WINDHOEK- ‘Corrective’ rape is the theme of Magda, the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO)’s new dance piece.
The OYO dance troupe celebrates this month one year of full-time work and commissions.
It also celebrates its second internship programme whereby young dancers from abroad come and work with our locally-acclaimed dance troupe.
Guests this year are Claire Hardy, from Canada, Marie Theres Zechiel, from Germany and Rhianne Cooper, from the United Kingdom (UK).
They will premiere Magda, alongside OYO dancers Dennis !Kharuchab, Vetunjona Uarije, El-Juanita Philander, Jessica Augustus and Chris Jacobs, at the Goethe Centre on Wednesday 22 August at 19h15.
‘We choose to talk about ‘corrective’ rape as we feel it’s an extremely worrying new phenomenon’, explains OYO’s director and choreographer Philippe Talavera.’
How can rape ever be corrective? This phrase, ‘corrective’ rape, is a total non-sense, undermining years of work to make people understand that rape is a crime.
Do people really believe you could ‘correct’ homosexuality with rape? And where would it stop?
Could you ‘correct’ a wife cheating on you by raping her? There is nothing like ‘corrective’ rape. Rape is a crime, full stop. Individuals or groups raping lesbians will be sentenced as any other rapists.’
The piece follows the story of Magda, a 17-years old woman who falls in love with another woman.
When her community discovers the affairs, the drama unfolds. ‘We didn’t want to make the story stereotyped’, explains Talavera. ‘We looked at the rapist, his motivation, and how his acts also changed his life’.
Using physical theatre techniques, the 15-minutes long piece is challenging ‘not the usual OYO piece with a happy ending, but hopefully a piece that will make the audience reflect.’
Entrance at Goethe Centre is free of charge. For those who cannot attend in the evening, the final dress rehearsal, also on 22 August at the Goethe Centre, at 1.15 pm, will also be opened to the public. The Goethe Centre is located Fidel Castro Street 1-5. For more information, contact OYO at 061-254915.
A worrying growing phenomenon in Southern Africa: ‘corrective’ rape. ‘Corrective’ rapes in Namibia happen when men, either as individuals or in groups, attack and rape lesbian women with the aim of ‘correcting’ them, or setting them ‘straight’.
It is estimated that at least 500 lesbians become victim of corrective rape each year in South Africa.
Cases of 13 years old girls being raped to be ‘corrected’ because it was feared they would become lesbians have been reported.
Much less information is available in Namibia, but according to Florence /Khaxas, director of the Young Feminists Movement of Namibia, or Y-Fem.,
‘In many passing conversations, men have been heard saying that all lesbians need is a ‘good man’ to bring them back to their senses’.