Arts + Culture

#NotInMyName: Exclusive Photos from South Africa's March Against Women Abuse

Powerful photos from the #NotInMyName march protesting South Africa's epidemic of violence aimed at women.

On Saturday, the #NotInMyName march in response to the multiple murders of women in South Africa by men, took place in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. From Church Square to the Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African government, the march organized by three young men—Kholofelo Masha, Siyabulela Jentile and Obakeng Motshabi—demanded action, especially by men, on the issue of violence against women.


Before the march, there were a few speakers—which included a sexual abuse survivor and some of the organizers. “We want these rapists and perverts to know that they will not do what they are doing in our name,” said Masha. “This march was organized by a group of concerned citizens. We are not a movement. We are not an organization just yet. We just saw some things happening and realized that society is very quiet about them. And we said, it’s time that we speak. For a long time men have been very quiet. You hear a lady screaming next door, and you [carry on sleeping], when you know there is a problem. It’s time that you rise up, and call all the men in your community, and say bafethu, let’s go.”

[oka-gallery]

The march was led by “The Lady in White”—a woman who was dressed in all white, and, according to the organizers represented all women who have been victimized by men in South Africa.

Among the protesters, there were some personalities such as soccer player Mathew Booth, rappers AKA and Cassper Nyovest, among others. The latter tweeted his disappointment at the fact that there weren’t any prominent politicians at the march, and that men didn’t come in large numbers.

The march ended at Union Buildings, where, among other speakers, was Siyabulela Jentile, who was the main organizer of the march. “We can turn the situation around. We can speak up against gender-based violence,” he said. “Gents, we are supposed to take responsibility. All of us. I don’t care if you’ve never raised a hand to a woman. For the fact that you are not saying anything about it, you are equally responsible.” He went on to emphasize that all men were responsible for the deaths of women like Karabo Mokeona, who is one of the women who have been a victim, among other slain women.

“I’d like to say a few words on behalf of all men in South Africa," Jentile continues, "whether they agree with me or not. We apologize. We have failed you. All of us. From today onwards, I’m not going to debate about it. Because we are a country that likes debate—we are busy analyzing and not checking the solutions. It’s time for people to rise up.”

He went on to speak against desktop activists, condemned government’s silence on the issue, and pleaded that government organizes programs to teach young boys in schools how to treat women.

You can watch his whole speech in the clip below.

 

 

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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