Sonke Gender Justice, in partnership with the Khanyisa Foundation, NAPWA (The National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS), Phakama Community Health Project, First Resource Community Centre, The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Etafeni Daycare Centre Trust and the City of Cape Town’s Multi-Sectoral Action Team (MSAT), hosted a World AIDS Day event at the NY 49 Stadium in Gugulethu, Cape Town, on Friday the 29th of November.
The event allowed those in attendance to get information from the various organisations involved – both through their stalls and the speakers in attendance. Phumzile Nwyagi, Senior Trainer from Sonke Gender Justice, spoke to the crowd about Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) as a means to reduce the risk of HIV infection. MMC is available as a free service at Sonke’s One Man Can Men’s Wellness Clinic in Gugulethu.
He also spoke of the opportunity men have to reshape the often negative images of men by being responsible partners, fathers and members of the community. Thulani Velebayi, Fathers’ Group Facilitator from Sonke, explained further, “We are not only targeting males, we run workshops for women around gender based violence and human rights. But when it comes to AIDS we need to make sure that men stop testing through their partners. Gender equality means men and women must be tested.” In addition to receiving information, those in attendance were treated to music and performances from community groups. The mostly youthful crowd was provided with an opportunity to access information on topics (some of which are taboo in their communities) in a fun and accessible setting.