Mpondo Festival commemorated through a program on Gender Based Violence

by HRH Princess Stella Sigcau

Nkosi Magodongo Mahlangu, Prince Mtshabi Mahlangu, Princess Stella Sigcau II, Ms Josina Machel, Ndlunkulu Nombethe Sigcau, Prince Ndiphile Dlamini Workshop on GBV, Ntsikayezwe SSS

20 September 2021

The annual Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival turned 15 years in 2021. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was celebrated differently, to adhere to covid regulations and measures and instead of the 20000 attendance, the numbers were restricted to hundred. The theme was on Gender Based Violence Awareness, empowerment of youth and women as well as celebrating culture and heritage and unity in a diversity.

The year 2021 has been declared as the year of Charlotte Maxeke, a liberation activist who contributed immensely in the liberation struggle of South Africa. It celebrates women who were at the centre of South Africa’s liberation struggle, women who played a meaningful role in the freedom of all including women and children. Sadly, regardles of many strides that have been made, the issue of Gender Based Violence as reported remains a challenge.

It is on this premise that in commemoration of the 15 years of the annual Mpondo Festival, it was celebrated by hosting of a Gender Based Violence Awareness and empowerment of youth and women program commencing with the hike against Gender Based at Gomo Forest in Ntabankulu on 9 September 2021. Through the Khuthaza Ukufunda Initiative Princess Stella Sigcau II donated books at Mt Zion School in Mbizana on the 9th September and the 10th September at Phumlani Pre primary she donated books and toys to empower the youth through education and encourage a culture of reading.
Prince Seraki Mampuru, Ndlunkulu Nombethe Sigcau, Princess Nomangwane Mampuru, Ms Josina Machel, Nkosi Jongilanga Sigcau, Prince Ndiphile Dlamini, Ms Jane Mufamadi, Ms Mathwasa, speaker (Ntabankulu Municipality) Dialogue in GBV, Lwandlolubomvu Great Place

On 10 September there was a visitation and donation of food parcels and blankets to the female/youth led families and victims of GBV followed by a Workshop on GBV at Ntsikayezwe Senior Secondary School which was conducted by gender activist and GBV survivor Ms Josina Machel, founder of Kuhluka Movement. Speakers included Princess Stella Sigcau II, Nkosi Jongilanga Sigcau, Prince Magodongo Mahlangu from the Ndebele Kingdom and Nkosi Ndiphile Dlamini from eSwatini. The workshop was interactive with many learners participating.

SEE ALSO: Women, Culture and Tradition

On 11 September 2021 a Dialogue on Gender Based Violence was held at Lwandlolubomvu Great Place attended by members of the communities, learners, female groups and so forth. Presentations during the dialogue were made by representatives from Departments of SAPS, Social Development, Disaster and Health. Guest presenters on GBV included Ms Jane Mofamadi, CEO of Freedom Park, Prof Mzikazi Nduna Dean of Human Sciences at Fort Hare and Ms Josina Machel. Speaking on GBV were also Nkosi Jongilanga Sigcau who welcomed the guests, representatives of the Mayors of Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Ntabankulu and Alfred Nzo Municipalities, Prince Seraki Mampuru from the Pedi Kingdom, Nkosi Magodongo Mahlangu from the Ndebele Kingdom, Prince Ndiphile Dlamini grom eSwatini Kingdom, Princess Stella Sigcau II and Nkosi Ntlane Madikizela. who also thanked in the guests.

In attendance was also a well known artist Ziqo from Mozambique who also works with Kuhluka Movement on GBV. Entertaining the guests were artists from the Mpondo Kingdom including Nomzekelo from Lusikisiki, Mangenakuthuleke, Inkciyo yaseBomvini, Dumezweni Choir, Asa imbongi, and Gospel artist Fefe.

Due to covid, the attendance was limited and those in attendance had to adhere to strict covid regulations. The Department of health also brought masks and assisted with sanitizing to ensure strict adherence to covid regulations. They also set up a station for vaccination. The session was live streamed on Alfred Nzo radio, Ntabankulu Municipality and Alfred Nzo District Municipality facebook pages on 11 September to be watched virtually.

Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival was launched in 2006 in commemoration of the late ANC liberation activist Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau and to promote, preserve and share Mpondo culture and heritage as well as unity in a diversity of cultures. Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau was one of the Mpondo Traditional Leaders who was honoured earlier this year by Freedom Park for his role in the liberation struggle.