Mzansi's Young Women Heed The Call to Rise!!

On the 4th of May 2015 - The Soul City Institute launched a new hard-hitting talk show for Mzansi’s women called Rise. Kgomotso Matsunyane who you may remember from her popular talk show “late night with Kgomotso” was the host for this incredible launch.

The prominent speakers included the Deputy Minister of Social Development Mrs Hendrietta Bogopane- Zulu as well as the CEO of Soul City Lebogang Ramafoko. The entertainment for the night included performances by Simphiwe Dana and a group of girls from the Rise Young Women’s Clubs who shared their breath-taking stories on stage.

Led by a quartet of dynamic women, The Rise talk show will tackle tough questions, hard hitting facts and engage the primary target audience of women aged between 15 and 24 on a range of “taboo” issues that would otherwise fall through the cracks. The show follows a campaign in which girls and young women are encouraged to “Unleash Your Voice!” instead of suffering in silence in the hands of predators.

The Harvard University graduate and Soul City CEO Lebogang Ramafoko will lead the charge, joined by seasoned media player Kgomotso Matsunyane. With a combined experience of almost 40 years between them in media, entertainment, and social activism, the charismatic duo are a force to be reckoned with. Joining them on the couch will be actress and facilitator Khanyisile Mazibuko and the effervescent performing artist Lebo Shikwambane, who will be providing the youth perspective, giving the show the multi-layered aspect that will drive a balanced and intergenerational conversation.

“While there is evidence of decline in HIV incidence amongst adolescents, there is concern that young women’s risk is heightened once they leave school. This is especially true of girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds between the ages of 15-24 years old. This show is a call to action, if you may, for these young people to take ownership of their lives and rise to change them. It is also an opportunity to reflect the realities of young women to the greater population in order to reflect on what needs to change in society to create a more caring, just and equitable society in which young women can thrive,” says Ramafoko.

Apart from the TV show, Rise has mobilised young women into Rise Young Women’s Clubs across the country, who are working together to build a movement of support and change for themselves and other young women in their communities. These clubs are in districts most affected by HIV and in communities where young women are marginalised and face various obstacles. Partnering with SABC1 and the Department of Health to help spread a message of “real conversation, real support and real action”, the show will mobilise women to come together to form one bold and powerful voice, breathing new life to the ingrained South African saying “Wathint'abafazi, wathint'imbokodo!”

The show is about collective action and giving voice to young women who continue to be most affected by HIV, gender based violence and other structural issues such as poverty and harmful gender norms. Rise will be the lifeline and conversational tool that sees them take their power back so that they make more informed and healthier lifestyle choices.

Rise Talk Show will air from Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at 18:00. On SABC 1

For more information on The Rise Young Women Campaign, click here.

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