TV icon Nomhle Nkonyeni to lead femicide protest

Nomhle Nkonyeni is still hurting over her daughter.
Nomhle Nkonyeni is still hurting over her daughter.

Nomhle Nkonyeni has thrown her star power behind the march against gender-based violence.

The seasoned television actress will join hundreds of South African women who will take to the streets on August 1 as part of the National Shut Down Against Gender Based Violence.

Nkonyeni, 75, told Sowetan that she was joining the campaign because her daughter, Thabang Nkonyeni, was found murdered in her house by her boyfriend.

Thabang, who portrayed the role of Matlakala in Soul City, was killed on the eve of Women's Day in 2009.

Nine years later, Nkonyeni said she was still struggling to pick up the pieces.

Nkonyeni, whose last TV role was in Scandal! said as a mother it was hurting to see how women were being killed in the country.

"I joined this campaign because I wanted to be part of the women who are fighting for change. Enough is enough.

"Losing my daughter was the most painful thing that I ever experienced in my life.

"In the past years, I have tried to put that behind me but I am constantly reminded of her by the killings we see in our society."

Poet and performer Lelethu Mahambehlala said she wanted to be a part of the campaign because she wanted to fight women's struggles.

"I have seen different campaigns such as Men are Trash, and I did not want to be part of them because they were not solving problems but belittling them. I joined this campaign because femicide is affecting mostly black women. I will walk with other women to say we are tired of seeing our black sisters being killed."

Spokeswoman for National Shut Down Against Gender Based Violence, Lesley Ncube, said the march would take place in all provinces as well as in Lesotho and Botswana.

She said the killings of women, children, gender non-conforming people and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) at the hands of men in South Africa needed an urgent attention.

"We have nothing to celebrate. Every week we receive multiple reports of women who have been brutally murdered, kidnapped or abused, and there is no sense of urgency from our leaders to find ways in which society can tackle this violence.

"This is a national crisis. We call on all women to stay away from work and join the protest on August 1 in their respective provinces, universities and colleges," Ncube said.

She added that a memorandum of demands would be handed over to government on the day of the protest.

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