As a part of the U.S. Mission to South Africa’s support of South Africa’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence, the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg has awarded the National Children’s Theatre (NCT) a grant to sponsor the tour of the stage production “A Short Cut to a Short Life!” The play addresses the tremendous risks young women face in “sugar daddy” relationships. Not only does the play illustrate the long-term negative effects of these relationships, which contribute to the HIV infection rate among young women, but it helps young people reflect on positive options for future life success.
The play will tour to schools in Soweto, Diepsloot, Alexandra, Cosmo City, Mamelodi, Tembisa, Sebokeng, Orange Farm and Parktown, Johannesburg. In addition to the school performances, members of the cast will lead discussions with the students to help them fully understand the issues raised in the performances and the challenges they represent.
The National Children’s Theatre (NCT) CEO Moira Katz said, “We thank the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg for supporting a tour of “A Short Cut to a Short Life!” to area schools. There is great value in educating young girls that ‘sugar daddy’ relationships with older men can leave them scarred for life. Through storytelling, this play shows that the glamour of having a ‘sugar daddy’ does not last and the results of such relationships are often abandonment by the ‘blessers,’ HIV infection, pregnancy, missed educational opportunities, and estrangement from family and community.”
U.S. Consul General in Johannesburg Mike McCarthy praised NCT’s efforts and reaffirmed the U.S. Mission’s commitment to partnering with South African organizations to support global health and anti-gender-based violence initiatives. “It is imperative,” he said, “that we continually seek new and creative ways to ensure that young men and women have the information they need to make life choices that keep them healthy and safe. I am delighted we have an opportunity to join the National Children’s Theatre in utilizing the arts to communicate critical and potentially life-saving information to those who need it most.”