In 2017, then 15-year-old Jane Henry decided to start providing menstrual products to women affected by period poverty, subsequently founding Once-A-Month, a bank that distributes sanitary products to women in need across South Africa.
Also launched in 2017, with promoting Drum & Bass culture in South Africa as their driving force, Propaganda formed and threw what very quickly became the biggest D&B party in the country, hosted at Carfax in Johannesburg. After a series of successful live streams, Propaganda decided it was time to launch their eponymous label, showcasing local talent – on mixes and compilations – without putting anyone at risk by hosting live events.
Ahead of the release of their first compilation album, The Frontliners Vol.1, the Propaganda peeps – all heterosexual men – decided to form a partnership with, and donate a portion of their profits to, Once-A-Month, “putting the men in menstruation” in an effort to not only help out financially, but to educate men (and women) all across the country about womanhood.
“With all the hardship women go through locally, Once-A-Month provides education and products that all women need and frankly should never go without,” explains Propaganda co-founder, stage designer and D&B DJ, Dino Francisco.
“As a society, we are discussing things that have been wrongly stigmatised in the past. We do, however, still have a very long way to go. Education is key, and we are in a fortunate position as DJs and producers where we are listened to. It is our hope that our contribution can take some of the strain off of OAM and in turn the women of our country,” Francisco further elaborates.
With his ears constantly piqued in search of new local talent, Francisco confidently reckons that 2020 was a renaissance period for music as a whole, that many artists have had more time to focus on honing their craft, and that 2021 will be the year that brings these artists to the fore to celebrate their talent.
“We have finalised our release schedule for the label up until July and we have some big names, as well as some not so well known artists, putting out some serious tunes. For 2021 our goal is to release one EP per month, with a Frontliners Vol.2 album at the end of the year. We have already discovered some incredible talent that we are super excited to have on our label,” he speaks excitedly of their upcoming releases.
Of their involvement with Once-A-Month Dino Francisco reasons and concludes, “We hope that our contributions will be enough to take a little stress off of their team. They are doing some incredible work, and we hope that everyone reading this and listening to the compilation takes the time to check out their website and donate directly if it is within their means.”