What does one say about a question in South Africa’s national school-leavers’ drama exam in which students are asked to direct a rape scene? South Africa’s Education Department defended their action in which they were asked to maximize the raping of a baby, using a broomstick and loaf of bread as props.
“Nowhere is it expected of the candidate to have to literally describe the actual act of raping a nine-month-old baby,” responded the department in a statement, arguing that the exercise was aimed “at assessing the pupils’ concept of using metaphor as a theatrical technique.”
“By the time pupils are in [the final year of high school], they have begun to be faced with the realities of adulthood, often beyond the security of their homes and the school system. They will, through media and cinema, have been exposed to many horrific images and reports,” spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said. He pointed out that high school seniors are well informed about child rape in South Africa.
South Africa is a world leader in the raping of women and children. Just a day or two after newspaper headlines blazed with the test question, a six-week-old baby girl from Galeshwe township, west of the diamond-mining town of Kimberley, was raped by her 24-year-old uncle.
South African playwright Lara Foot wrote a play ‘Tshepang’ about the 2011 rape of a 9-month-old girl. Pressured for a response to the drama school test question, Foot released a statement saying it was “totally inappropriate and frankly appalling. Given the history and statistics of rape in this country, it is imperative that the matter is dealt with, but dealt with sensitively and responsibly.”
Tracking the rape of women worldwide is a key focus of Anne of Carversville. Charlize Theron joins a list of other prominent women and men, including Angelia Jolie and Eve Ensler, who for years have dedicated themselves to stopping the brutal rapes of women, children and men.
Charlize Theron for Dior
Charlize Theron By Patrick Demarchelier For Dior Magazine #4 AOC Sensual Fashion
The gifted movie star returned to her home country of South Africa with a heavy heart this week as one of the first celebrities to issue a statement about the death of Nelson Mandela. The Monster star said: “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever. There will never be words to say what I’m feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly.”
Theron and Mandela first met in 2004, with the movie star reduced to tears during the meeting.
The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) was created in 2007 by the actress and UN Messenger of Peace, in collaboration with the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Theron also appeared in a blistering South African TV commercial ‘Real Men Don’t Rape’ campaign.
Dr. Denis Mukwege & Charlize Theron
This 2010 AOC story about the rape of women in Congo featured UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron meeting Dr. Denis Mukwege at his Panzi Hospital. Dr. Mukwege, a 2013 Nobel Laureate nominee, founded his hospital in 1999 and was honored with a prestigious Human Rights First award in October 2013.
In September 2012 Dr. Mukwege made a strong speech condemning mass rape in the Congo. Subsequently, on October 25, 2012 four armed men attached his residence, held his daughters hostage and waited his return. After his short absence, gunfire opened, killing one staff member. After the assassination attempt, Dr. Mukwege went into exile in Europe, causing a “devasting effect” on the daily operations of Panzi Hospital.
Dr. Mukwege returned to Bukavu in January 2013, where the authorities have assured him he will be safe.
“We don’t need the military or Monusco,” said one woman, referring to the United Nations mission in Congo. “We women will protect you.”
Congo’s Dr. Denis MukwegeIn this video below, Dr. Mukwege speaks to the press from Stockholm in November 2012.
Read more AOC Women of Congo articles.
Read more AOC Front Page Salon articles about violence against women.