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CITE launches I Want My Virginity Back

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BY SHARON SIBINDI

THE Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE) last week launched a documentary titled I Want My Virginity Back that centres on the victims’ plea for recognition, healing and rehabilitation.

The scenes of the 50-minute documentary were shot from different locations in Matabeleland, especially in areas that were seriously affected by Gukurahundi such as Matopo, Kezi, Lupane, Nkayi and Tsholotsho.

CITE director Zenzele Ndebele told NewsDay Life & Style that the documentary was aimed at increasing public awareness about the Gukurahundi issue.

“It (I Want My Virginity Back ) shows that while at times when people talk about Gukurahundi, they talk about men who were brutalised, killed or disappeared, women also suffered a lot. Most of them were raped and traumatised because they still have kids from that rape,” he said

“Some of the women don’t know what to do with the kids born out of rape. We have heard stories of kids born out of rape committing suicide because of the trauma they faced after been called all sorts of names.”

Ndebele said people had been tight-lipped on the issue of rape during Gukurahundi debate which focuses mainly on violence that was perpetrated on men by the Fifth Brigade.

“The documentary is about the living experiences. Anyone who grew up in Matabeleland would know that every member of a family has a story to tell about Gukurahundi. When we were growing up, many people didn’t want to talk about them, you would ask where it is and no one would want to talk about it,” he said.

“So it’s lived experiences, trying to understand why a government can be so brutal, evil and kill so many people within a short space of time just because they had different views from the ruling party.”

He said the deployment of North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade soldiers was unnecessary.

“In 1987, only 122 dissidents surrendered. You will realise that at the peak, there were less than 300 dissidents, so killing people was not necessary. The deployment of Gukurahundi was unnecessary and there were better ways that would have been done to deal with the issue,” he said.

Last month, CITE hosted an inaugural healing and reconciliation, Asakhe Film Festival from October 9 to 30 under the theme, In Search of Peace and Justice. Ndebele said Asakhe Film Festival intended to highlight the importance of transitional justice using film and testimonies from the survivors.

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