Poetry campaign targets violence against women

Kelly Baloyi shows off some of the poems she has written for #16Days16Poets campaign. Her father, Happy Baloyi, is seated next to her.

A young Kraaifontein woman has started a poetry campaign to fight violence against women.

Kelly Baloyi, 22, of Peerless Park, said she came up with #16Days16Poets, ahead of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, after noticing how rife abuse was in Kraaifontein.

“I decided to share the idea on social media and invited people, regardless of race, to come on board and write a poem relating to 16 Days of Activism. The poem must be one minute long and each day we will load one of them on social media from 25 November till 10 December,” said Ms Baloyi.

She described the campaign as an opportunity for people to express themselves.

“I need those poems that have never been published. I want people to be themselves. This is a platform for people to share their opinions and demonstrate their creativity.”

She said people could write in whatever language they felt most comfortable expressing themselves in.

“People can write about their experiences or maybe write in support of the victims,” she said.

Ms Baloyi is a fourth-year international studies student at Stellenbosch University and regards American poet Maya Angelou as her role model.

“I was born to be a leader. I don’t sit down and wait for another person to serve me,” she said.

She has held leadership positions at school, served on the Cape Town Junior City Council and given motivational talks at high schools.

“I always have passion to work for my community,” she said.

She said #16Days16Poets was a campaign close to her heart. “I like writing, I like expressing myself. So, I need other people to come on board particularly learners from high schools, but there is no age restriction, everyone is welcome.”

Her father, Happy Baloyi, described her as brilliant and a go-getter.

“She is full of energy and someone who wants to change the status quo. She is willing to go the extra mile to assist young people and people in need.”

Call Kelly at 084 241 1546 or email baloyikelly15@gmail.com to take part in the campaign.