Johannesburg -Teenager Tariro Nyamayaro has unintentionally become the face of the crusade to end gender-based violence after her poem has gone viral on social media.
Titled “Auditioning for my Funeral”, the 18-year-old penned the poem in honour of GBV victim Asithandile “Kwasa”Zozo Lugalo
Nyamayaro - a Zimbabwean matric pupil at Alma Mater International School in Johannesburg, South Africa - has said the poem was her first-ever Instagram post - and it almost instantly garnered her 20,000 followers.
She wrote the death of University of Witwatersrand Biology student Lugalo, known affectionately as “Kwasa”.
Lugalo was only 20 when her boyfriend allegedly attacked and stabbed her to death on August 18, 2020.
“I was watching the news and hearing those reports, and seeing that over social media sparked the emotion for me to write this poem,” said Nyamayaro.
Nyamayaro believes GBV in South Africa is a greater pandemic than COVID-19.
“It is such a serious issue that even when we make a noise about it, it still gets worse. Now it has become a life or death situation for every woman in South Africa. It is as if women are living on borrowed time,” she said.
She titled the poem “Auditioning For My Funeral” because every day is potentially the last day alive for many women.
“I really wanted to find a way for people to see the truth about what it is like to be a woman in this country, what is it like to be a girl in this country. It is a really sad and deep truth that we are living, waiting to die.”
Nyamayaro said fear was engraved in females from a young age. She said girls were taught early to fear leaving the house just to go to a nearby place, to walk to school or to meet friends.
She said the GBV statistics, while shocking, did not show the human suffering behind the numbers.
“I was trying to get a personal message across. I never, in a million years ... expected the amount of people to relate to it, which shows the reality behind being a woman in South Africa.”