Sho Madjozi is not just an African superstar who only looks out for herself, the star is also the voice for important causes that affect everyday South Africans.
Sho Madjozi madness swept through the quad of Lofenste Girls High School in Orlando East, Soweto, on Menstrual Hygiene Day (28 May) when the star made a surprise appearance at the school’s assembly.
The singer and actress recently teamed up with Stayfree as part of the brand’s global #OURMOVE campaign. Stayfree’s school's programme has educated over a million girls a year on menstruation. Their #OURMOVE campaign now aims to naturalise menstruation so that girls can stay in school or go to work and achieve their goals and succeed in life.
Menstruation is often a taboo, stigmatised topic that isn’t sufficiently discussed. Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif – aka Sho Madjozi - is working with Stayfree to change that. As part of this, she shared her personal experiences of menstruation with the school’s 1200 learners.
“It’s an experience that half the population shares so why do we find it so difficult to speak about? The stigmas around menstruation run deep, which is tragic and unwarranted given how natural and beautiful a part of life it should be. I am proud to be lending my voice to a conversation we must have. It’s important we start spreading a message of positivity to young women to empower them to take ownership and feel proud of their bodies.”
The Stayfree schools programme reaches roughly 4000 schools year-on-year and by the end of 2019 it would have impacted another one million pupils in South Africa.
Humza Mahomed, Stayfree Brand Manager, says, “Something that is perpetually revealed in the research we look at is how much of a stigma still exists around menstruation, particularly at school level, as well as the lack of education that pupils are receiving. Girls miss school because of the embarrassment around having their period and the way they feel, so education about what is happening to their bodies is important. We’re dedicated to naturalising menstruation and empowering girls so that they’re both confident and comfortable with themselves so that they may progress in their womanhood and lives.”
Principal of Lofenste Girls High School, Mrs Rosetta Motsoku, said that she was grateful to Sho Madjozi and Stayfree as the lack of education and product was an everyday problem for her learners. “We really appreciate Stayfree and Sho Madjozi visiting our school because we are dealing with a situation where we have more than ten girls asking for menstrual hygiene products every day. Menstrual education is also very important for us because some of our girls come from child-headed homes so they don’t have anyone educating them at home, so this is a great initiative and a great way of educating them on how to take care of themselves during menstruation."
Sho Madjozi also said that this was the beginning of exciting things to come and she’s looking forward to working with Stayfree to create a space where girls can feel comfortable addressing issues around menstruation. “We will be reaching out to a lot of girls during this campaign and having a lot of fun together. I cannot wait.”