Thuli Madonsela.
Thuli Madonsela.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Essential lotions and potions: I like to use L’Oréal and Nivea scrubs, and sometimes I make my own scrubs with coconut oil and sugar, or plain yoghurt and sugar.

Perfume: Chanel No 5.

Building everyone should visit before they die: Robben Island. I’d advise visitors to stay for some time alone in one of the cells. It really helps you to gain insight and empathy. The Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill is also worth visiting, for the same reason.

Tech: My laptop, because I’m always working. Every space I’m in is my office.

Drink of choice: Green tea.

Place to eat out: Kream in Pretoria. I usually order salmon or prawns.

Perfectly designed piece of furniture: We have couches at home that we bought from Winston Sahd when we first came to Pretoria. They’re comfortable and firm; you can sleep on them; and, aesthetically, they are timeless.

Currently reading: Steinheist by Rob Rose.

Fave Instagram account: I’m not on Instagram, but I do want to join before I do the Mandela Foundation trek up to Kilimanjaro as part of its Caring for Girls initiative.

Listening to: I play classical music in the morning and the evening to calm my mind.

Book and luxury item to take to a desert island: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and my juicer.

Series: I don’t watch series, but I do sometimes watch what my children are watching. When they were small, I got hooked on renting and watching DVD box sets of series like Lost and Prison Break over the weekend. At the end of the weekend, I’d be angry with myself for not having achieved what I needed to. So I decided not to let myself get hooked on any series again!

Everyone should visit Robben Island. I’d advise visitors to stay for some time alone in one of the cells. It really helps you to gain insight and empathy.
Thuli Madonsela

Collector of: African sculpture and art.

Happiest when: I’m seeing other people happy, especially after they’ve suffered some injustice and there’s a breakthrough.

Last stellar travel destination: Chile.

Dream dinner party guests: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president FW de Klerk, anti-apartheid activist Sophia Williams-de Bruyn, media doyenne Jane Raphaely, and my daughter, Wenzile. I’d want us to talk about where we are, and who we are.

Next must-have item: I’ve always wanted to make unique African fabric-pattern designs and use them to create my own clothing. I even recently bought my own sewing machine. Grocery cart essential? Almond milk.

Top gift recently received: A book called the A to Z of Amazing South African Women by Ambre Nicolson and Jaxon Hsu.

What inspires and rejuvenates you: Seeing people overcome adversity and thrive.

Favourite city in the world: It’s a tie between Boston — where there’s an amazing culture of humanity and compassion — and Paris. There’s just something about Paris.

Indulgence that is impossible to forgo: Definitely tea.

• From the April edition of Wanted 2019.

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