Uprising with a difference

Nomahlubi Jordaan

IF Valentine’s Day is not quite your thing, the One Billion Rising Global Campaign might be your opportunity to do something a bit different, and all in the name of a good cause.

Now in its 15th year, the campaign aims to get one billion people around the world dancing to end violence against women and children. The campaign has coined the term V-Day for its global activist movement that raises funds and awareness for these issues.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, two activist groups are joining the campaign and are calling on the public to support them. The Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association (ECGLA) and Without Prejudice are among more than 13000 organisations and thousands of activists who have signed up for events in more than 187 countries.

V-Day board members include Oscar-winning South African actress Charlize Theron and many other actors such as Thandie Newton, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Robert Redford and Dylan McDermott. South Africa’s Sonke Gender Justice Network is among the organisations listed on the campaign’s website.

ECGLA director David Hessey said yesterday they had arranged an event where artists including DJs and poets would perform at the Donkin Reserve.

These include DJ Anthony de Bruin, house DJ Asa Matya, commercial and hip-hop DJ Sheriff Sheff, performance artist and dancer Monique Walker, poet Janet Cherry and jazz singer Sisanda VuDu Priestess. The line-up also includes speakers who will talk about women abuse matters, such as the “corrective rape” of lesbians.

“We urge those who will be at work to go outside their workplaces and dance at 1pm. If you are driving, we ask you to please honk your horn,” Hessey said.

“The message we want to get across is that people should love and not be violent.” V-Day founder and playwright Eve Ensler said the UK leg of the campaign had gathered “an array of stunning and brilliant artists”.

“When we come together on February 14 to demand an end to violence against women and girls, it will be a truly global voice that will rise up for this year’s One Billion Rising campaign. Activists throughout the United Kingdom are rising.”

The Nelson Mandela Bay event – which is free – starts at 4pm and runs until 8pm.

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