The day has been one of farewells and new beginnings.
The local girls arrived in their brightly coloured traditional skirts and beads, in preparation of the final GirlZtalk performance for the community. Even some of the families had the SEED girls dressed in the traditional Venda dress to match their SEED t-shirts.
The performance was spectacular. A culmination of dance and song, combined with four “skits” touching on the four themes that had emerged as the most relevant issues that affect girls growing up in South Africa today:
TEENAGE PREGNANCY, RAPE AND ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN, EDUCATION, SUBSTANCE ABUSE
The performances were strikingly aligned with reality, at times making the audience uncomfortably shift in their seats as the girls depicted scenes of a drunk father raping his daughter, of girls being manipulated into sleeping with men and then being left pregnant, and how alcohol and drugs provide an escape that leave girls vulnerable, thereby denying them access to education.
We no longer wanted to leave the village of Ha-Makhuvha. We felt so welcomed in the community, where friendships had been made and families had embraced us as their own. The SEED girls were tired, it had been 4 intense days – and now it was time to move on, and step into the lives of a new community.
We were late on arrival to Leyden, 60km west of Makupane. It was after dark and the dinner that had been prepared by each of the host families was now cold and we all longed for the familiarity of our Venda community.