On the 29th of September, Qrate was invited to the book launch of the Tidi Talks Period Series. Tidi Talks is a guide for parents and the youth on the journey of menstruation, through storytelling.
Our Founder and Director Candice hosted two mini Menstruation workshops for kids which focused on fun-filled activities that kept the kiddies on their feet!
The workshop started with a cute animation video that seeks to explain what periods are from a simple perspective. Following that, a fun True or False exercise was played to test the kiddies’ knowledge of periods, with the final activity of the Alien Game where the kids got to explain each period product to Candice.
The Tidi Talks Launch was a fun-filled day that focused on young children, parents, and teachers learning about the importance of period education. Following the workshop, the guests were treated to a yoga workshop to learn about their bodies and after that, they listened to the insightful and engaging panel discussion by authors: Farah Fortune, Dr. Nokukhanya Khanyile, and Thandazile Ndvolu about their journey in writing this book.
We are extremely excited that there is such a powerful, informative and relatable book that young children, parents, guardians, and teachers can rely on. We are super excited to be working alongside the Tidi Talks Team in the near future.
Role models matter, especially for women. Patriarchy and gendered stereotypes still have a significant impact in undermining the potential, capacity, and ambitions of millions of women across the globe. In a world where women are constantly confronted with predefined archetypes, numerous female powerhouses continue to shatter the glass ceilings of what is achievable for women.
To celebrate the closing of women’s month, Qrate is giving a nod to seven exceptional women in South Africa who are creating spaces for women to rise to greater heights.
Have you come across the Netflix hit show Blood and Water? Well, Nosipho is one of the leading geniuses that worked their magic in executing this South African series gold. Blood and Water is just the tip of the iceberg of Nosipho’s filmography credits as a director, writer, and executive producer. Nosipho is a trailblazing filmmakerwho is achieving new feats of what it means to be a young black female director in the film and television industry. Being in an industry that often sidelines women of colour from taking the lead, Nosipho is the change that is bringing a fresh take in film-making in South Africa and beyond. Representation is extremely important to Nosipho because she never saw women of colour occupying the spaces she is in today. Today, Nosipho continues to pave the way for increased representation in front and behind the screens.
Driven by the ethos, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, Farai has chosen the path to take matters into her own hands to be the change. Farai is a young feminist, pan-Africanist, and changemaker who is invested in creating brighter futures on the African continent through empowering the youth. As the Co-founder ofAfrica Matters Initiative and the Chief Partnerships Officer at YES(Youth Employment Services), Farai is committed to capacitating the youth to achieve their fullest potential through capacity-building means that aim to equip youth across Africa with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to thrive.
Farai is creating waves with her strong leadership that continues to inspire, empower, and lead countless people from all walks of life. Farai is a testament that being a leader is not defined by age or position but rather by being an individual who is unafraid of growth and is committed to generating collective impact.
Thandile is an intersectional climate and social activist who is passionate about securing inclusive transitions towards sustainable development. As the Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa, Thandile has continued to use her platform to be an outspoken advocate for the voiceless community groups that are often underrepresented in international and national climate change responses. Her work is focused on ‘leaving no one behind’ in creating socially equitable communities in South Africa.
Thandile’s work takes a feminist and intersectional approach that clearly indicates that addressing climate change needs a nuanced responses that address the varying contexts of different demographics across South Africa. To Thandile, everything is interconnected therefore, we need to collectively make intersectional solutions that will effectively shift the needle of socio-environmental development towards a morally just path for humanity and the planet.
Colourful, vibrant, and rooted are the words that describe Karabo Poppy’scaptivating art. Karabo Poppy’s artistic creations have taken form in countless ways, from the walls of buildings to the design of your KFC bucket or shoes. The young artist has worked with the likes of global giants such as Nike, Google, and Apple – to name a few. Karabo’s journey to being a full-fledged artist has been a story of self-discovery, determination, and following one’s heart despite being confronted with uncertainties as a young black female artist. Karabo’s art has a visible and cultural imprint on contemporary African art and Afrofuturism. The Forbes 30 under 30 alumni, takes full pride in her African roots while continuing to use her art to support developmental programs across Africa. Karabo Poppy is an inspirational force for the next generation of young African artists. Karabo remains true to the movement of bringing African female excellence to a global stage.
