Catch Rhythm City, weekdays 7 PM on e.tv and eHD (OpenView Channel 104)
In August and September, Rhythm City and Brothers for Life come together to create a hard-hitting storyline to empower individuals and communities to combat Sexual and Gender-based Violence. It is estimated that over 40% of women in South Africa may be raped in their lifetime and that only 1 in 4 rapes is reported to the authorities.
The storyline starts on 10 August, when Emmanuel (Nkosiphendule Cengani), who is desperate to find a new job, meets Vega (Mbasa Msongelo), who offers him a job - robbing people. We quickly learn that this is not a good friendship when things start spiralling out of control. Emmanuel also introduces his crush, Palesa (Hloni Padi) to Vega. This introduction starts a web of complexities that ultimately leads to Palesa being raped by Vega and his friends, in the episode to be broadcast on 24 August. The story continues to follow Palesa, Emmanuel and the rest of the community, as they navigate the rocky path of sexual violence; from sadness, anger and confusion, to help, hope and healing.
e.tv's GM for local content, Ziyanda Mngomezulu says, "It is the channel's local content responsibility to ensure that the shows we present to our audiences are entertaining, yet conscious of the realities of the ordinary people we speak to. Our shows are made to resonate with viewers' lives in acknowledging some of the challenges they face. In order for the characters on our shows to come across as authentic, we ensure that they have struggles and victories so that our audiences can see themselves on screen." She adds, "It is unfortunate that rape is a common reality of a large percentage of our viewers. With storylines such as these, we intend to activate citizens to act, speak out and put an end to abuse in our societies."
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the South African government in its commitment to end HIV and Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SBGV). Mr John Groake, USAID South Africa's Mission Director, said the following: "The American people are proud to support such innovative campaigns which address rape in the South African context. This is part of our longstanding partnership with the South African Government and civil society, to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence".
Speaking about the upcoming media attention to gender-based violence, the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, said: "The collaboration and creation of this storyline shows the power of partnership, which is the power to address serious social issues like sexual and gender-based violence in a new and more effective way."
Alongside the on-air storyline and other programming, we will also run an online campaign, where we encourage people to get involved in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #StopRapeNow.
Website: Click here
Joe Strydom - e.tv publicity