Uneven pavements… gravel… pot holes…capstones…stairs. Women who have navigated the streets in high heels will testify just how torturous it can be to walk in their shoes.
Almost every woman with a sense of fashion has a few pairs of stilettos or high heels in her wardrobe.
Women rock stilettos for various reasons. As well as making them look slimmer, stilettos make them appear taller than they are. Perhaps, more importantly, they believe that stilettos make them sexier and more attractive.
But how often have you seen their pained expressions as they struggle to keep up with fashion, plodding the pavements in their high heels?
The pain of stilettos. This is perhaps the reason the Cancer Association has chosen to use the annual three kilometer Stiletto Walk to raise awareness about cancer.
The walk, scheduled for November 1, will be hosted by Rail Park Mall.
Although the bruising effects of stilettos are nothing compared to the ravages of cancer itself, the event nonetheless presents an opportunity for women ÔÇô and especially men ÔÇô to show their support by donning the high heels and feel the pain.
As was the case in 2013, the walk will take place between Rail Park Mall and Masa Centre, with Rail Park being the starting and finishing point.
There will be different stalls for health screenings and checks. After the walk, participants will be treated to different fitness activities like yoga, Zumba, and aerobics.
Executive Director of the Cancer Association Botswana (CAB), Sharon Munyoro, says the event attracted just over 150 participants last year. This year, CAB hopes to double that number.
This time around, says Munyoro, CAB is focusing on attracting as many men as possible.
“Out theme is ‘Think pink. Real men wear pink’. We are trying to remind men that they are also vulnerable to breast cancer,” she said.
Munyoro says they are also hoping to hold the event simultaneously in Gaborone and Francistown, provided a considerable number of participants take part in the second city. The fee for participation is P1500 per five people for corporate companies and P250 per person for individuals.
CAB’s mandate is to reduce the impact of cancer in Botswana. Through education, the organization promotes healthy lifestyles and early detection of cancer.
It provides free counseling and support to those affected.
The organisation works in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health and Gaborone branch Youth Volunteers.
CAB commemorates World Cancer Day, International Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Movember (Male Cancer Awareness Month) with various fundraising and advocacy activities such as the Stiletto Walk, Shavathon and 5-a-side soccer tournament.
The last walk that took place in 2014 commenced at the Rail Park to Masa Centre at the heart of Central Business District and finished back at Rail Park. The total distance covered was approximately two kilometers.
Participants swapped their stilettos for their more comfortable sneakers and got to stretch their muscles in a Zumba session.
Gaborone Youth volunteers administered first aid. The Youth volunteers have built a working relationship with CAB to engage in joint efforts and reach a larger audience.