Celebrities Pledge To Create a Culture of Respect: 16 Days of Activism
On Monday, 24 November 2014, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and local celebrities launched the “Create a Culture of Respect” campaign. This initiative complements the 16th annual international United Nations 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign, as well as related initiatives across South Africa.
Dr Mbombo has signed a pledge of commitment, along with local sport stars, actors, comedians and radio personalities, to combat the abuse of women, children and other vulnerable people. The pledge asks all the people of the Western Cape to commit themselves to “create a culture of respect” by taking a stand against abuse.
One of the biggest challenges to periodic campaigns such as the 16 Days of Activism Campaign is the lack of continuity from year to year. For real change to take place, efforts must be sustained so that the positive impact of such a campaign is felt 365 days a year.
“As the Western Cape Government, we believe that, with the support of all role players in our society such as parents, civil society, traditional leaders and role models, we can create a sustainable culture where we respect and protect one another,” Dr Mbombo said at a press conference. “This pledge and campaign is the first of many steps to achieve this goal.”
She thanked all these people who took time out of their busy schedules to do something incredible for South Africa and the people of the Western Cape in particular:
- Andrea Dondolo – South African actress and gender-based violence activist
- Cedric Finch – South Africa national swimming couch
- Hilton Langenhoven – a South African athlete and three-time Paralympic Champion, competing mainly in category F12 (visual impairment) long jump events.
- Africa Melani – Capetalk radio personality and talk show host
- Phumza Maweni – South African National Netball player
- Siv Ngesi – South African actor and comedian
- Jonathan Ntutu – a Professional Athlete. He represented South Africa at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
- Leandra Smeda – Banyanya Banyana football player
- Lungile Tsolekile – South African national hockey team player. He represented South Africa in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Ernst Van Dyk – a South African wheelchair racer and handcyclist. He has won a record 10 wheelchair titles in the Boston Marathon. He was also awarded the Laureus World Sports Awards for Sportsperson with a Disability of the year for 2006
- Rory Kleinveldt – a South African cricketer who made his international debut in a Twenty20 International against Bangladesh in 2008 and currently plays for the Cape Cobras.
She said these role models would use their influence to effect meaningful change as they spoke to people across the province.
Dr Mbombo concluded with the following words: “This campaign is a plea to the people of the Western Cape to ‘Create a Culture of Respect’ and take a stand against the abuse of the most vulnerable people in our society. We encourage the rest of the province to join us so that we can be better together.”
HOD Brent Walters and all the MANCO members also signed the pledge on 24 November 2014.