On 25 May 2013 the South African National AIDS Council Women’s Sector (‘SANAC WS’) launched the Zazi campaign. This campaign is lead by the SANAC WS and is supported by USAID/JHU HIV and PEPFAR.
Zazi is an nguni word that stands for know yourself; the campaign encourages women and girls to “draw on their inner strength, power and self-confidence to know themselves and what they stand for in order to guide their decisions about their future.” The campaign’s theme song, sung by awe-inspiring songstress Zonke, calls on all women to know themselves. Poet on the song, King Nova, says to all women “you symbolise the strength of every woman who has ever walked this road; the strength of feet planted as firm as a Lillian tree to bear this life’s load… claim yourself, crown yourself and know yourself as a new day.”
Supplementing the song, Zazi, the campaign uses the colour green to advocate for change. Community members are encouraged to wear green clothes, scarves and bangles. Green is the international colour for the protection of women and children. It is an allegory for a new season, new beginnings and regeneration.
In addition to a mass media advocacy, as indicated by this song, the campaign also comprises of traditional advocacy, and community mobilisation. The campaign is said to be the result of extensive quantitative and qualitative research including in-depth conversations with communities and relevant stakeholders.
The Zazi campaign will mobilise the combined effort of civil society organisations across the country to address and improve the health and well-being of women and girls in South Africa. The campaign presents itself as an opportunity for young women who bear the greatest risk and prevalence of HIV infection, to take charge in the prevention of HIV. Women also bear the greatest risk of suffering from GBV. A central aspect of the campaign is to advocate for women to have access to services that can help stop new HIV infections, unwanted pregnancies and prevent MTCT.