My name is Ntanganedzeni Jade Dzhivhuwo. A young woman from the rural part of Limpopo Province, a small village called Gogobole, Ha – Sinthumule. As a girl child growing up I had the privileged of being raised in a household headed by a very strong woman my mother. Yet I can’t run away from the fact that I am a daughter of Mulangaphuma. I belong to the clan of Vhadau Vhatshakhumawho are tasked with the responsibility of leading the people of Tshakhuma. Growing up in two different set up shaped how I view and interact with the community. The community I come from is very culturally rooted and people uphold Venda traditions dearly. However, there are certain cultural practices that are misinterpreted by individuals to serve their own interests. Polygamy and migration are the biggest contributing factors toward the abuse of culture.
Women in this community are subjected to abuse and they accept it because they depend on the men to provide for them and their children. Even young girls in these villages find themselves in unhealthy relationships with men because of their family financial backgrounds. Poverty and lack of opportunities are big factors leading to women being abused. Young men are also copying this behavior from senior male figures in their lives. Women are forced into polygamy because migrant workers will also bring their other partner from where they are working. With the fear of bringing shame to their families and poverty, these women will stay in those relationships.
Rape is one of the biggest crisis in my community and up to this day people still struggle to see rape for what it is. Men find it difficult to believe that forcing yourself on your wife is rape They often ask me- how can I rape my wife or a woman that I do everything for?
PROGRAMS I am involved in.
1-Tshilwavhusiku Victim Empowerment Program
While working in the Department of Safety and Security I was introduced to Victim Empowerment Program. I was very interested in the program that I decided to introduce the Tshilwavhusiku Victim Empowerment Program at the local police station. My role there is to educate the community about the structure and the role it plays. First project was the getting young women from the community to renovate the victim friendly room at SAPS Tshilwavhusiku.
2.-PRINCESS IN ME
The princess- in- me project deals with young girls. This project’s main aim is to teach girls how to value themselves. I go around different communities talking to girls about social matters and how to take care of themselves, self-worth and self -respect especially those who are in their teenage years and I visit initiation schools and cultural based community based projects.
3. Currently I am the deputy chairperson for Community Safety Forum Makhado Municipality.
4. The Masechaba Foundation
The foundation is home for children and women from poor families, we go daroun looking for donations of food, clothes and all human necessities for them. Currently the foundation has adopted three young boys who are temporarily accommodated at God Our Only Hope Ministries were the church is encouraged to take care of the boys. I’m currently in the process of mobilizing single and unemployed mothers to start cooperatives especially in the agricultural field.
THE ONE BILLION RISING CAMPAIGN
1. During The 16 Days Of Activism we conducted door to door campaigns were visit families and educate them about the important speaking up against abuse as build up towards V-day
2 .Visited organizations in the community that deals with issues of social crimes
3. We joined SAPS in their campaigns as build up towards V-day.
One Billion Rising for Justice, February 14, 2014
THEME:– My Cry is far but not out of Reach
VENUE: The event will be held at the AfreeCa Resort,Tshiozwi Village Makhado Sub-Region in Vhembe
Introduction of Victim Empowerment Program by Department of Safety, Security and Liaison. Then there will be the signing of Pledges. Verbal and written pledges to end violence against women and girls and to fight for justice will done by all organizations and individuals present. There will be a message of Support issued by The Sinthumule Royal House followed by messages of support by all Government departments, organizations, survivors and those who support them.
There will be dance
The V- day Rise Dancers, Shangaan Dancers SAPS, Home Base Care Dance
And an overall RISE by everyone.
Below is a clip of some Shangaan Dancing!