TRURO - It may not have been performed in the English language, but the message yesterday morning at Truro Junior High School was still the same.
Students at the school, many of whom were wearing pink, were treated to a performance by women from Zimbabwe as part of Stand Up Against Bullying Day.
"I think this had more of an impact," Casey Power, a 14-year-old Grade 9 student, said of the performance by Intombi Zomqangala. "Over the last couple of years, we'd have assemblies with people talking and we made a peace sign with the students. A lot of people would kind of zone out but they really couldn't with this."
The performance by four women - Sandra Ndebele, Titibele Phiri, Petronella Sibauda and Thandeka Dhlana - was derived from their show ‘Bhowesa Nkazana,' which translates to ‘You Go, Girl!'
Through song and dance, the performers spoke of the daily life of women in Zimbabwe, where water is scarce and girls must learn to fetch and carry drinking water, household chores and the rituals of womanhood.
One particular scene touched on the theme of the day - bullying.
"Two girls were throwing water on each other," said Maggy Somers, 14, also in Grade 9.
Through communication back and forth, the two girls - Sibauda and Dhlana - were able to work through their problem.
"I think the students will get the message through the performance," said Casey.
"I think it caught more of the students' attentions than other assemblies," added Maggy.
In the end, Sibauda wiped off the water she threw on Dhlana and the girls finished with a number of songs and dances.
Throughout the performance, students clapped and cheered for the performers, and joined in clapping when the four women drummed together.
Intombi Zomqangala was able to make it to the junior high school after being in Nova Scotia for the 2012 Atlantic Fringe Festival that ended this past weekend.
Using song, drama and dance, the women see their work as an advocacy tool encouraging women to stand up to abuse, oppression and marginalization.
Bhowesa Nkazana also speaks of the history of women in Zimbabwe, from ancient traditions, Western influence and self-determination through women mutually supporting one another.
Students at other schools throughout the county were encouraged to also wear pink in support of Stand Up Against Bullying Day, and the Willow Street Community Credit Union celebrated the day as well.
Tips to help stop bullying:
- Make it clear to your friends that you won't be involved in bullying behaviour.
- Never stand by and watch or encourage bullying behaviour.
- Do not harass, tease or spread gossip about others. This includes on social networking sites and never forward messages or photos that are offensive.
- Report the bully to someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent.
- For more tips visit, www.KidsHelpPhone.ca or call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.