Thembiis already making her mark as one of the greatest athletes in South Africa. Kgatlana is a professional football player who currently plays forward for Racing Louisville FC and South Africa’s women’s national team. The football star has represented South Africa at the highest levels in football such as participating in the Olympics, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. Additionally, Thembi has received numerous accolades to her name including being the Best Player, Top Scorer, and Women’s Footballer of the Year in the CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations in 2018. A recent addition to Thembi’s astounding professional resume is being part of the winning Banyana Banyana team that won the 2022 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
Discipline, sheer determination, and teamwork have shaped Thembi to achieve sporting greatness. According to Thembi, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ in creating sporting excellence on the pitch. Thembi is both an inspiration and a symbol to many young girls that they can too choose and excel in professional athleticism.
Currently, women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) however, women like Zandile are working towards overturning this narrative. As the chairperson and founder of GirlCode and EmpowerXx, Zandile is devoted to raising awareness, educating, and up-skilling girls in STEM. Through GirCode and EmpowerXx, Zandile and her team have been able to host the biggest all-female annual hackathons in South Africa; host monthly educational workshops on robotics that have impacted over 3000 learners, while providing internships and employment opportunities to university students at both of her organisations. The ripple effect of Zandile’s leadership and social entrepreneurship endeavours has been powerful, as it has opened the doors in accelerating numerous tracks for women to enter and flourish in STEM-focused professions and businesses.
Zandile is a firm believer in expanding opportunities that will uplift both the social and economic status of women. Her mission is to create a generation where women have a seat at the table in the creation and development of technologies in South Africa.
Last but not least is Qrate’s very own Candice Chirwa! Known as the Minister of Menstruation, Candice is a fervent gender activist, author, and thought leader on addressing issues that will empower the youth. Driven by the purpose to ‘Edulift’ the youth, Candice founded her award-winning NGO, Qrateto facilitate menstrual education workshops with the mission to dismantle menstrual misconceptions within society. Whether it is being a TEDx speaker, YouTuber, writer, or educator, Candice is known to exhaust all of her resources to ensure that the fundamental human rights of girls and women are addressed and met.
Candice’s voice has been influential in stimulating a mental shift in how we understand and view menstruation. This young activist is on a mission to better the future experiences of women, and there are no signs of Candice stopping.
These women on this list are truly exceptional individuals who represent the dynamism, excellence, and flair of women all across the board. As some say, seeing is believing, and these women are living proof that you are also capable. As women’s month is drawn to a close, remember that the movement towards gender equality still continues.
Girl child, you are limitless, worthy, powerful, and you belong anywhere you set your mind to.
I am the founder of Voice of the People Movement. Voice of the People Movement was launched this year in April and our goal is to build stronger communities.
We recently launched our first community programme called the Community Enhancement Program (CEP). It was borne out of the belief in order for us to create a better world, we need to create a stronger community and we do that by enhancing the way we connect and relate with each other in the truest sense of Ubuntu.
Strong communities talk to each other and for the past 7 days, we went door to door in Tembisa. We listened and learned from community members on the challenges they face so that we can co-create solutions together. Through that experience I wanted to share THREE things I have learned from the program.
1) The pandemic has shown us we are all intrinsically linked with one another.
All of us share common aspirations- we all want to live in peace and security; to be educated, to work with dignity, to love our families and our communities. we should not be distracted by our differences, rather celebrate our commonalities. That should be the driving force behind our collective vision.
2) The future we want to create requires us to use our imaginations and be open to learn, unlearn and relearn.
The one thing which is constant is change, but when you are open to growth, you see every challenge in front of you as a way to grow and develop as a person, rather than a hinderance. Through this program, we saw positive behaviour change in our team leading and creating change around themselves and their environment independently. When you choose to grow as a person, we grow as a community.
3) Change is always possible when people feel they are involved and listened to.
Feedback and knowledge sharing is part of our culture. We involve community members to co-create solutions and provide feedback on how we can improve as a movement. The goal of every organization is not to solve problems but to make the organization better, we make the organization better but creating a culture of inclusivity. We must be mindful that every voice is involved in the conversation, that every person feels comfortable to join in and offer his or her own perspective. Therefore creating a feeling of belonging and inclusion for everyone in the community.
4) Innovation is not the search for one big idea but the ability to implement small ideas which have a powerful cumulative impact.
As simple and small as starting a WhatsApp group. If you want to learn more about how grassroots organization work, if you want to become a community organiser, a change maker in your community, being part of a grassroots organiser is an opportunity to network, upscale and create change. Let’s help make South Africa better, let’s grow our community together.
Join us and let’s continue to commit ourselves to the future that we want to see.
About the Author
Faeeza Lok is a social entrepreneur, a bunny chow lover and the founder of Voice of the People Movement. Her ambition is to seek partnerships with more organisations to bring equality for all under represented persons.
