Media darling Bonang Matheba is celebrating Women’s Month in style by launching an exciting project to help combat the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa.
Queen B has partnered with the world-class technology arm of Cartrack, which is a listed company on the JSE, to launch the B-Safe app, an emergency response project.
Although she has not confirmed the pricing structure and when it will be available to users, the 33-year-old TV personality and entrepreneur was excited to talk about her latest project. It comes at a time when gender-based violence is in the spotlight again following a surge in the murder of women.
On Friday, during the release of the latest crime statistics, Police Minister Bheki Cele said awareness campaigns on gender-based violence and femicide needed to be intensified as the numbers keep on rising.
Matheba this week said: “I know so many women who have been affected by this [gender-based violence] in some way, shape or form. I have chosen not to simply respond vocally on social media, but rather to actively do something on the ground that can make a meaningful difference.
“I have opted to channel my energy into using technology to stem this wave of violence,” she told City Press. Matheba said she feels this will be a great app, “because mobile phones play such a prominent role in our lives, so the most meaningful option would be to have an app”.
The app can be downloaded by anyone at any time, meaning “help is literally at your fingertips”, she said. “Once an emergency is activated on your phone, a response unit in your area will come to your assistance.
“If you are in harm’s way, a vigorous shake of your phone or pressing the alert button in the app will activate a response vehicle and notify them of your location.”
Matheba has been hard at work during the lockdown. Yesterday, she kicked off Women’s Month with the first episode of a two-part special – A Very Bonang Year – which premiered on SABC1 last night.
The series, which has been the talk of the town since its announcement last month, features special guests. It includes footage that has not been seen before as Matheba balances her life and family with her career.
In the first episode, viewers got a glimpse of her exploring overseas destinations – from Prague to Manchester and London to Los Angeles. Her fans also witnessed her travelling to New York City with her manager, Davin Phillips, to work on a new TV show idea with Brian Corso of Red Button Films.
She also goes house-hunting for a place to rent with her friend Oros, and even sheds a tear after viewing special unit.
From New York, Matheba documents her trip to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, with her sidekick – her cousin Tebogo “PinkyGirl” Mekgwe – when she wins a global award. But first, she stops over in London for a shoot with Afrobeats star D’banj before attending the Manchester Film Festival.
Back in Johannesburg, she is reunited with her long-time friend Somizi Mhlongo, and the crew joins Matheba for the launch of her very own luxury beverage, The House of BNG – her biggest career move so far.
Like many of us, the lockdown has been a time to reflect for the globe-trotting Matheba, who said she had learnt that she needed to be prepared for anything in life.
“I have proven to myself that I have the ability to reinvent, change direction, be creative and continue to explore new avenues and ways of working,” she said.
B-Safe is the second app she has launched – in 2017, she partnered with Cell C on an app that gave her fans a window into “Queen B’s World”. On the app, they could catch up with her personal life, watch videos and ask questions.