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Tsitsi Dangarembga calls for an end to domestic violence
Tichawangana, The Zimbo Jam
November 30, 2009
No one saw it coming.
Amid the celebrations of those films that had won awards at the
International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF), amid the glitz,
the glamour and the evening elegance came a razor sharp reality
check. A reminder that the same beautiful Zimbabwe we live in is
the country where women still get beaten up by their husbands every
single day- sometimes with fatal consequences, and a reminder that
we all need to do something to stop this sort of thing from recurring.
"I know a country
where women get beaten up till they abort their twins," said
IIFF founder Tsitsi Dangarembga, just before the presentation of
an award that honours a man who has understood the vision of IIFF
and worked hard to assist the festival achieve its goals.
"A country where
the man who beats her up is arrested and then overnight, makes a
deal with a police officer, and is set free. I know a country where
distinguished gentlemen who seat on the boards of academic institutions
make and break contracts with women at will- but still remain distinguished
"A country where
daily women get beaten up because the sadza was too hard, or not
hard enough," Tsitsi went on in an impassioned impromptu speech
that got the room pin-drop silent.
"Does anyone know
which country this is?"
members of the audience responded in unison.
continued, "I think we should be ashamed. I think we should
be so ashamed that we resolve to make a change. We need to face
it. We cannot pretend that these things are not happening. That
is why this next award is very important. It goes to a man who has
come out and said I will work with you. I will honour you."
The prize, titled the
Best Friend of IIFF Award, had three nominees. The first was award-winning
journalist Terrence Mapurisana, because of his ability to bring
attention to a wide variety of cultural issues, ideas and personalities
and his highly regarded arts segments on ZBC's News Hour which
cover artistic aspects of all genres, regardless of gender.
The second is
a man who has for the last three years held the post of Operations
Manager of Pamberi Trust and has worked with artists of all types
at the Book Café and the Mannenberg including the IIFF organisers,
of Zimbabwe (WFOZ). His name is Ian White.
The third nominee was
born in Rusape, is married with one son and holds a Bachelor of
Business Studies from the University of Zimbabwe and a Masters Degree
from the Zimbabwe Open University. He is currently the Assistant
for Culture, Information and Public Relations at the Japanese Embassy
in Harare. His name, Mr Amos Masango.
was the fourth nominee. He has over seven years experience in the
NGO sector. He is currently Director of Padare
Enkundleni Men's Forum on Gender. He has worked on gender
based violence programmes and several programmes promoting positive
fatherhood as a strategy to promote HIV prevention, treatment, care
and support. He has conducted research on the history of the women's
movement in Zimbabwe as well as presented papers on masculinities
and gender at various regional and international platforms. He has
been a supporter of WFOZ since the first edition of IIFF.
The award, which included
a statuette and US$200 cash went to Terrence Mapurisana.
The IIFF Awards ceremony
coincided with the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against
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