Amplifying Girls Voices tackles child marriages through arts

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Amplyifying Girls Voices

BY IRENE MOYO

AMPLIFYING Girls Voices programmes administrator Runyararo Mutandi has said their short film titled Amacala is an outstanding project among other awareness campaigns towards the fight against child marriages.

Mutandi said the film has been well-received as the endeavour to fight child marriages through digital arts.

Amacala was produced last year in August under the Amplifying Girls Voices through Digital Arts in association with Plan International Zimbabwe and the government with the support of Finland Development Corporation.

“One of the objectives of our project, Amplifying Girls through Digital Arts, is to use digital media to raise awareness and talk about issues affecting young women and girls in our society. Child marriage is one of the many issues we identified,” she said.

“Our awareness campaigns are in the form of films, podcasts and an online magazine, but the films have proved to be more popular as people relate better to visuals.”

“Films are more engaging, as one can follow a storyline, relate to it and the characters as well. Above all, films can provoke emotions and thoughts.”

Mutandi said poverty, culture, religious beliefs, ignorance and general lack of information had been noted as leading factors contributing to child marriages.

According to the United Nations, one in three girls in Zimbabwe gets married before the age of 18.

“There are many cultural and religious practices deemed norms yet they encourage and promote the abuse of the girl child. We all have a role to play, from community, church and cultural leaders. The girl child herself also has a role to play in this fight,” she said.

“The society must know that there is no justification to marry off a young girl below the age of 18, whether to an older man or to a boy who is her peer. Let us not destroy the future of the girl child before she even gets a chance to follow her dreams.”

She said the girl child should not be a victim of adults’ bad decisions.

“There are many victims of child marriage in our communities, but this issue is usually brushed aside. Some girls have died and are dying during birth as their bodies would not have fully developed to give birth,” she said.

“Through the film we wanted to bring the issue of child marriage in the open so that we can talk about it. It is our hope that the campaigns by various individuals and organisations to inform and educate society against such practices will one day yield results.”

Directed by William Nyandoro, the film features Stacey Matarise, Loneness Tapiwa, Mabi, Aleck Zulu, Nomvuyiso, Cyprian Tazarurwa and Xavier Dhlomo.

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