Several male taxi drivers in the Free State province are showing solidarity with the campaign against gender-based violence by dressing up as women.
One of the drivers, Mosala Mabeleng, shared photos of himself and his colleagues on Facebook last week.
In the photos, the drivers are seen proudly donning wigs, dresses, stockings and high heels. Some even had lipstick on.
In his Facebook post accompanying the pictures, Mabeleng wrote, “One of my colleagues asked me if I don’t feel ashamed of the way that I looked. No, I don’t feel ashamed.
“The only shame I’m feeling is brought by the violent activities done by my fellow men on our women. This has to stop; enough is enough. Rele driver tsa straight-line rere ho lekane. #notinmyname.”
The gesture has warmed the hearts of thousands of South Africans on social media at a time when issues of gender-based violence are firmly in the national discourse.
Mabeleng’s post has garnered more than 1,500 reactions, a similar number of shares, and hundreds of appreciative comments so far.
South Africans react
Commenters, especially women, expressed gratitude to Mabeleng and his colleagues for their initiative.
Sthembile Ahadi Zondo wrote, “Wow I had to search and comment on this. The universe is watching; as a woman I truly appreciate this – thank you and your fellow colleagues.
“This is beyond just any thinking but an act of bravery. We truly appreciate this. May God bless you guys with more wisdom and courage. Words can’t say enough, siyabonga.”
Mpumi Nkabinde added, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot express the gratitude I have for your amazing efforts.
“I hope and wish that more men can follow in your footsteps and that the upcoming generations are inspired by this to be better and greater men that protect all women and children, I salute you.”
“Thank you for creating awareness guys and shining the spotlight on gender-based violence issues; this is much appreciated,” wrote Mocchachino Ochi.