#ChooseToChallenge - Reflecting on #IWD2021
By Oluwalayomi Omolola
International Women’s Day may be over, but learning and unpacking is a long journey… Oluwalayomi takes us through her reflection of how some of the MTV Shuga cast have lived up to this year’s theme, #ChooseToChallenge.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (March 8th) was #ChoosetoChallenge. Per the theme, we are celebrating two women in the MTV Shuga franchise who, despite everything against them, rose and challenged rapists and systems. They fought hard and remained resolute until they engendered a great change in their communities and inadvertently empowered others.
The season one finale of Shuga Down South positioned Khensani, portrayed by Samkelisiwe Makhoba, to be the GBV activist she was in season two. To witness Khensani’s journey (without spoilers), watch Shuga Down South here.
When Sol was released from jail in season two, Khensani made it her mission to protect Arabeng from becoming another one of his victims. She challenged Tsholo’s abuser by constantly confronting him and dragging Arabeng from his car. She even involved the rest of her community to rally behind her in solidarity with Tsholo who died the season before due to Sol’s violence. She led a community-wide bus boycott to show him they will not patronize a rapist.
We salute you Khensani!
Sané, portrayed by Grâce Noella Pokou, experienced a whirlwind of events in season one of Shuga Babi. When she discovered she got an STI from sleeping with her male teacher, she was upset. After talking to her friend, Elsie, and empowering another peer to speak up, both reported him to their principal. When the first intervention didn’t go well, Sané didn’t give up. She rallied her whole community together in support of firing her teacher. With more evidence against his inappropriate relationship with students, he was arrested and justice was served. To watch Shuga Babi click here.
We salute both Khensani and Sané for not staying silent but choosing to challenge the status quo to attain justice. We hope their stories inspire you to be vocal and stand up for what is right, not only on International Women’s Day, but daily!