Zazi, Know Your Strength
The UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme recently hosted the Zazi Campaign; a drive that encourages South African women and girls to know their strength and value so that they may overcome adversity.
The event, which targeted young women in varsity, was held at the Westville campus.
Mrs Hlengiwe Ngubane, Health Promoter at the HIV and AIDS Department, said it is vital that young women recognise their identity and strength as early as possible. This, she said, helps them to be self-reliant and teaches them that they are responsible for their actions.
‘Our main message was simply that they must know their strength, identity and potential. Their beauty or outside appearance must not deceive them because they are more than their looks,’ said Ngubane.
With the blesser phenomenon having a stronghold in South Africa, the Zazi campaign programme directors felt it important to reiterate the importance of independence among young women as blesser-blessee relationships often cost them (young women) their academic success and even lives.
Ngubane was happy to see students participating and encouraging each other during the campaign. ‘It brings hope to see the way they look at the future and how they inspire each other as students of the same age,’ she said.
One of the peer educators, Ms Nomahlubi Radebe, gave an explanation about PREP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which are methods used to prevent the HIV infection through the use of anti-retroviral drugs. She also encouraged young women to continue using condoms, emphasising that this is not merely the responsibility of men, reiterating that prevention is better than cure. She urged HIV negative female students to leave the University HIV negative, while also saying that there is help for those who are HIV positive such as counselling and referrals for ARV collection.
Words and photographs: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele