Last week, Sonke was invited to meet with the King of AmaXhosa, Zwelenkosi Sigcawu, to whom all the chiefs and the headmen in the Eastern Cape report.
Sonke’s Patrick Godana and Leo Mbobi met with him to discuss the important work Sonke has already been conducting in the sixteen villages around Chafutweni village, close to Butterworth in the Eastern Cape.
According to community members, Sonke’s Community Action Teams (CATs) have made noticeable, positive changes in the many villages they operate in.
While meeting with the King, we presented the need for the positive engagement of fathers in their children’s lives. We also discussed the need for proper childcare, especially of girl children, who are often more vulnerable in the patriarchally run villages. Girl children face many challenges, such as forced marriage and rape, these issues are often not taken seriously in the villages, and not dealt with properly.
King Zwelenkosi shared his sentiments about the importance of 16 Days of Activism and how things could be done differently.
“It is very important that children in rural areas are mobilised to become game changers in their communities. Children should be kept busy at all times. This is valuable to personal development and would make unite communities” said the King.
The King has committed to champion the rights of children, and, together with his executive, has agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Sonke. He has also requested a sensitisation session for all of the chiefs and headmen in his Kingdom.
[Photographs by Sivuyise Nomana]