Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: My Sister Activists, Lets Walk the Talk

I believe that the annual week to commemorate the fight against gender based violence is around the corner. I must confess I have no idea what the theme will be this year, talk less of what the theme was last year.

Shame upon me! All I can say is that gender based violence that covers all sorts of violence against the women folk and a few men folk happens every single day. To be more precise every hour. Fighting or should I say getting rid of it requires a great deal of determination and education of the masses.

And matters are not made any easier when our own Bongo Flava artistes in their songs and music videos vividly demonstrate this violence. A couple of weeks ago I watched a video of a song with a catchy tune by one of the many up coming singers and was shocked that the opening scene has a man slapping his girlfriend.

I thought that was a bit too much. I am very sure the producer of the video could have shown a more subtle way of portraying the young man's anger with his so called lover. There is no point of us remembering to commemorate the violence once a year when in our every day lives we just sit back and let it happen.

I challenge my sisters who call themselves activists to ensure that that song does not get anymore air play on television until that segment is changed or thrown out altogether. Its hard enough trying to instill in our children the evils of gender biased violence when the Bongo Flava artistes they listen to and watch and exalt in it.

At this juncture I would like activists to consider sensitizing our artistes over the violence. A two week seminar specifically targeting the male Bongo 'stars' whereby at the end of the training they compose a song against the violence would go a long way in fighting the scourge that leaves women battered not only physically but emotionally as well.

For once leave the policy makers out and engage with people our youngsters consider as role models to spread the message far and wide. Let us stop promising what could happen and get down with the nitty gritty of getting things done. With more effort and doable actions we can greatly reduce the suffering of many women from the evil violence. Let us all play our part.

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