Fri Oct 21 16:55:14 SAST 2016

Dancing to fight HIV-Aids

By unknown | Mar 19, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Pupils from six schools in the Indwedwe area are campaigning against HIV and Aids, using dance to teach about healthy lifestyles to live longer.

The youths, who gathered at the local hall on Tuesday, used music to beat Aids - the area's biggest killer.

Indwedwe is one of KwaZulu-Natal's areas with a high prevalence of HIV-Aids, especially among school-going children.

A team from the US consulate, which is funding Dance4Life, a global youth initiative operating in 18 countries, visited the schools in the area.

The initiative targets areas with a high Aids prevalence by holding workshops that encourage the youth to be involved in the awareness campaign against the spread of the disease through the use of dance.

American actress Jurnee Smollet gave an inspirational talk about the importance of "knowing who you are and where you are going" to stop the spread of Aids.

Smollet told the youngsters about the temptations that she had to overcome as a young actress.

"I have been on camera since I was nine months old," she said. "Acting is my life and having started to be in the limelight early in my life, I was always surrounded by adults, some of whom wanted me to take drugs while others wanted me to have sex with them."

Smollet said all those temptations did not succeed because she knew what she wanted in life.

"I can relate with what the communities of South Africa are going through because of HIV and Aids. Though I cannot compare the extent of the pandemic to the US, what I can relate to is that my country is as much affected.

"That is why I'm here with Dance4Life, to say that with dance we can learn a lot to stop the disease from finishing us off," she said.

Ntonto Vezi, Dance4life project manager, said the project was a great success.

"We hold workshops at schools encouraging the culture of dancing and we use that opportunity to spread awareness about Aids in the form of the vibey tunes in which we incorporate words such as 'HIV and Aids we can beat it, take responsibility'," she said.


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