Singers rally behind the children


Musicians have partnered with child advocacy groups ahead of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in April, to raise awareness about protecting our children.

The artists, mostly from the Eastern Cape, included Nongoma, Sinomusa Traditional Group, Amawele kaMamTshawe, Amabhujwa, Amatsanatsana and Izivunguvungu.

They joined artist and social worker Tornado Ntenteni’s Uthando Phambili march against child abuse on Saturday March 5.

More than 100 participants joined the campaign wearing white and blue T-shirts, some with children’s handprints on them.

They marched from the corner of Steve Biko Drive and Mew Way to the Lookout Hill.

Supporters held up signs while cars going down Mew Way hooted to show support for the fight against child abuse. The children were handed ballons with different messages.

Event organiser, Mr Ntenteni, who is also a social worker in Khayelitsha,said the whole thing was part of a nationwide event to be held inApril.

His manager, Sivuyile Nqaphi said Mr Ntenteni, whose stage name is Tornado, believed that every child had the right to a safe childhood, free of violence and abuse. As a social worker he is often faced with cases of child abuse, which have badly affected him.

Mr Nqaphi said he then approached his stable about including Eastern Cape artists. “Tornado is a social worker and an artist. He has seen it all. We felt it is in us that we protect children. Remember they are the future of our country. It is an important time to start the conversation in our communities about how we can keep our children safe. That is why he called other artists to be part of this. He wanted to woo many people so that the message could easily spread,” Mr Nqaphi said.

A video, which is to be distributed freely, was also filmed during the event. The video will also been loaded to YouTube.

“We chose to do all this in Khayelitsha because there have been horrible cases of child abuse. We have seen and heard about children being raped and killed by their own fathers, by uncles. We are also of the view that the Department of Social Development and police alone cannot win the fight against the abuse. We encourage the community, parents and ordinary people to fight the scourge,” he said.

Vuyisani Sweni, another social worker, appealed to men to be at the forefront of the fight against child abuse.

He commended his colleague for taking a stand against the problem.

“I have heard people urging women to take a stand, but I will differ with those. I call upon men to be the ones to fight child abuse. It is men who rape, kill and assault children. I say to them, alcohol is killing our minds, let us stop it or take it easy. We work on these cases daily. This has troubled (Tornado) who decided to stand up and be counted. As men we need to follow in his footsteps and say it is enough now,” Mr Sweni said.

Khayelitsha Development Forum representative and chairperson of Khayelitsha Arts Culture and Heritage Council, Nomasebe Dondolo said they were chuffed with the idea of making a video in Khayelitsha. “It is amazing to see so many people come together to raise awareness about something that affects thousands of South African children. As KDF, we believe active citizenship is the founding principle of social cohesion. It is the key to ensure stability and sustainability. And we believe unity is power. We are also of the belief that this should not end here, it should be taken to other areas too,” she said.