Cape Town – The Justice Desk’s Mbokodo Club this week celebrated two years of educating, equipping and empowering girl survivors of rape and gender-based violence (GBV) in the murder capital of the country, Nyanga.
The organisation focuses on self-defence and fitness, female empowerment and leadership workshops as well as access to mental health-care support for mainly girls between the ages of 9 and 19, and challenges the status quo, turning those who have been harmed from “victims” to “victors” while leading change in communities.
Justice Desk chief executive Jessica Dewhurst said watching the incredible transformation in each one of their “Mbokodo Queens” was a gift.
“From having had the privilege of hosting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, in Nyanga, to bringing on an additional group of girls this year – our Mbokodo girls – the Nyanga community and our incredible partners are truly making a great impact in the country.
“We will continue to champion these change-makers and drive true transformation through our belief in everyday activism,” Dewhurst said.
The club, which has gone on to do work across South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to fight GBV and empower ordinary people, said the only way to dismantle the drivers of GBV was through active participation in challenging the patriarchal societal norms that undermined the existence, respect and protection of women and the girl child.
Nyanga Community Police Forum secretary Dumisani Qwebe said the community was grateful for organisations like the Justice Desk that brought light and hope to the community, which had become known for crime, violence and GBV.
“We recently buried two young girls whose bodies were dumped in Brown’s Farm, not far from here.
“Their deaths are just the tip of the iceberg because young girls and women face a lot of hardships in our communities.
“Nyanga is undeniably the worst when it comes to GBV and femicide; we hope the organisation continues to mentor our young girls and better our communities,” Qwebe said.