Youth Day event charges a packet of sanitary pads as entrance fee

Campaign to collect pads for people who can’t afford them

By Selby Nomnganga

17 June 2021

Bongani Melane from Sisonke Performing Arts with the sanitary pads collected at the 16 June street function in Paballelo. Photo: Selby Nomnganga

Over 100 mostly young people attended a Youth Day open-air music, drama and poetry event in front of a local tavern in Paballelo, Upington, where the entrance fee was R20 or the donation of a packet of sanitary pads.

Panda Pozi Media and Sisonke Performing Arts are the two groups behind the effort to collect pads which will be donated to My Sister My Keeper, a youth organisation. The organisation, led by Nandi Khumalo, revived its sanitary pads campaign last month after a break during the Covid-19 lockdown. The local basketball team High Flyers pledged a monthly contribution of 50 packets of pads, according to its coach, Teddy Links.

Khumalo said teenage girls in Paballelo were using paper, cloth or other materials during their periods.

“We are stepping up … to do something” for those who cannot afford sanitary pads, said Noluthando “Daughter Love” Appolos after her poetry performance at the Youth Day event.

“To sleep with another is a choice, but menstruation is natural,” said Bongani Melane, director of Sisonke Performing Arts, adding: “it is an honour to serve” those who cannot afford sanitary pads.