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Cape Town TV Newsletter February 2020

New shows focus on women 

Women facing difficult issues such as gender-based violence are getting a helping hand from Cape Town TV (CTV). The community broadcaster is tackling such social problems with several exciting and empowering shows for women.

Firstly the channel has managed to scoop one of the most popular South African women's TV series, called Rise. Initiated by the Soul City Institute, Rise is an inter-generational lifestyle talk show designed to encourage young women to aspire to be greater than their circumstances.  

The four hosts of the show are Kgomotso Matsunyane, Khanyisile Mazibuko, Nyiko Shikwambane and Lebo Ramafoko. They chat about sex, friendship, alcohol abuse, financial management and other issues that concern women's welfare.

Says Station Director Karen Thorne, "We are very excited to be airing this wonderful series, which combines an entertaining approach to serious issues with a wealth of information that empowers women. The content of this series is very relevant today and I'm sure our viewers will be thrilled to learn more from this series, as well as from our own series on women's issues."

Rise airs on Tuesdays at 6.30pm.


CTV is certainly not lagging behind in addressing issues of concern to women and the channel has produced its own women's series called The Womxn Show. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the series looks at women’s issues with a focus on gender-based violence (GBV) and gender justice.

The show's producer, journalist and GBV activist Lenina Rasool notes that, "South Africa has some of the most progressive legislation on gender violence in the world. Despite this, our femicide rate is five times the global average and the UN has described the rates of rape and violence as a war on women.

"In recent times there has been a rise in women’s movements across social media and the country, sparked by several high-profile femicides. These and the almost daily reports of assaults and murders, have fuelled calls for no bail and the death penalty.

"The Womxn Show aims to draw on a large body of NGOs, activists, experts and stakeholders to give a deeper and more accurate view of the systemic issues that both drive gender-based violence and hamper effective prevention and responses to violence against women and children."

Rassool believes that part of the solution is making justice and court procedures more transparent so that victims, especially women, are better able to navigate the system.

“The show will focus less on the abuser and more on the justice system and mechanisms that exist to prevent and respond to different types of violence,” says Rassool. “I’ve found that people don’t know anything about the justice system until they have to engage with it. And when they do, ineffective service delivery and misinformation often provides secondary trauma to women who are already battling and broken from abuse.”

The Womxn Show, says Rassool, aims to make court processes and the justice system more transparent so that women are more aware of their rights, the correct procedures that should be followed and are empowered to hold stakeholders accountable when those processes are not followed.

The show airs on Fridays at 8am and Tuesdays at 7pm.

Another forthcoming women's feature on CTV is the documentary film Women Hold Up the Sky. Subtitled 'African women rise for climate justice', the film tells the stories of women affected by coal, oil and mega-infrastructure projects in South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Women Hold Up the Sky explores stories of resistance and communities in active struggle to take back control of their land, their rights, their bodies and their lives.

In South Africa, the women of adjacent communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Somkhele and Fuleni, fight against the encroachments of a coal mine. The mine uses vast water resources to wash coal in preparation for export whilst women walk up to 25 kilometres per day to access drinking water.

says Khiphile Msweli, “Can you see the dust we drink? What are we supposed to do? Imagine what our insides must be like? No good comes from the mine.” In Uganda, land-grabbings and forced removal of thousands of people to make way for oil exploration has left communities in despair yet determined to rise up to defend their land and livelihoods. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s US$80 billion Inga hydropower mega-dam project has already displaced many people. The Grand Inga, the world’s largest hydropower scheme, promises a power grid across Africa that will fuel the continent’s industrial economic development vision all at the expense of poor communities.

Follow the journeys of these activist women as they fight for voice, build inspiring solidarity and take action in the face of violent repression. The film will air on CTV in April.


The Scars Behind My Make-up is a talk show aiming to raise awareness about women abuse by creating a platform for abuse survivors to voice out what they experienced and conquered to empower other women out there who might be
enduring any form of abuse.

As the producers note, "Women both young and old fall victim to abuse and many find themselves hiding their tears, hurt, anger and insecurities. Sometimes such women carry themselves with so much grace and beauty that no one can even tell what they carry beyond how they look, creating a facade in order to blend-in with the those around them while underneath are the cries of a bruised soul."

The aim of show is to inspire, motivate and encourage women who suffer any form of abuse and are too afraid to open up about the issues they are facing. The series, produced by an NGO called Women Inspired, will help raise awareness not only for victims but also to send a strong warning to perpetrators or potential perpetrators. It advocates for a change of attitude towards women in our societies and communities. 

The Scars Behind my Makeup starts airing on Monday May 18 at 6.30pm, and repeats on Sundays at 9pm.

Cape Town TV