Follow VOTP on social media:
Join their WhatsApp Group: +27 73 411 0046 | Instagram: @voice_za Facebook: @votp.za Twitter: @votp_za Tik Tok: @votp_za
Food for Thought: What do boys in South Africa think about being boys today? What do they imagine is expected of them? Whom do they look up to and how are they navigating the transition from being boys to becoming men?
What does it mean to be a man? That a man does not cry? That a man provides and protects?
Maybe these are not the right questions.
But maybe this story will provide the right answers.
Andisiwe and Tshepo, a newly married young couple, are planning on having a baby. Tshepo wants a daughter but his aunts are adamant that his firstborn should be a boy, “to carry on the family name” they say. His uncles also insist that his firstborn must be a boy too, “to show that he is a man in the bedroom” they say.
On the other hand, Andisiwe wants a son for a firstborn and her mother agrees, “to please your husband and stop him from taking a second wife” she says. Her father would rather she has a girl, “girls always remember home and their mothers’ she will look after you, well into your old age” he says.
Ever wondered why those who imagine about having children prefer certain sex over the other? The story of Andisiwe and Tshepo can help us see what it means to be a man, an object and symbol of multiple complex expectations. Does being a man born in a patriarchal society mean the same as in a matriarchal one?
Andisiwe and Tshepo finally have their baby boy who wailed at birth which made the nurses on duty celebrate. Baby Mandla kept his parents up at night crying in between feeding and nappy changing times, he also laughed a lot each time he was picked up.
Being held, sung to, kissed on the forehead and talked to made baby Mandla giggle endlessly. The affection Andisiwe and Tshepo gave to baby Mandla made him smile each time he saw his parents. Baby Mandla grew into a strong and healthy boy child who always ran into his mom and daddy’s arms each time they show up home back from work.
Mandla was raised into a respectful African child with lots of aspirations for when he grows up and finally leave the house for high school. His mother and the housekeeper told him that he had to toughen up for high school and stand up for himself. How does one toughen up for a cruel world?
Mandla had to learn that one had to control his emotions, if necessary, deny them in order to put up a show of bravery as any sign of weakness is frowned upon. Such lies we put up with. The toxic part about this is that boys are raised to be men who struggle to acknowledge and express their feelings in the name of bravery.
We fail to see that heroes and saints are people who experience fear, have weaknesses and are also ordinary. The idea of a man being one with everything under control, unlimited strength and all the other stereotypes of being macho are a big ask. If anything they set males up to fail, to fail at being who they truly are as individuals.
Furthermore, according to the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), estimates that 60% of children have absent fathers. The impact of the lack of absent fathers or positive father figures has an impact on the development of the boy child’s perception towards manhood.
Luckily, Mandla is part of the 33 percent of children who are born and raised in a household by both parents.
Now, how do we break this down for kids to begin to see toxic masculinity in the area of emotional intelligence? How about a drawing and coloring activity on how your favorite food tastes? Getting kids to begin to think about the qualities they like in something like food and giving them a language to express it, in this case, drawing and coloring. From food then taking it to appreciate people and creating gifts for family members and or friends.
Toxic masculinity hampers emotional intelligence. It encourages a limited view of what a man is and even has an impact on intimate relationships. The sad part of this is that some females, those who help raise the boy child, take an active role in socializing them into toxic masculinity.
“Children are regarded as a gift, yet at times boy children are considered an investment whether for family name purposes or not.“
So, what does it mean to be a man?
Again, nothing but allowing your boy child to express his individuality for himself. Figuring out the rules of masculinity and trying to live up to them is part of every boy’s childhood. Most boys find the test of masculinity scary and hard to pass.
Perhaps the test should be that boys should be allowed to be themselves and not constantly measure themselves against the societal standard of masculinity. This is an invitation to shift from living life and raising your boy child based on what people will say, “abantu bazothini?” towards what is best for your boy child.
It is important to talk to boys about the reality of gender expectations and help them figure out how to negotiate this problem. If a little boy is struggling to feel adequately masculine by acting tough, it’s not helpful to criticize or mock his interests. So instead of teaching the ills of toxic masculinity, we should instead instill a culture of positive masculinity – that is freeing the burden of societal expectations on the young boy child.
Remember that each child is unique and requires a tailored approach making it impossible to expect your boy child to go through life with the burden of trying to be a certain man who only exists in societal expectations.
