Empowering Women in the Arts with PESP – A perspective on Gender-Based Violence with Imbokodo Project

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Empowering Women in the Arts with PESP – A perspective on Gender-Based Violence with Imbokodo Project
Gender-Based Violence with Imbokodo Project “IN THEIR NAME” PESP Sucecss Story NAC National Arts Council

Imbokodo Project tells a story of resilience, pride and commitment in the wake of the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) that is prevalent in South Africa. Two female friends Nano and Lulama, with different characteristics, have a common desire to find the root cause of the female gender’s trials and tribulations in a world that gives the male gender the power to rule, control and subject women to second-class citizen status.

Despite knowing that they too are human beings deserving freedom, peace, respect and protection under the rule of law, Nano and Lulama never mobilise, or rally support for this social injustice. Instead, bonded by their spiritual trust, respect and openness, they seek healing from each other, demonstrating to the audience how women suffer in silence.

This brings a very important conversation about GBV to the fore, creating a platform for the community-based audience to engage the topic.

Imbokodo Project was ideated, scripted and directed by Siphele Mshubi, who studied Dramatic and Visual Arts at FUBA. Mshubi has over 16 years of experience in the performance and drama industry. His experience has seen him work both on stage and television productions. Mshubi was inspired to showcase this production to facilitate dialogue in the marginalised communities and give a voice to the growing challenge of GBV. Mshubi has a particular focus on the developmental value of performance and drama in communities. With a nominal fee of R20, the performances which took place on the 30th of April and 31st of May 2021, were fully booked. This
was deliberate.

In partnership with the NAC, Mshubi’s intention was not only to shed light on the significant challenge of gender-based violence but also to develop audiences in marginalised communities that may not have access to artistic platforms of expression and engagement but are in much need of their cathartic value.

The community of Eden Park and greater Ekurhuleni Municipality was brought to tears, not only by the performance but by the fact that this showcase was brought to their doorsteps and made accessible to the most neglected of our society. They lauded the NAC for their efforts in fostering creative expression within marginalised communities and made a call and request that initiatives such as the Imbokodo Project should continue to take place and be supported for the upliftment of all parts of society.

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