Bongi Msomi, captain of the SPAR Proteas, is a woman on a mission.
Although she is well-known as a charismatic leader of the national netball team and as a dynamic player, she is also something of an activist, focusing on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and on the need for access to sanitary towels.
In recent months, Msomi has been combining two of her passions by distributing sanitary towels and using the opportunity to talk about the End Gender Based Violence campaign.
A recent sanitary towel distribution event at the Three Square Netball Courts in Alexandra was attended by about 90 learners from the Pholosho Junior Secondary School, which uses the courts as their home ground, and players from the Kempton Park Netball Club. The interest in what Msomi has to offer was evident, as it was a Sunday and the girls had to make a special effort to travel to the venue.
Msomi spoke to the girls for about an hour and a half. She started off by discussing menstruation and hygiene and then talked about Gender Based Violence and what the girls could do if they were affected by it. The girls were given an opportunity to ask questions and lively discussion followed. This event was one of many hosted by Msomi.
“We have to put a stop to our women being killed and injured,” said Msomi.
“Throughout the country, at all levels of society, women and girls are being abused physically, sexually and mentally. We need everyone who becomes aware of this sort of abuse to report it immediately and to support the victims.”
Msomi said the distribution of sanitary towels was a campaign dear to her heart.
“I was privileged – I never had to miss school because of my periods, but there are many girls who do,” she explained.
“It is critically important for girls to complete their education, and they are more likely to do so if they don’t miss five days of school each month. I am so happy to be involved in a campaign to keep them in school,” she said.
Supported by SPAR, Msomi has distributed more than 12-thousand packs of sanitary towels to girls and young women over the past few months.