John Kani rallies artists to use influence to speak out on gender-based violence

These were the words from prolific and globally celebrated actor Dr John Kani, calling on them to use their platforms to further drive the fight against the spike of violence that has sent shock waves throughout the country this week. Kani’s plea comes in the wake of numerous murders that have occurred in the last few days, including that of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana and female boxer Leighandre Jegels among others.

South Africa today saw multiple demonstrations as scores of people took to the streets to protest against gender-based violence, calling for the protection of women to be prioritized and for action to be taken against perpetrators. There are also growing calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence.

In his appeal, Kani, said it was time for male artists and celebrities in different sectors to mobilize their influence to break the walls of silence around abuse and femicide. Kani said it confronting this ugly side of humanity head-on was necessary.

“We (as artists) are visible influences and it is about time for those of us who can use the ubiquity of our voices and the power of our celebrity status to say, ‘Enough is enough! The violence must stop now!’, ” he said.

By Ntsako Philmah Gana