Montywood hosts street tournament to fight against gender-based violence

By Sesona Mqheliswa

Montywood, in collaboration with Kumkani FM, hosted a street game campaign focused at combating gender-based violence and encouraging all victims to speak up. The event was held in Scenery Park.

“By hosting this street tournament, our aim is to unite both genders because Gender Based Violence (GBV) affects both men and women. We want to see change in our communities, build a safe space where we teach men not to see women as objects for any kind of abuse but to respect and value them”, said Noziqhamo Socutshana.

Socutshana, a Montywood PR Trainee and the campaign’s organizer, explained that they chose soccer as a tool to combat GBV because sport has qualities that align with the core necessities of addressing gender-based violence, and when people participate in sport, they challenge the core of GBV, inequity, patriarchy, and rigid gender roles. Sport’s applicability in preventing GBV is practical, in addition to the social problem.

Nzuzo Novuka, the provincial speaker for the Men’s sector, spoke about the various forms of gender-based violence and its impact on people. He opposed incidents of domestic violence and taught males how to defend women on a daily basis rather than seeing them as objects of abuse. Novuka also identified sport as the most effective strategy for combatting and raising awareness of GBV, claiming that it helps people stay psychologically and emotionally calm.

“Gender-based violence has long been a global phenomenon, the physical and emotional strength sport offers can be a positive force in reducing the risks of experiencing gender-based violence, it is time to stand up for change in our communities and if we continue to leave men behind, we will have a long way to go in the fight against gender-based violence”, said Novuka

Unathi Dyubhula, the founder of Montywood, stated that the organization condemns acts of gender-based violence in their communities and that this campaign aims to provide people with a platform to speak out. “Today we as Montywood denounce the acts of gender-based violence and we have to start with our own communities, we are not doing this to entertain people; but we are doing it to educate them about the reality of the global pandemic of gender-based violence”, said Dyubhula. 

Minho Bekwa, a community member and part of the LGBTQI+ community, noted that despite these continuing campaigns, there still seems to be a lot that the society needs to be taught.

“Gender based violence issue has far-reaching nasty consequences that go beyond physical assaults. The ongoing discrimination occurs in variety of unbearable circumstances, with these kinds of campaigns being preached ensures us of equality. Non-discrimination grants us protections and the feeling of belonging”, said Minho.

Montywood will continue their anti-gender-based violence initiatives in other localities, including Southernwood, Mdantsane, and King Williams Town, with dates to be announced in due course.

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