Ishay Govender-Ypma

Ishay Govender-Ypma is a journalist and author whose work focusses on women and marginalised folks around the world. She founded the #SAPOCTable initiative after a decade of writing about culture through the lens of food, contending with a pervasively untranfsormed industry. Storytelling is a powerful means of shifting the narrative and breaking down colonised tropes. In her address at the inaugural #SAPOC conference, she mentioned that this revolution has had its roots pre-colonisation, and it belongs to all of us: “We are not creating something out of nothing, we are simply building on the toil and sweat and excellence of the leaders and pioneers before us. This is also why it was of utmost importance for me to invite the likes of Sydda Essop, Dorah Sitole and Cass Abrahams to share their experiences, along with the newer generation.

We grow in strength, not just from numbers, but from strategically combining our knowledge and expertise. I implore the younger people on this page to dip into the history books and critical feminist texts. Audre Lorde in the 60s and 70s was fighting for the dignity and rights of the black queer women (amongst others) – imagine the challenges then!”

You can read more about her work at