Zimbabwe: Artistes Roped in to Fight Gender Violence

PaDare Enkundleni Men’s Forum, an organisation which seeks to challenge the status quo in gender relations of power and to promote a gender-just society, has engaged local artistes for an awareness song titled “Wedzera Rudo Dzikisa Hasha”.

The song, which discourages gender-based violence, was produced at Clive Mono Mukundu’s Monolio Studios and brought together various artistes that include Dereck Mpofu, Jah Signal, Madiz and gospel musician Shumba Wakapiwa. The video to the song is currently under production and expected in the coming week.

Programmes development and fundraising manager for PaDare, Thando Makubaza told The Herald Arts that music was a good vehicle for communicating gender equality messages and they were happy to be working with some of the big names in local arts towards this ideal.

“PaDare Enkundleni Men’s Forum values the fact that men engagement for gender equality benefits everyone from women, children and even men themselves.

“It is for this reason that we have engaged celebrated male artistes to propagate this ‘Stop Gender-based Violence’ message through song and other video infomercials to be shared through mainstream media,” she said.

Mpofu, one of the artists involved in the project said it was an honour working with Padare in fighting gender-based violence.

“PaDare is one organisation that has introduced a new way of fighting gender based violence through engaging men and boys who are the know perpetrators.

“I am therefore elated to be using my talent and influence to communicate a message of hope and change in Zimbabwe. Gender-based violence must be abolished and together we can win this fight,” he said.

The song carries an apt message of love, mutual respect and co-existence among men, women and children, especially during this Covid-19 period. Mukundu who is the project producer, saluted the involved artistes for their ability to communicate an important message via song.

“PaDare has done well to initiate this noble project and I am happy to have worked with these very talented artists in giving life to this project. We worked under a very tight schedule but I am happy we managed to pull this off,” he said.

PaDare Enkundleni Men’s Forum was formed in 1995 and this year they celebrated 25 years of existence.

The organisation’s national director Walter Vengesai said they were encouraged by their scope of work and strides to date and will be undertaking various other initiatives aimed at marking their existence and communicating their overall objectives.

“As a men-focused organisation that benefits women and young girls, we are happy to be celebrating 25 years of existence and we are happy to work with all stakeholders, artistes included,” he said.

“It is important to know the reasons why engaging with men and boys for gender equality is vital, because gender norms of what it means to be a man or woman can at times discourage most men from accessing health services, challenging violence against women and children or supporting their life partners to access health services like HIV treatment and prevention.

These gender norms can encourage men to engage in a variety of unacceptable, high-risk negative behaviour. Thus therefore, working with men and boys is vital in addressing gender inequalities, strengthening human rights and overally improving the health and well-being of men, women and children.

We are therefore happy with the support we received from United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and Spotlight Initiative for this music recording towards eradication or Gender Based Violence especially during these trying Covid-19 period,” he said.

Padare’s programmes target men and boys in a bid to influence their behaviours and their role as agents of change in the achievement of gender equality.

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