Part of parenting is being great stewards of who our children are born to be, acknowledging their strengths, weaknesses and potential then guiding them towards who they are wired to be. Early Childhood Development and formal education, in part, help with this yet the validation, approval and shaping the boy children into what being a man start from home.
So we have decided to create a few tips for challenging gender stereotypes in the home:
Ensure that children receive equal praise for the same behavior. For example, praising both boys and girls for being neat or being active in physical activities.
Encourage children to be friends across genders.
Use the anatomically correct terms when referring to body parts.
Point out, critique and discuss gendered representations in the media.
Avoid gender-specific language and statements such as “that’s a man’s job.’ and ‘that’s not lady-like.”
Encourage gender neutral toys and colors.
Back to the story of baby Mandla, it takes a village to raise a child. Until we, as a society, grapple and engage in open dialogue on notions of masculinity we will continue down the toxic avenue. Change begins with you and it is possible to raise children aware of positive masculinity tailored for each child to be themselves.
By Traver Mudzonga
About Traver Mudzonga:
Traver is a photographer and brand culture design art director founded on creativity, passion and skill for highest possible results.Photography is more than a job for him, it is an expression of life. Having over nine years of technical and management experience as a Production Designer, he now focuses on brand strategy and inspiring brand culture.
Follow him on twitter: (m_traver), instagram (mtraverfolio) and visit his website: www.mtraver.com
Teaching a kid about consent has nothing to do with teaching them about sex. It’s about respecting boundaries.
We believe parents can start educating children about consent and empowerment as early as 1 year old and continuing into the university years. It is our sincere hope that this post can help us raise empowered young adults who have empathy for others and a clear understanding of healthy consent.
In general terms, consent is a matter of an individual granting someone or something permission for a particular event to take place. It is the achievement of willful acknowledgment, sexual acceptance and eventually permission (expressly stated) by a female/male, to an advance made by a member of the same/opposite sex.
General explanations such as these unlock doors that open up the opportunity for questions such as how does one relate this concept to children? Or, how do parents, guardians, teachers etc. teach their children about consent?
As far as that is concerned, teaching consent becomes a rather simple process that requires practice and discipline in other areas of life.
The act of teaching consent and the conversation around sexual consent starts at the early childhood development stages, by guardians teaching their children to understand their bodies & body language to respect the same & opposite sex but most importantly by teaching them to speak up for what they believe in.
Some of the steps and many ways in which guardians can teach their children consent include:
1. Boundaries remain vitally important from childhood.
What about boundaries is so important you ask? Well, boundaries influence factors such as behavior and understanding. Boundaries are types of limits the facilitate the establishment of qualities such as empathy, support, respect, and discipline, as well as caring for oneself and others.
If boundaries are crossed, a punishment can be allocated to establish a consequence for negative behavior. This in itself allows children to understand the remaining elements of this discussion concerning the teaching of consent in children.
2. Respect remains as significant as teaching boundaries.
Teaching children respect is interchangeably linked to the phenomena of consent in that respect allows for the development of positive relationships and relationship enhancing skills. Through respect, some factors that children are able to develop a more open-minded sense.
3. Communication & consequence it is important to communicate intent & permission for touching, kissing, or various sexual behaviors.
If one does not have consent for a said act, the act could consequently lead to be considered a form of sexual assault. It is also extremely vital that there be a clear and open line of communication between child and guardian. Parents/Guardians must be willing to listen to their children and teach them that their emotions are warranted.
4. Reinforcing the use of the word NO and accepting the word
As you can see, there are countless aspects to consider when teaching children about the phenomena of consent. It’s important to remember that, as a parent and/ or guardian, it never too early to teach children about consent.
By children having a greater awareness of what consent entails, children can then be more thoroughly prepared for developing and promoting healthy functional relationships which encompass facets such as boundaries, respect, listening, and communication.
Teach your kids that “no” and “stop” are important words and should be honored. One way to explain this may be, “Thandi said ‘no’, and when we hear ‘no’ we always stop what we’re doing immediately. No matter what.“
Also, teach your child that his or her “no’s” are to be honored. Explain that just like we always stop doing something when someone says “no”, that our friends need to always stop when we say “no”, too. If a friend doesn’t stop when we say “no,” then we need to think about whether or not we feel good, and safe, playing with them. If not, it’s okay to choose other friends.
If you feel you must intervene, do so. Be kind, and explain to the other child how important “no” is. Your child will internalize how important it is both for himself and others.
Consent is as simple as tea!
We have provided visual links on teaching consent to children. Feel free to watch it together with your kids!
