“Break the Silence – End the Violence” is the slogan of the country wide 16 Days of Activism which is running now from Nov.25 to Dec.10. It focuses specifically on women’s and children’s rights (against abuse). South Africa has an excellent constitution but often people, particularly those in rural areas and those uneducated, don’t know their rights or how to find help.
Malindi Matsne is the councilor on the municipal government representing the township of Simile where the Sitabogogo Project is located. She sat down to speak with the gogos (in an African language) about what this was all about, and to encourage them to come to a public presentation on the topic the following day.
I watched quietly from the sidelines, heartened to see and hear several of the gogos join in an animated discussion. It was also interesting to note those which gogos emerged as leaders in the discussion. Some who normally work quietly at their sewing spoke passionately with much hand waving.
When I drive in the car I always have the radio tuned to SAFM, similar to our CBC Radio, as a kind of pulse of the nation. In the last several days it has devoted a lot of time to this campaign, interviewing authors, filmmakers, victims and repentant abusers about this subject. I see a lot of forward movement in this country in many ways. (Now if only the government could get its act together).