As the saying goes, “come rain or shine”, we’ll do this… AS’BANGENE stayed true to its name when it launched the movement on Friday, 28 February in Tembisa, Johannesburg.
AS’BANGENE is a movement that gives South African youth a space to talk about healthy lifestyle choices. Young people in and around Ekurhuleni and the City of Johannesburg took part in the development and design process of AS’BANGENE. This movement is interactive and uses social media and local events so that young people have space and opportunity to ask any questions about their health, sex, nutrition, chronic medication and relationships.
Thapelo Yingwane (25) from Daveyton was part of the development of AS’BANGENE “I feel very important. Like I am a huge part of something big. I’ve always wanted to be amongst good doers in the community, and the AS’BANGENE campaign has awarded me with that opportunity to be the face of the change I would like to see happen. It has helped me take responsibility for my actions.”
Another young woman who was involved with the development of AS’BANGENE, Thuli Moukangwe (26) from KwaThema who is living openly with HIV, said, “There are many challenges we are facing as young women living with HIV, I’m glad to be part of this movement and share my experiences to encourage other young people out there. I feel that advising young people on a healthy lifestyle would make a huge difference. I know I may not change the world but I believe I can change one life.”
High spirits and excitement were felt in the air as the entertainment brought on the heat, despite the heavy downpour and cold conditions in Johannesburg on Friday, 28 February. Singer and presenter, Rorisang Thandekiso got the crowd inspired as they listened attentively the AS’BANGENE messages of health by the artist, whilst, Amapiano’s DJ Stokie and House DJ Shades got the crowd on their feet and moving.
Says Rorisang: “I believe young people are always sold the future, rightfully so… but the question becomes what kind of future are they working towards? The big house and the perfect job won’t mean anything if they are not in good health. We should be encouraged to pursue good health the same way we are encouraged to pursue wealth.”
Young artists and talent from Ekurhuleni who have entered the AS’BANGENE dance and hip hop vocalists competitions, performed on the day. They were required to theme their performances around making healthy choices. Dancers, Black Spiders (Junior 19 and Innocent 17) from Daveyton and rapper, Thobani Hadebe (17) from Tembisa who each won R2500 and a goodie bag.
What is AS’BANGENE?
AS’BANGENE is an initiative of The Aurum Institute in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Gauteng Department of Health and Ekurhuleni Municipality. Local community events will be held around Ekurhuleni for 2020 where communities will have access to health services such as testing for diabetes, HIV, TB and other health services.