Show to spotlight abuse of women

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

The Vuka Sizwe Benefit Concert: A Tribute To Sara Baartman, in support of the 16 Days Of Activism Campaign, will take place at Constitution Hill on Sunday at 7pm.

The concert will create awareness of the 16 days campaign and at the same time celebrate women who have survived abuse. It will also honour the innocent children who have suffered pain and humiliation with their mothers.

Interaction with other women and children will make survivors realise that they are not alone, that many people care, that there is help available and a possibility of starting afresh. They will also know that it was not their fault that they were battered by their partners.

Baartman's life is a telling example of that abuse. A beautiful, young, well-endowed Khoisan woman, she was humiliated and exploited by cruel colonialists.

As if it was not enough that they humiliated her in her own country, the colonisers paraded her all over the UK and Europe for monetary gain. Even when ill, she was treated worse than an animal and milked off the last drop of humanity and dignity until she died, alone in a foreign country.

But that was not the end of Baartman's exploitation. Even in death, the racists paraded her like a caricature.

It was only through the intervention of the ANC government that her remains were returned to South Africa.

Baartman was finally given a dignified burial in 2002. It's not by coincidence that she is a symbol of women's oppression and exploitation.

Through her, we learn what befalls women who come into contact with abusive men.

Intent on pumping this message loud and clear are artists Pops Mohamed, Madala Kunene, Lira, Tu Nokwe, Rae, Camagwini, Khululiwe Sithole, KB, Ayanda, Aya, Suthukazi, Zonke, Bucie, Zamajobe, and acclaimed female poets Lebo Mashile, Nstiki Mazwai and Diana Ferrus.

Last year, the concert raised money for the then ailing Busi Mhlongo. A lot of money and awareness was raised for cancer. Those who attended the launch last year were told that regular physical tests are crucial and that early detection is almost a guarantee to health.

For a fun weekend, with moments of reflection and thanksgiving for all that we have and take for granted and a chance of catching up with friends and revelling in the abundance of talent in our country, Constitution Hill is the place to be on Sunday.

The Vuka Sizwe Benefit Concert will be broadcast live on SABC2 at 8pm. There will be a repeat broadcast on January 2 next year.

Tickets at R120 are available at Computicket.