storytelling event:

yoyo ma and pregs.jpg

Ilitha Labantu's 30th anniversary International Conference: Ensuring equal access to justice (27/11/2019); Pregs was invited to share her insights from the WNC, Parliament &  SAHRC 

Pregs presented COSATU's Winnie Mandela Memorial Lecture on the 25 November 2019, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to launch the 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender based violence. 

Colour poster for the Winnie Mandela Memorial Lecture, organised and hosted by COSATU Western Cape, an event to mark the launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
winnie book cover.jpg

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Council awarded Pregs the Ellen Kuzwayo Award

on 22 November 2019. 


How do you use your power of love, courage and insubordination, personally and politically?

Share your stories or images 

Write to us - we have a few free copies of Love and Courage for organisations/libraries with limited resources 

Thank you for connecting!


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