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‘Basadi ba Dituku’ continues to empower and celebrate black women

Lebo Sekgobela. Picture: Instagram

Lebo Sekgobela. Picture: Instagram

Published Apr 27, 2022

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What started as a group of 50 ladies in a small venue in Soweto has now flourished into a mega festival with the sole purpose of empowering women across the continent.

Founded by Lungile Masondo and Price Tshabalala in 2015, “Basadi ba Dituku” is an annual event that has brought women from all walks of life together to engage and discuss socio-economic issues that they face daily.

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“Basadi ba Dituku” was created following the discrimination around a woman wearing a doek (headwrap) in a workplace, which in the African culture symbolises being a woman.”

“When we first launched, we were expecting around 60 ladies from the Facebook group, and boom, over 500 ladies showed up. The venue was too small.

“From then, we realised that this was a big movement to inspire women and the following year, we booked four different venues across Soweto, and they were all fully booked."

Masondo says, in the third year of the event, they had pulled in a crowd of over 8000 women, all donning their doeks, and that was unheard of.

Following the past two years of Covid-19 restrictions, the organisers say they are looking forward to hosting yet another successful event at the Soweto Theatre on Saturday, April 30.

This year, “Basadi ka Dituku” is hosting a Gospel inspired festival featuring Lebo Sekgobela, Zaza Mokhethi, Dumi Mkokstad, Andile la Majola, Fikile Mlomo, Junbo and Andile Thabethe.

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“The event will also commemorate all the women that lost their lives due to gender-based violence. Femicide is the second pandemic to hit our South African land, and by this, we say long live the spirit of these phenomenal women.”

Masondo further explains that this is the first time the event will take place in April.

However, taking into account the recent tragic events in the world: devastating floods, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and unexpected loss of lives, it was decided that a spiritual festival could be what the country needs right now.

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“We usually do the festival twice a year: during Women's Month, and then we do it again for the 16 days of Activism (against women and children), so we'll obviously just look at the dates where the emphasis is on women, and then we start the dialogues of whatever's happening at that time.

“Like, for example, in the year Tshegofatso Pule was murdered, we had Tshegofatso’s family joining in, we had women in song and prayer in her honour.

“Last year, we had a soul and RnB picnic where we hired male DJs, and they were taking a pledge on stage to say, ‘I am my sister's keeper’.

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“So we always make sure that it's not just that we are there to party, but we are engaging in whatever issues are relevant to us at that time.

“So we talk body shaming, we've got t-shirts that are written, ‘I am not my body’ all these other slogan T-shirts that women would wear on the day.

“So our themes change from time to time depending on what the narrative is, what are the conversations in the country like?”

The line-up also includes motivational speakers. There will be stalls ranging from food to clothing and arts and crafts where women vendors can sell their products.

“Basadi ka Dituku” Gospel Edition takes place at the Soweto Theatre, on Saturday, April 30. The show starts at 12 pm. Tickets are available for R200 at Webtickets.

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