The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - NOKUTHULA ZWANE @Zwane_2li2ls

5 FM DJ Thando Tha­bethe hon­oured for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor ad­vo­cate Thuli Madon­sela at the launch of her #MakeItS­top cam­paign, which fo­cuses on halt­ing vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

Tha­bethe’s cam­paign has been run­ning for four years and stems from her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of wit­ness­ing her mother be­ing a vic­tim of do­mes­tic abuse.

Tha­bethe also launched the Thando Tha­bethe Women’s Day Net­ball Chal­lenge, which takes place on the same day – on Wed­nes­day, at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg’s Soweto Cam­pus.

The aim of the net­ball chal­lenge is to raise funds for the #MakeItS­top cam­paign.

Madon­sela said she ad­mired Tha­bethe’s work, es­pe­cially be­cause she used her brand to ad­vance such an ini­tia­tive.

“Just ad­mir­ing this young woman who is a celebrity and who is far too young to worry about the rest of the world, but she is us­ing her plat­form to cre­ate a bet­ter world,” said Madon­sela.

Women who have plat­forms can help to ad­dress the surge in women abuse and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and that it should not only fo­cus on mat­ters of per­sonal in­ter­est, she added.

“Vi­o­lence against women should be ev­ery­body’s busi­ness… We should tackle the is­sues of women who are voice­less in so­ci­ety. I think that’s why I ad­mire Thando’s ap­proach, be­cause the women she is speak­ing on be­half of are of­ten the voice­less as they are not seen as brands or re­portable,” said Madon­sela.

“The truth is vi­o­lence against women touches ev­ery­one re­gard­less of class, race, na­tion­al­ity, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or any other form of hu­man diver­sity.

“That is why or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the In­sti­tute for Women’s De­vel­op­ment are ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause they tar­get the most vul­ner­a­ble and ne­glected in so­ci­ety,” Madon­sela said.

Tha­bethe said hon­our­ing the for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor was to cel­e­brate women who have played sig­nif­i­cant roles in so­ci­ety with grace and strength.

“It wasn’t just about the ini­tia­tive or talk­ing about all the bad stuff that has hap­pened to women, but also cel­e­brat­ing women… and that’s why we had her as our hon­oured guest,” said Tha­bethe.

“I think she (Madon­sela) is a for­mi­da­ble force and qui­etly so. If I could have a bit of her grace, just her abil­ity to be strong… Our power is eas­ily mis­un­der­stood or taken for granted be­cause we are women or fem­i­nine,” she added.

Speak­ing about the need for launch­ing a cam­paign that ad­dresses woman and child abuse, Tha­bethe said it was see­ing her mother fall vic­tim to her fa­ther’s abuse.

“My dad was an in­cred­i­ble man, he was amaz­ing and such a good fa­ther and hus­band. But he had this flaw…

“It’s some­thing I wit­nessed as a child.

“But the whole idea (her cam­paign) is that it’s been run­ning for so long, but I don’t want it to be about me or only my story, rather about other peo­ple’s ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Singer and ac­tress Kelly Khu­malo was among the guests who at­tended both launches in sup­port of Tha­bethe.

“I have been a vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. And for some­one like Thando to put to­gether such an event all in the name of try­ing to fight the scourge, I am very proud of her and I’m very much in sup­port of it and it’s why I’m here,” said Khu­malo.

Celebri­ties in­volved in the net­ball chal­lenge on Women’s Day in­clude Gen­er­a­tions: The Legacy ac­tress Manaka Ranaka; Se­li­math­unzi pre­sen­ter Khanya Mkangisa; pre­sen­ter Mpho Maboi; pre­sen­ter Loot­love; Idols judge Somizi Mh­longo; and DJ Fresh.


CAM­PAIGN­ERS: Thando Tha­bethe with her mother Bongi and Thuli Madon­sela.

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