Witsies were surprised and curious to see red Kony 2012 posters covering campus when they arrived yesterday morning.
The flyers formed part of a collaboration between Stop Kony SA and Model IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) who aimed to raise awareness for the Kony 2012 campaign. The original campaign was started by charity organisation Invisible Children, to create awareness about the Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in central Africa the hopes that he could be arrested for his crimes by the end of this year.
The posters were a part of a worldwide campaign to “Cover the Night” on the 20th of April, especially among the youth.
SA Stop Kony leader Giancarlo Agrizzi, Wits second year International Relations (IR) student, spoke to Wits Vuvuzela before the event. Agrizzi had met Invisible Children leader Jason Russell in the US who then personally motivated him.
“I would say that they have been successful, I mean, the AU sending 5 000 troops is quite a major achievement for anyone … We hope they will be even more successful after the 20th of April,” said Agrizzi.
5 000 posters were put up all over Wits, including the East-West tunnel, the bridge and Central Block.
Esther Caddy, president of IBSA and vice-president Chantelle Holthuis, said they hoped to get Wits students motivated to find out more about the campaign.
“The students in South Africa hadn’t really taken part in Kony 2012 and they weren’t aware what it meant,” said Holthuis, “so we wanted to make an impact in our immediate environment.”
In reaction to the criticism the campaign has received, Caddy responded, “It’s not calling for pro-war activism, it’s calling more for global awareness and for global action.”
“It was needed, and what I like most about this campaign is that it is youth empowered,” explained Bambi Stewart, first year IR student and team leader for the night,
When Wits Vuvuzela asked Stewart if she thought the campaign would succeed in Kony’s arrest by the end of the year, she said “I think the campaign will be successful in creating awareness, but I’m not too sure about him being arrested.”
Photos by Akinoluwa Oyedele and Lisa Golden