UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme hosted the ZaZi Campaign at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine in Durban attracting more than 300 participants - staff and students - from all five campuses.
The event included motivational and educational talks, performances by students, dialogue and entertainment.
ZaZi is an exciting campaign designed for girls and women in South Africa, providing an opportunity for young women to know themselves and their values in order to stabilise and overcome the challenges they face in HIV Prevention, Gender Based Violence and Reproductive Health Rights, among others.
The aim of this event was to empower women to know their sexual reproductive health rights and to promote self-confidence so they could rely on their own strength to make sound decisions for their future life.
The campaign supports women having greater access to key services and commodities that can help stop new HIV infections.
UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Ms Nomonde Magantolo said ZaZi was an Nguni word which meant ‘know your strength’.
‘UKZN uses the ZaZi Campaign as an initiative to empower youth within its community both students and staff to know their strength as that will assist them to make right decisions,’ said Magantolo. She assured participants that the University would continue to support students through Campus Health Clinics, HIV Counselling and Testing Services (HTS) and through different forums within Campus HIV and AIDS Support Units.
Magantolo emphasised that students should take care of their health, know their status, do routine check-ups to test for other diseases, and live a healthy life.
Senior Manager at Forever Living Products: Business Woman in Marketing, Ms Nomathemba Madlala, said: ‘Young women must have goals at a young age; they must know who they are and what they want in their lives.’ She highlighted the importance of working hard, making sacrifices and having patience. She said it was crucial for women to build their own business and have the patience to watch it grow bigger.
Advocate Busi Mngoma of UKZN’s Ombuds Office spoke about the different substances young women use and how dangerous they are. She said drugs like nayope (whoonga), marijuana (dagga), cocaine and alcohol were very addictive and posed a threat to a person’s life. Mngoma said women should not sell themselves short because of material things. They needed to be responsible women, take care of themselves, be independent and work hard to achieve their dreams.