Just a short 12 months ago, Springbok Rugby star Makazole Mapimpi’s name was on everyone’s lips in South Africa. However, overlooked in the euphoria of the time, was his real heroism. Importantly, this man took the time to remember and honour a young woman, Nene. Furthermore, this hero, hailing from Tsholomnqa, a rural area and village in the Mdantsane District of the Eastern Cape is one of the first South African celebrities to show he cares about South African femicide.
Makazole Mapimpi is a hero
Makazole Mapimpi is a hero to South Africa’s women. Sadly, in August 2019, Uyinene Mrwetyana or Nene as her family called her, was killed in a Cape Town post office. Evidently, she fought hard but Luyanda Botha overpowered, raped and killed her. Importantly, Nene is one of many South African women murdered and at that time, women protested in the streets. Additionally, the silence from too many South African men continues to be deafening.
But, Makazole Mapimpi could not stay silent. Following Nene’s death, he inked “RIP Nene” on his wrist band. Knowing, if he scores a try, the camera will focus on him briefly, when he scored, he flashed his wrist band and female hearts rejoiced. Finally, a prominent South African man took a stand against femicide.
But, that’s not all: #Mapimpi67
Mapimpi knows a wristband is not enough. Mindfully, he Mtawarira and Siya Kolisi are joining ranks to fight for women in South Africa. Nationally, rugby is an obsession and many little South African boys want to grow up to be a Springbok. Indeed, the green and gold jersey is symbolic of the ultimate South African male and these men are determined to be role models in protecting women.
According to Daily Maverick, Mapimpi says, “We know that young people, and especially young men, look up to us as Springboks. We’ve received a lot of attention since South Africa won the World Cup. We have a responsibility to set the right example.” Continuing, Mapimpi expressed how deeply Nene’s death affected him. Realising, as a Springbok, he can make a difference he is speaking out against Gender-Based Violence.
Interestingly, more and more sportsmen are joining him in speaking out. Finally, South African women have real men siding with them. Finally, South African men have role models who cherish women.
Makazole Mapimpi – you Sir, are a real man and a national hero, with or without your rugby ball.
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