Leleti Khumalo teams up with Videovision to spread awareness about gender-based violence
Cape Town - Before Women’s Day, South African production and film distribution company Videovision Entertainment released a gender-based violence (GBV) awareness film, featuring stage and screen star Leleti Khumalo.
During a recent webinar to launch the film, Josina Machel, the daughter of Mozambique's first post-independence president Samora Machel and his wife Graça Machel, spoke about her experiences as a GBV victim.
Machel, who is Nelson Mandela’s stepdaughter, was attacked by a former partner which resulted in the loss of her eye.
“As a survivor of violence, one cannot avoid to relieve the shock of what men can do to women. That is the crust of this GBV pandemic,” said Machel.
She said her experience was no different to millions of women who were victims of abuse.
“With my own story, my abuser took my eye away. The appeals court decided that this event only happened between the two of us and that it is not seen as gender-based violence. Because of that he is now an ‘innocent’ man,” Machel said.
She said her story was unfortunately too familiar to many women in South Africa.
“When women have the courage to report the abuse to authorities, they are effaced with second re-victimisation. With issues such as: Why are you dressed like that? What did you say to him? What could you have done to create such a reaction?
“The systems (of justice) are manipulated by abusers to strip us of our last bit of dignity,” said the gender activist.
Machel is the founder of the non-profit organisation Kuhluka Movement that empowers survivors of GBV and domestic abuse to find their voice. It was launched in 2015.
The organisation enables and creates opportunities for women to tell their stories. It was created for women to share and heal.
“There is a tendency to feel that the incident happened once or twice, because she had spoken out and taken her story to the authorities. Months down the line, these experiences have completely passed. It does not happen like that. The more we hear what is happening to so many, the more painful our experiences become,” she said.
South African film-maker Anant Singh, who is known for his his award-winning anti-apartheid films such as Sarafina! and Cry, the Beloved Country, said the film came amid widespread GBV.
“The idea was to try to utilise the medium of film to speak out against GBV. It is such an issue, not just in our country but all across the continent and in countries across the world,” he said.
Singh said the focus was to make GBV thought-provoking.
“We have a film that is just two minutes, that speaks powerfully to every individual. I hope to push some emotions, especially with men, to be guilty, able to see how vicious the problem is and be able to say: ‘If I don’t say anything I am an accomplice’.”