UKZN’s Buya Africa Student Cultural Organisation (BASCO) hosted a gender-based violence (GBV) seminar in Pietermaritzburg to mark Women’s month.

Speakers included UKZN linguistics academic, Mr Nelson Ntshangase; Life Bible Church’s Pastor Sabelo Manyathi; the SRC’s Mr Xola Mehlomakulu, and Mr Ishe Mupezeni of UKZN’s Men’s Forum.

The speakers emphasised the importance of admitting to problems of GBV in our communities and suggested that one of the ways of dealing with the problem is teaching young men that “men do not lay their hands on women”.

Interim Chairman of BASCO, 26-year-old Mr Njabulo Ntombela, said it is important to discuss issues of GBV. ‘Gender-based violence is an issue that affects us all, directly or indirectly,’ said the LLB student.

‘Ignoring the problems that divide our society means that we are also guilty of a crime equivalent to those that violate our women. Hosting such seminars helps in coming up with solutions to fight against these issues,’ said Ntombela, who is also an ex officio member of the student chapter of the Black Lawyers Association.

BASCO members regularly engage in community outreach programmes, including visiting Westville prison to motivate prisoners to remind them of Ubuntu and visiting the Lamontville Old Age Home to assist the elderly.

For more information on BASCO, they are based at 410 Student Union Building at the Howard College campus or email them at

Words by: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer