Justice Desk Africa (JDA) is known to put on a good show when it comes to the events they host and this evening was no exception. JDA’s Women’s Month event was an intimate affair with all guests dressed to the nines, while overlooking the beautiful view on the veranda of the High Commissioner's Residence in Bishopscourt.
It was truly a pleasure to simply just be immersed within the event. I was able to take in the wonderful ambiance and environment which consisted of positivity, warmth and joy while I talked to several people from various and interesting backgrounds, flagged down waiters for the delicious foods which were flying in and out and listened to lively music coming from the masterful Herschel Girls School marimba band.
There are several significant highlights to this event, many of which cannot fit in this short post. At the very beginning the event opened with the immensely talented Amici Quartet whose music was much clearer in the closed room and aided in appreciating the beauty of the music coming from the combined instruments and the talent of the musicians. It was truly a beautiful opener which set the tone for the entire event.
Thereafter came Sethu’s speech and Chuma’s poem. I have known Sethu for a little over a year now and I am lucky enough to call him my friend, but even I did not know how simple words from the heart and a genuine soul could move me so much. His story about who he was before and after joining the iNstika yeThemba Project and how violence was a day to day norm for him and many others like him left me with a lot to think about. I was struck even more so after learning he was, “taught” love through the projects. Many people take experiencing love for granted and many people beyond the communities JDA work with can relate to the feeling which made for a moment of reflection upon the lesser discussed issues within many communities.
Another heartwarming moment was Chuma’s poem at the event. I had read the words from her poem at the V&A Waterfront Women's Month Event as it played in the background during the choir's performance. However, hearing it first hand from the author herself was a powerful experience which I had the privilege of witnessing. Like the words in Sethu’s speech left me with much to think on, Chuma’s poem describing her journey and her mother’s efforts was truly touching and unforgettable.
To cap off the entire evening, the Mbokodo choir, which was briefly the Mbokodo/iNtsika choir during this evening, was brilliant as always. They yet again showcased the enviable talent in their vocals along with their dancing which brought even more life into the room. With the end of the performance came the end of the festivities, however the bright and sincere people and ambiance was still present. Thus! We continued to eat, drink and chat until in true Justice Desk Africa fashion, we cheered, chanted, took pictures and left quickly because we were some of the last people still there. Those who could not make it truly missed out!
Written by Rutendo Mugwara