This video shows how consent as the act of making tea and serves a great way of making children understand what consent is by using a simple act they could relate to which may make the conversation around consent less frightening for both parent/guardian and child!
About the Authors: Born in a small town called Zeerust, 24-year-old Mokgabo Maletswa is a graduate in Bachelor of Commerce in Finance who strives to achieve excellence in each and everything. Her complex combination of resilience, vibrancy, patience, diligence and her nature to help those who are less fortunate has led her to lead organizations like ABASA NWU-VTC. Being a caregiver and leader has come naturally. Her mantra in life is that she necessarily doesn’t what to change the world but spark the brain that will, through thought-provoking conversations and genuineness.
Natacha Martins is a 22-year-old female who is a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree and Honours Equivalent in the field of Psychology obtained at the Pearson Institute of Higher Education. Natacha is currently completing a TEFL certificate. Natacha has both experience and interests in the fields of university readiness, children’s education, research, statistics, school counseling, parental guidance counseling, addiction counseling, and alternative therapeutic methods through sport and physical activity.
As seen in Part One, a lot and more has been said about teaching little girls about menstruation, hygiene, and social taboos associated with it and such, but seldom do we talk about how to enlighten our little boys on this topic. Don’t you think it is as important for us to teach our sons in a very healthy way about the concept of menstruation? Isn’t that also one of the most important steps towards eradicating the social taboos that still exist in our society regarding menstruation?
Half the population has periods, so why not make sure the half that doesn’t is also informed? Every boy should learn about period education.
This is in part why a recent report has called for boys, as well as girls, to learn about periods and the menstrual cycle at school. Plan International, the charity behind the report, suggests there is a need to talk more about the issue as many girls feel embarrassed – with the menstrual cycle tarnished with stigma and taboo.
Their findings also reveal that one in seven of the girls and women interviewed said they did not know what was happening when they first started their period – clearly demonstrating a need for more to be done to teach young women about what’s to come.
We have provided tips on how to teach boys on periods and it’s in five easy steps!
Lesson #1: The Biological Lessons:
Before your little one reaches ‘the’ age, when the girls of his age start getting their first periods, one needs to give them basic guidance on the biological process involved with menstruation. You don’t really need to go deep into details during this stage. You just need to provide them with a little basic information for starters and later on, as he grows up, one may go into details as per his and your respective comfort levels.
Lesson #2: It’s Divine, Not Yucky!
As your little one learns about menstruation and its associated processes, it is quite natural for them to develop an aversion towards it, as it involves blood and hygiene and so on and so forth. Let him know then, that there are hygienic methods involved in addressing it and that it is not a curse.
“In fact, boys need to know that it is nature’s little secret that keeps life on this planet going and thriving.”
Lesson #3: Boom – Busting the Myths!
It is TV time and your boy child sees that cliché sanitary pad advert with the demonstration of blue ink being poured on the sanitary pad. Believe it or not, but there are some parents who tell their sons that the sanitary pad is used for absorbing excess ink from fountain pens! It is important to bust myths around things that children come across every day. By telling your boy child: “I will tell you about it in detail when you grow up. For now, it’s something that is used by big girls.” is a simple way of tackling the societal taboos that come with menstruation.
Lesson #4: Moody Mood Swings.
It is important to start teaching your boy child that girls can go through mood swings, and it not because of their period but because of hormones or either they are actually moody. And that is okay! It is important not to always blame the period for mood swings, but to at least teach boys to be sensitive towards such events.
Lesson #5: Ouch! The Pain.
Just like the mood swings, boys need to understand how much of a painful experience it could be for some girls. They need to understand why their girl classmates or friends are not in the mood to play around or have fun.
It is also important for schools to be more open about the importance of menstruation and they need to be more sympathetic towards the stigma girls face. For a start, schools should provide resources and information that girls can access. This will help them understand – rather than feel scared and fearful – what is happening to their bodies during puberty.
Talking with your children is one important step towards taking the taboo out of menstruation because to achieve gender equality on this issue, girls need to feel able to talk about their periods and challenge the discrimination that is associated with menstruation and developing girls bodies.
And boys can play a big role in this – if they also get the right support and resources.
By only educating girl children about menstruation, we will not solve the problem of menstrual taboos in this society. We need to educate our boys too, for a better period-friendly society and a better life for the women of tomorrow!
Until we change attitudes, the conversation surrounding menstruation and menstrual equality will continue to be a secret. Tell your daughters. Tell your sons. Today. The earlier we start to normalize the conversation with our children, the less of a taboo menstruation will become. It’ll be just another part of the cycle of dialogue.