Mon, Aug 3, 2020

Activist call for a clear communication strategy when it comes to COVID-19

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I am Amo Tshabalala in Sefikile Village North West Province under Moses Kotane Local Municipality. I think that is not fair for alliterate people as everything has happened so fast. It has affected us activists and everyone in the community so negatively. The illeterate people while they are still trying to understand what is this corona virus then the lockdown is effected and they don’t even know what lockdown is or what it means. Now we have to explain as community activists but its difficult since we can’t be seen outside along the road or anywhere for that matter without a serious reason. In my community/village they take everything serious even though they didn’t hear what you said exactly but they do what they think you said and in this case it is lockdown and they are indoors. People who are depending on piece jobs its hard for them now to put bread on the table as we all know that no unnecessary movement is allowed. Builders also got affected by this lockdown too as they also can’t do anything and we all know what that means, no food on the table again. Now, how many homes have no food on the table because of corona virus?

COVID 19 PLAN/STRATEGY
Every information should be written or given in indigenous languages but now I think everything has gone too much to social media and my concern is what about the illiterate people, those who can’t afford smart phones, and those who can’t afford data to get the info about corona virus? Information should be accessible by all including those in rural areas. We should work together and make sure that we are safe. #stayhomeandsafeyourfamily.

COVID-19 depriving security forces of their family time

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by Nonkosi in Braamfisher in Soweto…On Monday 12 April four liquor traders were arrested for contravening the Disaster Management Act of 2020 by selling liquor and cigarettes during the lock down. This shows that people are no taking COVID-19 seriously.

One of the soldiers we interfaced with was so frustrated by people of Braamfisher’s behavior. I laughed and said at least you are making money and we SAPS members are getting not anything. He said you are fortunate because you are able to see your family. “I’m home sick and if people don’t listen and behave like this,we will be deployed and stay in our camps till this is over. Money won’t make up for the time lost with our family” said the soldier.
Its the little things that we take for granted that matters more. We are working for long hours forcing people to stay home for their safety. It is unfortunate that street vendors can’t operate their business and the extension of the lock down means that they won’t be able to provide for their families. Every time I go back home I am afraid that I can infect my family. To keep them safe. At least the little that people can do is to stay at home. Nonetheless, I would like to thank our petrol attendants who are rendering services to the essential workers.

Ntabi concerned about people taking coronavirus for granted

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by Nthabi in Orlando Soweto…I am a 30 year old mother of two and i am concerned about the number of issues that i have been witnessing around my Area here in Orlando, Soweto and it breaks my heart and disturbs me as a mother. One of the issues is non compliance by the community where people are not respecting the rules and regulations of the lock down treating corona virus lightly. Gauteng has the highest number of people who tested positive and in Africa South Africa has the highest number of infected people. If only can people listen and do what they have been asked to do, stay home and only go out when it is really necessary. I am also worried about the economy and how i am going to survive if it happens that the lock down is extended because no one has the answer as to when exactly the pandemic will end. in face of break-ins of bottle stores, I wonder if we are safe here.

Living conditions undermine social distancing

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Since the enforcement of lockdown has begun things have been very difficult especially when it comes to maintaining social distance. It’s been difficult for us to comply with at home because we are living in a RDP house which is one room and we are a family of 7 including my mother ,2 sisters, 3 children and myself. We are very concerned because we can’t keep one meter apart as we the house is too small for all of us. During cold weather it is like we are breathing the same air. We are not sure if coronavirus is going to spare us in case one of us gets infected.

Starvation worry citizens more than coronavirus

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On the 8th of March 2020, in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, different communities’ leaders were distributing food parcels to citizens and these included 10kg of maize, 3 kgs rice and 4 toilet papers. The food was not enough for people and those who didn’t get the food were very frustrated, it was a painful experience. During the food distribution process, no one cared about social distance as everyone jostled to get a portion. To make matters worse, community leaders themselves did not have personal protective clothing and some did not even have hand sanitisers. People are frustrated more by hunger than issues to do with protecting oneself from the deadly virus.  

Teenage Pregnancy and HIV

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Having a child at a young age is a major problem for you women. Young women experience a lot of pressure from boyfriends and older men for unprotected sex. They do not appear strong enough to resist this pressure. The result is that their education comes to an end, they have greater financial burdens and risk STI’s and HIV.

“The department of education has introduced life skills in schools as part of the curriculum, the department of health and other organizations has been involved in educating young woman about safe sex, condom use, STis and pregnancy. Despite that effort young women drop schools because they are pregnant. Some young as 15-16 years reported the father of their babies they are the same age while some said they have older boy friends”

“The worst part is that the leave school because they are very shy and their partners continue with their education while the sitting at home. You lucky if you only get pregnant in some is a double blow because they find out they are HIV positive”

“Despite teachings at school that has to do with life skills to make young woman to choose a better way of living many of which they get caught in a situation that they are promised money by their boyfriends to only sleep with them and don’t use protection.”

“ The hurting part is these young woman know what must be done but because someone has uttered the word money and the everything stops, they forget what was taught in class for life skills goes together with self-control or self-discipline and if none of these will be remembered in the heat of the moment that’s when  many of the young woman find themselves in a situation that is uncalled for and become parents at an early age.”

