Sneak preview – Thuthuzeleka

When fear grips a community, a bold plan is put into action. Daring detective Busi Ncube goes deep undercover to catch a serial rapist. The pressure is on, and danger closes in from all sides as the suspect list grows. Busi must find the culprit, before she blows her cover or anyone else gets hurt, including her. One by one, a community turns wounds into wisdom, victims into survivors…

Sonke announces the production phase of a 13-part serial radio drama, which will be available in English, Zulu, Sotho and Venda, to encourage support for survivors of sexual assault and promote access to Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) and similar services. Produced in collaboration with CMFD Productions, “Thuthuzeleka” is a crime/thriller story that follows detective Busi Ncube as she goes undercover at a secondary school to find a serial rapist on the loose. The drama will hit the airwaves in early 2015 and will be provided to radio stations free of charge, along with a promotional trailer, the original theme music, and a printed discussion guide.

‘Thuthuzeleka’ is designed to support survivors of sexual assault by raising awareness and creating dialogue around sexual offences, and to encourage and promote access to South Africa’s Thuthuzela Care Centres – innovative one-stop centres that offer comprehensive services and support for sexual assault survivors. ‘Thuthuzeleka’ aims to challenge the negative attitudes and misconceptions that surround sexual violence but also to provide practical information, such as the steps to take following a sexual assault.

Sonke’s community radio project (a component of the joint project implemented by Sonke, Soul City, the Medical Research Council, the Foundation for Professional Development and the National Prosecuting Authority Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit) is working with dozens of radio stations near Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) throughout the country. We have provided radio station staff and community-based organisations with training on gender, HIV and AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV), training hosts and providing stations with programming in order to decrease the stigma surrounding rape, GBV and HIV and AIDS, and to create public awareness on these issues and the services available at the TCCs.

Sonke Gender Justice’s partners, including Thuthuzela Care Centres and radio representatives, reviewed the detailed story outlines of ‘Thuthuzeleka’ to ensure relevance and maximise the impact of the messages. The research process outlined key information to convey and the characters were designed to demonstrate that every person can stand up against violence and help support survivors in their healing process.