By Mduduzi Malinga
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a stark widespread challenge problem in South Africa, affecting mainly women and girls in everyday life society.
Brand South Africa in collaboration with PrimeStars and other Civil Society stakeholders, have since partnered on an initiative named ‘What About the Boys’ targeting boys of a school going age.
The Initiative was launched as the country closes off youth month related activities at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton.
The Initiative attempts to engage high school boys in grades 8-12 to re-imagine traditional ideas of masculinity, learn how to manage their emotions, and create healthy minds and bodies to ultimately reduce violence against women and children in communities nationally, as they grow into men.
Business and government stakeholders attended the launch to show their support and commitment towards building a better South Africa. This included Managing Director of Primestars, Martin Sweet; Dr Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka; Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality Mpho Phalatse; Zanele Dlamini Mbeki and Minister of Department of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu.
The launch hosted a panel discussion, were the sponsors engaged on how to further empower the boy child, now more than ever.
Throughout the year, the initiative will travel around the country targeting under-resourced communities across South Africa, where learners will be hosted at theaters and exposed to an educational film to be launched at cinemas on 13th August, on the roles they can play to avoid the path that leads to GBV. The film is aimed at triggering a change in the minds of potential GBV perpetrators.
“Through this comprehensive methodology, we aim to teach boys to be brave enough to be venerable, strong enough to be sensitive and confident enough to connect”. said Mr Martin Sweet.
As Brand South Africa’s flagship programme, Play Your Part turns ten this year, it has always been centered on driving positive change in communities across the country. This is line with South Africa’s values of ubuntu and resilience to courageously face any challenges its nation faces.