Radio drama “Thuthuzeleka” officially launched

Sonke has officially launched its community radio drama, “Thuthuzeleka”, which has been produced in partnership with Community Media for Development Productions. The drama aims to raise awareness on the plight of survivors of sexual violence and the services available to them, in particular the Thuthuzela Care Centres. The launch happened during a capacity building workshop attended by 41 delegates from 38 community radio stations from Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.

Aptly named “Thuthuzeleka” in isiXhosa, which means “be comforted”, the story aims to bring comfort, hope and support to those who have suffered sexual assault or rape.

It also aims to challenge the negative attitudes and misconceptions that surround sexual violence – for instance, that the survivor was to blame for it – but also to provide practical information, such as what steps to take following a sexual assault and how to get help to deal with the ordeal.

The series promotes awareness around, and access to, Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs). “Thuthuzela” is an isiXhosa word, meaning “comfort”. This is the name given to one-stop facilities that have been introduced as a critical part of South Africa’s strategy to respond to the management of the scourge of rape in the country. The aims of the TCCs are three-fold:

  • To reduce secondary trauma for rape survivors;
  • To improve conviction rates; and
  • To reduce the time that it takes to finalise rape cases.