Woman’s Month: Dear Woman, Zazi (Know Your Strength)

ZAZI campaign

August is women’s month in South Africa and one of the prominent HIV and Aids awareness crusades running this month is the ZAZI campaign. Zazi (know your strength), was launched on May 25, 2013.

This is a campaign aimed at Women and Girls led by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Women’s Sector, with support from the USAID/JHU HIV Communication program and PEPFAR in partnership with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Development.

The ZAZI Campaign encourages women and girls to draw on their inner strength, power, and self-confidence to know themselves and what they stand for in order to guide their decisions about their future, including decisions about sexual reproductive health.

The campaign comprises advocacy, mass media and community mobilization activities. The mass media campaign uses a song, entitled ZAZI, written and performed by the talented South African musician, Zonke, in collaboration with an emerging South African young poet, King Nova, supported by the University of Pretoria’s Youth Choir.


The accompanying music video, directed by South African director Tebogo Mahlatsi, shows situations where young women are drawing on their strength to make decisions for their own future.

Bronwyn Pearce, Deputy Country Director at the USAID/JHU HIV Communication Program says: “The ZAZI campaign has been developed by women for women and celebrates the strength of South African women. ZAZI is a Nguni word, meaning ‘know yourself’. We hope the campaign creates a movement that encourages women to defy the silence that allows the pain in their lives to thrive, to define their own values and their own path in life.”

The ZAZI campaign is an opportunity for young women to take charge in the prevention of HIV, draw on their inner strength and define who they are”, commented Nomfundo Eland, Chairperson of the SANAC Women’s Sector.


She added that “The vast majority of HIV infections occur among women. Young women, in particular, are at a greater risk of HIV infection as they often find themselves in situations that force them to have unprotected sex with older men in exchange for money or gifts. In addition, the perpetration and acceptance of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, endangers the lives of many women – young and old. These are the issues that the Zazi Campaign seeks to address”.

Fundamental to this campaign is to advocate for women to have greater access to key services and commodities that can help stop new HIV infections, minimize unwanted pregnancies, prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and ensure healthy lifestyles and early detection and management of chronic diseases.

The vision for the ZAZI campaign is aligned to the National Strategic Plan’s 2012-2016 long-term vision for South Africa with respect to the HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis (TB) and STIs epidemics.

“Our aim is zero new HIV/AIDS and TB infections; zero new infections due to vertical transmission; zero preventable deaths associated with HIV/AIDS and TB; zero discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS and TB; and the end to Gender-Based Violence. We believe that by working in partnership with like-minded organizations and individuals, we will attain this vision”, concludes Eland.

In support of women’s month the campaign will be doing workshops and outreach at the following Campuses and times.

Vaal University of Technology (Gauteng) 28—30 JULY 2013 02 AUGUST 2013
North West University (North West ) 20—21 JULY 2013 16 AUGUST 2013
Cape Peninsula University of Technology ( Western Cape) 3-4 AUGUST 2013 3-4 AUGUST 2013
University of Venda ( Limpopo) 3-4 AUGUST 2013 23 AUGUST 2013
University of Fort Hare  (Eastern Cape) 13-14 JULY 2013 30 AUGUST 2013

For further information about the campaign visit www.zazi.org.za, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zazi or tweet us @teamzazi. You can also reach out by sending an email to zazi@zazi.org.za

For more information, please contact:
Bronwyn Pearce Deputy Country Director at John Hopkins Health and Education South Africa bronwyn@jhuccp.co.za or Nomfundo Eland Chairperson: SANAC Women’s Sector: elandnomfundo@gmail.com