“Many of the young woman end dropping out from school because of they are ashamed to be seen pregnant at that age although self-discipline is there but it depends on how is used to be able to safe guard themselves from being teen mother’s as well as single parents at that age and end up giving up school, having low self-esteem and depressed because of the situation that they are now single parents and teen’s, think that there are no more opportunities for them because they are drop outs, one mistake that many of the parents don’t do is to be talk with these young woman so that what they learn or taught at school should build inside and that self-discipline should be released from within.”

Emotional Stress from Personal, Family and Community Pressure

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Many young women talked about the pressure on them from their personal life experiences, family and friends that builds stress in their lives. Young women appear to struggle with the loss of identity.

Family Pressures

“Absent Father issues. Growing up without a Father tends to make us look for our Fathers in the men we date. And mostly it is men that will repeat the cycle from their upbringing / background in getting involved with men that leave them too and they have to raise the children on their own.

“Then there is pressure from families we come from that we make something of ourselves and taking care of their children and leaving home to maintain their households

“There is pressure from the family for us to get married forcing you to end up staying in abusive relationships”.

“There is pressure to keep up with statuses, whether parents can afford it or not, pressure to date certain types of guys in order to keep up with statuses.

Personal Pressure

“Some young women lack of ambition due to lack of information. They have limited information. They don’t open their minds to the possibilities that await them out there.” 

“The lack of self-confidence has made a lot of them fall victim to falling pregnant at young ages, old men take advantage of their vulnerability and family situations.”

“According to what I’ve seen and chats I’ve had, broken families and underprivileged homes contribute somewhat to peer pressure effects, young women all want to feel like they are worth it and unfortunately for most they are taught to find their worth in things and not self. Self-identity isn’t even a concept to many of these young women, family doesn’t encourage them to be proud of their being, society only escalates the damage that is mostly created from the home space’.

The Problem of Identity

“Okay there is a lot facing young African woman nje! Identity- no one seem to really know who they must be these days cause the are so many types of persona that you as a person allowed to be these days. Culture- now days it’s okay not to follow your culture but follow the fake distractive one instead of our true African cultures. Searching- too many looking for love, looking for peace, some are looking for their biological bloodline so they can find purpose. Running- away from responsibility, from self and many are running away from their true calling.”

The Pressure of The Social Media

“Lack of tangible role models; the unlimited and uninterrupted exposure to media is crazy. The media is controlled and so is the audience. We are exposed to one kind/type of role models, not very much options. Education/information is not fashionable enough.”

Pressure on Students From Poor Families

University students in Braamfontein spoke about their problems

“She said Braamfontein is mainly schools and universities, most of the young woman they from poor families and parents can’t afford anything. They here to get education and they lucky to get scholarships or bursaries. She said there is peer pressure and competition

While others they can afford to buy those expensive clothes and phones there are others who can’t and they really feel the pressure. In order for them to have those things they end up dating older man (blessers). She told me that though they get what they want but there is nothing for free

She continues saying that they take them out, introduce them to alcohol or even drugs, buying them food …”

Search for Escape

The pressures of life with little support leads to young women searching for ways to get rid of the pain.

“Quick fix, we want things and we want them now and that has caused us to be lazy, all thanks to media sensationalizing everything. Good honest living seems to be boring, everything is about what people think peers’

“Alcohol, “ukugrover”/ nice time is more important”

“Even when we get educated it’s not for us, but it’s about “living the life” get a job buy a town house a car and hanging with your own.”

 “A lot of us young women get into drug usage to let go of the pain we carry. Our actions are sad and irresponsible especially when there are children we need to take care of”

“Unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse seems to be the one destroying our youth. In this kasi there are so many young women who are not working and as a result they feel bored. When weekend comes they will go out and meet some guys who buy them alcohol. The problem is that they will walk alone late-night drunk as a result they exposed themselves to the danger of been raped or killed”

Suicide

The pressure the young women faces pushes them in the direction of suicide

“This young lady told me that the challenge they have is teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, girls dating older man. She continues so explain that the hunger for success, studies, peer pressure and cyber bullying lead to many young women having depression. She said many of them they have attempted suicide, others have suicidal thought and few of them the succeed

Lack of water while Women’s Day is celebrated.

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It is women’s month but in Sekhukhune, South Africa we still see things that will break your heart. It is on 8 August 2019 just few hours before Women’s Day but lack of water forced a local woman at Sekhukhune to go and do washing at Semene river. While other women enjoy the 9 August 2019, she will be tired as a result of spending the whole day from taking the water from the river using a bucket, pouring into the washing basins, washing the clothes and  collecting the water again to rinse the clothes and she is few meters from the river to wash without disturbances from animals.

She won’t be able to hang the clothes on the smaller trees to dry but will have to take them home while wet and she walks a distance from the river. Some of the cows that drink water from the river eat clothes and there is dust on the trees since August is not a rain month in Sekhukhune. She wont celebrate women’s day like others because having no water make her life difficult.