New project aims to bring sexual health education to the youth in social media platforms they engage with the most.

Wits Drama For Life (DFL), in partnership with the Charlize Theron African Outreach Programme (CTAOP), launched the Knowledge Unzipped digital platform on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

The online project uses theatre performances to initiate and facilitate conversations about consent, gender expectations, the LGBTQI+ community, bodily autonomy and HIV, through social media platforms.

The content will be posted and shared on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok. It will also have a Spotify playlist.

The online platform was launched to address the need for sexual health education, which was interrupted by the pandemic and led to fewer sexual health events being hosted in-person.

The digital platform was launched “to keep Knowledge Unzipped active and [to] engage with the people who need it most, on the spaces that they engage with most,” said Kashifa Adams, a member of the DFL.

“Because of everything that has been happening in the world, we’ve had to rethink how we interact with people,” said Adams.

Although the online platform was launched, the in-person interventions will not stop. Instead, Knowledge Unzipped will be a blended project done both online and through school interventions.

Although the main focus of the project was primary and high schools, DFL also hosted Sex Sports, an event that is held annually on campus to commemorate World Condom Day.

In these games, it was discovered that many students at Wits cannot, or do not know how to use a condom properly.

“We saw the need to go into reses [residences] and see how we can use Unzipped to engage with the information we come with. As much as the program was designed for schools, it was a need in reses,” said Lehlohonolo Dube, a member of DFL.

According to sister Simangele Sitoe from the Wits Campus Health and Wellness Center, many students are open to talking about sexual health, and are well informed on the topic. However, interactive programs like Unzipped remain important, as they further emphasized the issues.


FEATURED IMAGE: DFL members posing with two dildos. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere