News Brief

A South African Writer is Helping Women Share Their Abortion Stories

South African women are sharing their abortion stories to shed light on the stigma still attached to abortion.

In her column for the Sunday newspaper City Press, South African freelance writer Joonji Mdyogolo has written extensively about how women are portrayed in the media. She has also written about the lack of female voices in print media, among other issues mostly concerning women. Last week, she wrote about the stigma attached to abortion.


The piece came with a call to action for women to submit their abortion stories. Told by the women themselves, the stories would then be posted to a Facebook page Mdyogolo has started, titled Joonji Langa.

“Joonji Langa is a content platform for African women stories,” says Mdyogolo via email. “My stories are anti-glossy magazines, by being more investigative, more home-grown instead of copy and paste from overseas glosses.”

One of the reasons Mdyogolo started the initiative is, as she writes in her piece, “because I think women’s stories must cease to be portrayed in sharp moral rights and wrongs – good girls versus bad girls – especially because it tends to pathologise young black girls and their experiences.”

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for 20 years, but there’s still a stigma attached to it. As the statistics she quotes in her piece indicate, a reasonable number of South African women are still not aware that abortion is legal. The piece also touches on how the state doesn’t market abortion services, and makes a contrast with the backstreet abortion posters that are posted on many walls in urban areas in South Africa.

Beyond abortion, Mdyogolo will continue to share other stories affecting African women of all races and backgrounds. “My mission is to move African women's concerns and conversations, thoughts and secrets into the mainstream using storytelling and journalism,” she says.

Read the stories and share your own on the Joonji Langa Facebook and Twitter pages.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

The multidisciplinary Nigerian-American artist on tapping into all her creative outlets, creating interesting things, releasing a new single and life during quarantine.

A trip canceled, plans interrupted, projects stalled. It is six months now since Wavy the Creator has had to make a stop at an undisclosed location to go into quarantine and get away from the eye of the pandemic.

The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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