With hopes of ending gender-based violence, Ingcambu (translated “the root”) recently held a march in Nemato aimed at challenging men in society.
People from Port Elizabeth, East London and Mthatha joined Ndlambe residents to say no to gender-based violence.
The peaceful demonstration was dominated by children, who seem to be the most affected group. The marchers assembled at Jauka Hall and headed to Ndlovini Magongo Stadium where various activities took place. The positive turnout was a clear indication that gender-based violence was everyone’s concern.
Port Elizabeth came with a football team, New Heaven, which played local team Cosmos FC after the speech and performances. Main speaker Brian Matross from East London described the effects of violence.
“Society is a broken heart, a cloth that needs mending. Gender-based violence is one of the ills that has murdered our communities,” he said.
He added that because of the violence perpetrated by some men in society, other men fall under the stigma of being “dogs or trash”.
In an attempts to revive social consciousness, Matross reminded the audience that the perpetrators of violence were abusing the very same people who had endured the difficulties of raising them.
“We all came from a woman, we all see the struggles that our mothers and sisters go through on a daily basis, thus we need to be gentle with them since they are the backbone of the society,” he said.
He went on to caution attendees about the long term consequences of gender-based violence. “Our children and the greater men in our society should know that violence cannot be used in solving societal problems,” he said.
He further encouraged children to say, “no brother, no daddy and no mother” whenever they encounter violence.
Poet Siliziwe Syleez Jako from Port Elizabeth narrated a poem that said he was trying to correct wrongs that he did not do.
“I will be the scapegoat, for I want to pay for all the wrongs that have been done by these dogs,” he said.
Even though incidents of gender-based violence are described as private matters, from the poet’s point of view they are witnessed by the public.
“People see and talk about women being raped and violated yet they fear to be state witnesses and blame the system at the end of the day,” he added.
Because of their inability to act, he labelled those people as “born blind people, dumb and deaf with their thinking ability restricted by a non-existing box”.
The last performer, Sinovuyo Dimanda from Mthatha, closed the function on a high note with her great voice. Being positive about the future she sang: “I know that there are many things happening in the community but I do pray that in whatever situation that we are going through I will be content tomorrow.”
Organisers Ziyanda Bans and Nolusindiso Blani expressed their appreciation to Ndlambe Municipality, the police, Ndlambe FM staffers DJ Masterpeice and Thando Mbeda, and the people who attended the event for their support.