An HIV/Aids Awareness campaign kicked off in the Kruger National Park on February 21, with a weeklong campaign aimed at reaching every staff member and contract worker in the 2-million hectare Park. The campaign will take the form of a “roadshow” with performances by the cast of SABC’s topical comedy show “Emzini We Zinsizwa” at all of the KNP’s major camps.
The cast of “Emzini We Zinsizwa” (literally translated as “Men’s Hostel”) which, will include Ntuthuko Mqwebu, Ronald Mqwebu (the character Mkhize), Jerry Phele (the character Mufokeng), Jabu Nkosi (the character Chirwale) and Ruth Duduzile Cele (the character Mamgobo or Chakalaka Lady from Hlala Kwa-Bafileyo), will perform live and will discuss issues surrounding HIV/Aids with their audiences by making use of drama and music.
This industrial theatre campaign is part of the Park’s overall effort against HIV/Aids, which has included education and awareness campaigns, condom distribution projects and workshops. “We have a responsibility towards our staff to raise overall awareness about HIV/Aids to our people, as well as a responsibility to give those indirectly and directly affected by the disease the necessary care and support.
The crew from Emzini We Zinsizwa will help us create an atmosphere where we, as an organization, can support our staff properly in this regard,” said Dr Bandile Mkhize, the KNP’s Executive Director. The campaign officially startsed on February 21, 2005 in Punda Maria Main Camp in the Far Northern Region and will work its way down to Skukuza Main Camp in the Southern Region for the last show, which is scheduled for Sunday February 27, 2005 at the Skukuza Soccer Stadium.
There are about 2 200 SANParks employees but with contract workers and other organizations operating in the Park, which include the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, First National Bank, Postal Services, Nature’s Group, Tiger’s Eye and other concessionaires, the total number is boosted to well over 3 000. This number excludes family members.