Don’t be silent! Gender-based Violence (GBV) virtual conference calling for a collective voice for action


Brand South Africa was proud to collaborate with the MultiChoice Group (MCG) and other stakeholders last week in a virtual Gender-Based Violence (GBV) conference themed “Don’t be silent!”.

As the World Health Organisation estimates that 12.1 in every 100 000 women are victims of femicide in South Africa each year. This is five times higher than the global average of 2.6. The conference was an imperative platform for honest conversations.

In a statement, Mr Calvo Mawela, MCG Chief Executive Officer, said that the Group wants to be part of the change. “There should be no place or tolerance in our society for anyone or any behaviour that hurts and marginalises women. By using our DStv platforms and partnerships with organisations that are working every day to protect and save women, we hope to add a powerful voice that says enough is enough”.

The conference’s plenary session was made up of a number of experienced and inspiring dignitaries who shared their personal and institutional thoughts around the empowerment of women and eradicating GBV.

They include Graca Machel, founder of Graca Machel Trust; Constitutional Judge Leona Theron; United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Republic of South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas; Nolitha Fakude, Board Member of IWFSA; Lt Gen Khela Sitole who is the National Police Commission of the SAPS; Deepa Vallabh, highly regarded corporate and commercial lawyer primarily operating in Africa, Dr. Busi Mkwananzi, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Development at University of Johannesburg and Dr Motlalepule Nathane Taulane and Lecturer in the department of Social Work Faculty of Humanities – University of the Witwatersrand, Dr. Tlale Nathane and Brand South Africa’s Acting CEO Ms Thulisile Manzini.

Brand South Africa saw the conference as a call to cation for all South Africans citizens, corporates, government entities and civil society bodies: How can we break the silence?! As the custodian of the Nation Brand, Brand South Africa saw the collaboration as an opportunity to interrogate how we can Play our Part to shine a spotlight on the scourge of gender based violence and contribute to finding solutions that positively impact on our Nation Brand image as one that inspires its people and is admired globally.

Three separate panel discussions focused on the perspectives of men, women and the youth in the fight against GBV.

Brand South Africa, represented by Acting CEO Manzini, participated in the Sisterhood session . Chairing the session was actress, author and social activist Ms Ayanda Borotho,

who emphasised that; “We need to find our ‘girl code’ and collective voice. “You are me and I am you. Without you I am nothing, but with you I am stronger.”

“I am honoured to be part of the solution not as the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brand South Africa but as a mother and an aunt to young women who I believe are the future of this country. The sisterhood session, resonates with my notion that we need to all hold each other accountable and that women can truly be for other women in times of adversity”, said Brand South Africa’s Acting CEO, Ms Thulisile Manzini.

In a briefing conversation Ms Manzini further shared what Sisterhood meant to her. “Sisterhood is not about age or background or your job title but what you and I can do to ensure no other woman is left behind. What you and I can do to no longer allow violence and abuse to be treated as a matter that belongs behind closed doors”.

Ms Manzini further urged that each take action, that no action that contributes to the fight against GBV is too small, because through that “small” act a life can be saved help break the culture of silence.

“We are in charge of changing the narrative and definitely the future is female and we cannot allow the ills of GBV take this future away;

• Sisterhood let us teach those who don’t know their rights as stipulated in the Bill of Rights.

• Sisterhood let us commit to take positive action that will create a safer society

• Sisterhood let us break the chain of violence.”

Words of encouragement to all young and old sisters by Ms Manzini. Click here to watch Ayanda Borotho urge all to #DontBeSilent