Rock Girls from Ma­nen­berg in­spire peers in PE to start their own chap­ter

Cape Times - - NEWS - Carlo Petersen and Ta­tum Van As [email protected]

A GROUP of girls from Ma­nen­berg who trav­elled to the Eastern Cape re­cently as part of an ini­tia­tive to high­light gang­ster­ism and crime has spurred a pos­i­tive change in Nel­son Man­dela Bay.

The 12 teenage girls – who are part of an NGO called Rock Girl, which seeks to up­lift young women liv­ing in trau­matic sur­round­ings – shared their ex­pe­ri­ences with young women along their jour­ney.

With the help of com­mu­nity lead­ers, and af­ter be­ing inspired by the girls from Cape Town, the girls from Port El­iz­a­beth have now started their own Rock Girl.

Rock Girl founder In­dia Baird said that while they­were in Nel­son Man­dela Bay last week, the girls from Ma­nen- berg met girls from New Brighton and He­len­vale.

“The girls shared sto­ries and of­fered each other sup­port, and af­ter we left, the girls there ex­pressed the need for their own Rock Girl to be formed. Rock Girl is now mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the lives of young women in Cape Town and Nel­son Man­dela Bay.”

Baird said com­mu­nity lead­ers Mike Pantsi, from New Brighton, and Min­nie Trim­ma­ley, from He­len­vale, met yesterday to cre­ate a Rock Girl Nel­son Man­dela Bay group.

“They will be guided by the Rock Girl Char­ter and will ad­vo­cate for girls in the Port El­iz­a­beth area. We are thrilled they are tak­ing the ini­tia­tive and sup­port­ing one another across the city.

“We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing and it’s all thanks to the girls in Cape Town. It’s all very ex­cit­ing.”

Trim­ma­ley said a group of around 10 to 15 girls aged 15 years and up had ex­pressed their de­sire for a Rock Girl in Port El­iz­a­beth.

“The girls heard that the girls from Cape Town had been through sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions and they were look­ing for­ward to meet­ing them.

“When they met they shared sto­ries with each other, and most of them could re­late to each other. There’s no safe place for them in their com­mu­ni­ties and the Rock Girls ini­tia­tive is a great op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide a safe place for them to sup­port each other,” Trim­ma­ley said.

She said they shared sto­ries with each other about their ex­pe­ri­ences, such as rape and wit­ness­ing mur­ders.

Pantsi said the idea was for the girls from He­len­vale and New Brighton to use the ex­pe­ri­ences of the girls from Ma­nen­berg to work to­gether.

“We want to keep the name Rock Girl, but add the isiXhosa word Im­bokotho, which means rock. We want these girls to start be­ing pioneers in their own right,” he said.

They shared sto­ries with each other about ex­pe­ri­ences such as rape and wit­ness­ing mur­ders

Pic­ture: LINDEKA QUAMPI

SOLID BOND: Rock Girl Rashieda Nolan, from Ma­nen­berg, in­ter­viewed girls from New Brighton and He­len­vale in Port El­iz­a­beth.

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