By Jung Lee
Siwe is not handing out raffle tickets or free vouchers or some sort. The leaflet reads,
“I’m Precious to Jesus, please treat me as I am.
You can make a difference in my life.
The difference you make in me will shape my life
and that is the future of South Africa you and I will live in.
If I’m mistreated, beaten or raped, our South Africa will be mistreated, beaten and raped.
Please love me as Jesus would
and I want you to know that you are also Precious to Jesus”
Community members and children came out singing toyi Toyi songs. Toyi Toyi is a South African dance that is used to intimidate during political protests. Many came out waiving banners and posters saying “Stop to rape, our rights and justice.” The community leaders came to us asking, “What are we going to do?” Since there were many incidents of rape, it was understandable that the crowd was angry and empowering victims meant helping them to fight back and to punish the perpetrators.
We sat everyone down and asked them.
“If someone was coming to rape or hurt you and you held up the sign you have in your hand now, would that person stop?”
“…No!” they shouted after a short pause.
“Then why do you waste your time with something that doesn’t work?”
I continued, “The reason they are hurting you is that they do not know how precious you are to Jesus. Also, they don’t know that they too are precious to Jesus when they do such things. Today, we are not looking for the people who raped us, but the good people who would stand up together with us. Let’s sing the songs of love instead of singing hatred.”
This is the leaflet that started RMA (Righteous Men Assembly) one year and a half ago. With help of friends from Vancouver Korean Presbyterian Church, we were able to print 20,000 leaflets along with glow in the dark bracelets (still in delivery). It would be a great time to reintroduce the leaflet and its message to you (in English, of course)
Hello my dear brothers, fathers, and leaders of the community. Our good culture is based on respect for one another and care for the majority rather than only for myself.
However, we have a shameful reputation of being horrible rapists around the world due to an estimated 1,5 million women and children getting raped each year in our land and most incidents of rape happens at home.
Rape causes deep damage to the victims and the prolonged pain and suffering is unimaginable to most of us. The scar stays with the victims just as the marks that we bare for our clans, but the only difference is that rape continually causes shame and anger in victims. We shouldn’t be surprised that our youth are so angry and reckless.
It has been said that ‘All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.’ We are not asking you to call the police on each other or pick up rocks to throw. We must educate other men so every man can understand what kind of suffering the rape is causing to all of us as a society and to the victims, and it is our responsibility to address our youth properly.
You are precious to Jesus. Let’s make it right.
Helen and I have finished the song for I’m Precious to Jesus Campaign. We thank all of our Xhosa friends who participated in composing and recording the song. We hope The Precious Song would reach the hearts of the ones who are out of the reach. We want them to know that Jesus is with them, and under any circumstances, they are precious to Jesus. Please join us in sharing the message with them. “Jesus is with you and we will be with you.”