Gender based violence is one of the worst but silent monsters plaguing the globe. From sexual, violent and psychological abuses, this vice is going on hardly abated through all cross sections and levels of society. The entertainment industry and social media haven’t helped lessen the situation either at all. This is partly due to the fact that the largest part of our society has been conditioned to observe masculine supremacy and pay respect to patriarchy. Anything that comes up against these pillars is usually swept under the carpet. Thus, females have been forced to suffer silently and men who undergo the same have been hushed well, because, how could a woman abuse you? A man? She even beat you? Seriously? Shut the hell up!
But yet still, we are not losing hope, or rather, some section(s) of our society is not just looking on as this demon is having a party on us and they have come up to draw swords against it through creative art in order to offer a platform and courage for people to come up and share their experiences about the vice.
The Dance Adventure Studios, a non-profit project specializing in Arts, Education and Culture, Talent Development, Dance Theatre Performance and Career Streamlining recently held a dance production at the iconic National Theater to spread gender based violence awareness with emphasis on its effects and why it is high time we rose up against it. Incorporated in dance, drama and poetry, the team put up an energetic performance they called VOICES with its production project focused on Sustainable Development Goals to promote peace and unity in communities among the youths with this year focusing on gender equality with the production project focusing on sustainable development goals to promote peace and unity in communities among the youths and this year’s 2019 /2020 focusing being on gender equality (SDG 5)
The event that attracted a sizeable attendance registering a win for an event in its maiden year, started off with an engaging emcee duo of Ivan Kasolo and Mwanja Allan Kasoda who kept cracking up the audience with their comical acts my favorite being the Chinese skit was officially opened with a musical performance from Ivan Mutebi, a guy with great vocals and dance.
Barely had we recollected ourselves from the funny emcee duo than the stage burst to life with a small crowd, fists pumping the air, walking behind a young damsel in distress. Their intention, to portray the confusion society has towards understanding gender based violence. As some find it normal, others, who have seen the worst of its effects find all ways to discourage it. A battle of culture, norms, values and humanity.
We were graced by Evelyn Namatovu, the Ugandan representative to Miss International, a beauty pageant focusing on international relations, peace and culture. In company with a purple doll, which I hoped wasn’t Annabelle, talked of how she will use her platform to create awareness about gender based violence and urge females to find their courage to speak up.
We were also taken through a video clip of people talking about gender based violence with one lady talking of how she had been groped by men in downtown Kampala, Owino Market and despite her protests to the unwelcome hands, the men were merely apologetic. Her story also talked of how she has faced the vice at workplaces, formal settings where men have promised her jobs and promotions as long as she offered them her lady parts in return. The audience was moved. She is not alone in this.
In company of his wife, who he said was the one who actuary invited him, the always romantic and vocally deep Sam Gombya took the opportunity to talk to the audience about parenting. He criticized us for showing excessive love to our children to an extent that we have led them to losing themselves. The children these days have no consideration for values. He further called upon people to play their roles right. Take up the responsibility of paying fees, ensure that the family members are happy, emphasize religious identity, be an example that adds value to the family, to the children to ensure the upholding of values and peace in society. He ended on even a higher note by pledging to support the group in their future endeavors by endorsing them for any relatable project they further decide to pursue.
A word about the project approach from the project PRO, Lillybeth stressed the point of collaborations of joint authority and structure to carry out the mission through comprehensive planning and operating benefits so to develop new sources of funding and cost cutting without compromising any organization mission or quality and they hope to use the movement to seek for funding partners for their final showcase and so to develop a joint action plan with evident stories that reflect diversity in the mindset.
She closed by outlining their outcomes as;
- Implementation of Voices 1st Edition – October 2019.
- Symposium – November 2019
- Community theatre Documentary Film – February 2020
- Community Careers Day- March 2020
- Implementation to Voices 2nd Edition – October 2020.
- Implement SDGs that are in line with cause
- Regional Production Tours with a United Community Voice.
- Capacity Building for Artists
- Employment Opportunities
All I can say is a great thank you to these people and wish them much more blessings in their quest to bring peace on humanity.
Check out my views on how we can stop this vice