The City of Cape Town has launched a campaign devised by human connections agency, HelloFCB+, to build empathy for those who have contracted COVID-19 and encourage the communities in which they live and work to stop stigmatising them.
The campaign, My COVID-19 Dairy, showcases Vuyokazi Nqayi, a 35-year-old mother of two from Langa, Cape Town. Every day, she films a short video in which she shares her feelings, symptoms, fears and how she appreciates the support and kindness she is receiving from the online community. Heart FM has also joined the campaign, doing daily interviews with Vuyokazi.
The key insight informing the campaign is that, as COVID-19 cases increase at a rapid rate, it’s easy to forget that behind the numbers, statistics, and graphs, are family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones – all of whom need care and support over this time.
“Stigmas are discrimination of a group of people or a place, arising due to a lack of knowledge and awareness. As humans become ‘COVID-19 cases’, many patients and their family members are being ostracised by society”, said HelloFCB+’s creative team, Zodwa Gunuza and Chane Keyser.
“We felt that by letting the residents of Cape Town build a closeness to someone suffering from the virus, understanding their daily struggles and learning more about COVID-19 through them, it would build empathy that would lead to less stigmatisation
“These daily diary updates are proving that it’s far easier to stigmatise when those infected appear as statistics, but far harder when you form an emotional connection with someone suffering from the virus.”
Director of Communications for the City of Cape Town, Priya Reddy, added that the project is both challenging and unpredictable.
“We had many a conversation with Vuyokazi to ensure she was up to it. She, like us, wants to build awareness and education around the virus and the effects of stigmatisation, reminding our residents that the COVID-19 statistics are actually human beings who deserve compassion and kindness,” Reddy said.
Follow #MyCovid19Diary on Facebook and Twitter as Vuyokazi shares her daily diary entries and tune into Heart FM weekdays between 9:00 and 12:00 for live discussions between Vuyo and morning show host, Suga.