Duduzile – KZN

Lockdown sparked domestic violence

After the Covid-19 pandemic is over, government must declare gender based violence a national disaster, writes a 12-year-old learner in KwaZulu-Natal.

Each time I try to sleep, I get haunted by this terrible “nightmare” of hearing my mother crying for help inside a closed bedroom, writes Duduzile (not her real name).

Gender based violence against women and children became like another Coronavirus during the lockdown. People forced to stay so many hours indoors together can get to argue over even small things. It is because we are locked down. There is little time to go out except to go shopping and come back indoors. My mother was taken to hospital, not because of Covid-19, but due to an injury.

The lockdown surely taught us that we should learn to stay together and tolerate each other. If we don’t stay together, we happen not to know our likes and dislikes. That causes fighting even over small things. After this Covid-19 pandemic is over, we wish to say goodbye to gender based violence. Couples should work next to each other and stay indoors with each other and their children for a long time. This might help reduce fighting.

So after Covid-19 government must declare gender based violence a national disaster. Rules should be given to everyone about how to live together in peace at home. Let there be money that is donated to help mothers protect themselves against men. Let government promote women and help them to start their own businesses so that they depend little on men.

I think it would be good to train young boys and girls how to live and respect each other as they grow. They should be rules that stop men from beating women.

Covid-19 did not only bring bad things, though, some were good. The thing that was good about the lockdown is that we were helping our families or parents to clean and wash dishes. but I was unhappy that I couldn’t share a smile with my friends. The mask hid my smile! When the mask is no more, I will give the biggest smile ever for a long time!

  • Duduzilie is not the writer’s real name. This is a slightly edited and revised version of her entry to Roving Reporters journalism themed writing competition, Life After Lockdown – The Future We Want. Click here to read more shortlisted entries submitted by various schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. 

For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant 22_Duduzile 




After the Covid-19 pandemic, will everything return to how it was before – or will we change how we live in the future? Will we realise the need to make this world a better place, both for people and for nature?

These are the key questions in Roving Reporters’ journalism-themed writing competition, Life After Covid-19 – The Future We Want, catering the school learners from Grade 7 upwards across the country.

The competition forms part of a broader reporting project supported by Super Save and Media Development and Diversity Agency.

“We are encouraging high school children to document their experiences of the pandemic and reflect on how they would like to see the world change for the better,” said Roving Reporters director Fred Kockott. “Reflection is a first step to change, and this project gives learners a voice and an opportunity to have some agency in how their future unfolds.”

We plan to run the competition through to the end of the school year, with a top entry published every fortnight.

Schools that wish to submit entries should click here to access the entry forms and writing guide to share with learners who wish to take part.

For further information contact Fred Kockott on 083 277 8907 or email fredk@rovingreporters.co.za

Now read: Poet’s take on life after Covid-19: “We fell asleep in one world and woke in another”