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Miss South Africa Wants Men to Write Love Letters to Women to Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping abusive men from writing these love letters too.

South Africa's newly crowned Miss SA Zozibini "Zozi" Tunzi has launched a "HeForShe" campaign which aims to tackle the alarming rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the country. The campaign, which is in partnership with the South African arm of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), wants South African men to step up and join the collective fight against abuse. However, the campaign has been criticized by many because of the way in which it wants men to step—by writing love letters to women. The campaign has divided South Africans, particularly those on social media.


READ: South Africans are Marching to Parliament to Protest Violence Against Women

According to The Citizen, after South African men pledge their support to fighting against gender-based violence in their love letters, the letters will be inscribed onto ribbons which will be made a part of Tunzi's costume for the upcoming Miss Universe beauty pageant. Speaking about the campaign, Tunzi said, "In what will be a first, I will literally take SA with me to Miss Universe. I will wear a wave of love from men in the form of love letters celebrating and honoring the women of this country."

The idea of spreading "a message of love" has appealed to some on social media.



Others have however, argued that it makes light of the current national crisis by effectively suggesting that a "love letter" can even begin to address any one of the numerous challenges being faced by South African women daily. They've also pointed out that the campaign can easily be hijacked by abusers of women.



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South Africans are Outraged that a Convicted Rapist's Crime is Being Downplayed in an Interview on National Television

The country's public broadcaster is interviewing convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow's mother who insists her son is not a rapist but a man who 'made a mistake'.

Almost two weeks ago, Judge Mokhine Mosopa of the Gauteng High Court, sentenced convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow to life in prison. The sentence came after he was found guilty of raping a 7-year-old girl in a bathroom at the restaurant where he worked as a waiter last year . At the sentencing proceedings, South Africans were appalled that Ninow was allowed to recite a bizarre 48-line poem which he had addressed to the victim and her family, allegedly as a way of showing his remorse. As if that weren't bad enough, South Africa's public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), has now interviewed Ninow's mother in what many have described to be "insensitive" and a downplaying of his crime.

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Phill Magakoe/Gallo Images via Getty Images

This Convicted Rapist Recited a Bizarre Poem to His Victim in Court

South Africans are angry that Nicholas Ninow was even allowed to recite the poem to his 7-year-old rape victim.

Last year, Nicholas Ninow raped a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of Dros, a popular South African restaurant franchise in Silverton, Pretoria. Ninow, who has since been dubbed the "Dros Rapist", was working as a waiter at the restaurant and had followed the young girl when she visited the bathroom. News of the young girl's rape rocked the country and caused widespread outrage at a time when there has been a continued surge in rape, femicide and gender-based violence. A month ago, Ninow was found guilty of rape (as well as drug possession and defeating the ends of justice) by Judge Mokhine Mosopa. He will learn of his fate soon as sentencing proceedings begin today. However, Ninow has angered many South Africans after he recited a 48-line poem addressed to his victim as a way to allegedly show his remorse.

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Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During National Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are abided by. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting South Africans.

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Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

This Is What It Takes for South African Musicians to Succeed Abroad

Jeremy Loops, Shimza, Moonchild Sanelly and GoodLuck discuss what it took to build their names overseas.

Disclaimer: The conversation which this piece makes reference to took place before the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa.

"I said it for 10 years that I'm going to work with Beyoncé, and everybody laughed for those 10 years. And I said it with conviction. Today, I'm on a Grammy-nominated album [on a song] with Beyoncé right now," says Moonchild Sanelly referring to the song "MY POWER" in which she's featured in alongside Busiswa, Nija, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and of course Queen B herself. The track is a fan-favorite from the Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé. Moonchild is pulling out these receipts to elaborate a point she just made about self-belief which helped her build a career that's recognized globally, a feat very few South African artists have achieved.

A few of those artists— Jeremy Loops, Shimza and Juliet Harding (a member of the versatile electronic band GoodLuck)—are on the podium alongside Moonchild during the Midem Africa Conference in Langa, Cape Town towards the end of February. The four musicians are in conversation with Trenton Birch, musician and founder of Bridges for Music Academy, sharing their secrets to breaking into the highly competitive and advanced music markets of mainly Europe and the US.

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