(Xhosa with English subtitles)

As a girl, Thuliswa narrowly escaped abuse. When she began developing into a young woman, her mother responded by trying to restrict her independence. Thuliswa soon left Eastern Cape to live life on her own terms in Johannesburg. Sickness brought her home to her parents. She tested for HIV and found that she was positive. Now healthy and on ARVs, Thuliswa urges men to protect themselves and their partners by wearing condoms.

Key points to consider in viewing Thuliswa’s story

Poverty often requires girls to do work that makes them vulnerable to abuse, in a world where gender-based violence is widespread. Parents’ attitudes about gender are sometimes intended to protect their children, and yet they can feel restrictive. Thuliswa’s early experiences led her to flee her home, which put her at risk of HIV. Think about the importance of men taking responsibility: for their own violence, and for the health of themselves and their partners.

Learn More

Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.

Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.

Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.

Download Resources

Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.