SEX, HIV, AND BEING A WOMAN IN SOUTH AFRICA

To mark Women’s Day in South Africa, actress Mohau Cele explains why she’s thrilled MTV Shuga is coming to her home country.

 

Its sweet, its vibey, its MTV Shuga. I believe teenagers and young adults should be as thrilled as I am that the mind-blowing and trending transmedia HIV/AIDS awareness campaign is coming to South Africa. With high HIV/AIDS infections in South Africa and many other factors (i.e. teenage pregnancy) around unprotected sex, I am certain that MTV Shuga will continue to serve as an educational tool to assist individuals make informed decisions in order to help curb the increase of HIV/AIDS and other socio economic/political issues.

My role in MTV Shuga has given me a sense of vision and meaning, not only in my acting career but my personal role in society. Within my personal capacity and the knowledge gained through MTV Shuga, I am equipped to assist young girls who are going through certain challenges.

Being a woman in SA can mean a lot of things and this for me all depends on each individual’s historical background. However, for me being a woman means continuously discovering my identity. It means freedom of expression and the ability to love myself.

Prior to our nation’s democracy, the identity that women had (and some might argue that they still have), was defined by oppressive societal structures that limited their abilities and skills, hence the lack of opportunities for them. However, I have come to realise that the access to knowledge has afforded us women the liberty to find our greater relevance in society and not just in the ‘kitchen’ and I think that is why MTV Shuga is so relevant even for the young women because it is like a tool which gives individuals the opportunity to participate in the larger societal discourse.

South Africa is a diverse country with many themes of interest like: Violence being at the top of my list, peer pressure, rape, abuse, drugs, Ben10s, and Shuga daddies (your now so called blessers) that MTV Shuga has, and should, continue to explore in order to bring various educational aspects that can help positively shape the behaviour of young individuals in the country.