GBV is not only against women. Image via Adobe Stock

Cape Town fashion designer creates line to speak out against GBV

Gender-based violence (GBV) is sadly a pertinent issue in South Africa with three women killed every day at the hands of their partners, according to the country’s stats.


GBV is not only against women. Image via Adobe Stock

However, it’s not only women that are at the receiving end of GBV.

After a brutal attack in December last year, Cape Town designer Masimzukise Jack used his creativity to channel his trauma into something positive and began designing a line of cushions, totes, T-shirts, and other products to speak out against abuse and gender-based violence.

Eastern Cape-born Masimzukise Jack was violently attacked and almost beaten to death because of his sexuality when he visited his nephew at initiation school last year.

Using social media to relay his traumatic experience, Jack said that when he was beaten up because he disagreed with certain things happening at the initiation and he was told he had no right to speak on the “manly things” because he was gay.

Speaking on the abuse he endured, Jack said, “During that entire time, I blamed and questioned myself. Apparently, as a gay man, I have no right to speak on the ’manly things’ that happen at the mountain, even when they are wrong. I was supposed to keep quiet, let my nephew continue being mistreated, and know my place.

“It’s really sad that because I am gay, I apparently cannot speak out when I see our culture being disrespected by those so-called ’men’ who abuse our little brothers. Those who introduce them to drugs and violence instead of grooming them to be value-adding citizens in society.”

Using creativity to speak out against GBV

To deal with the trauma, Jack began to tell his story and speak out against gender-based violence by creating a clothing line that highlighted the wrongs of GBV and called out any form of abuse.

His line titled “Die Hard” includes designer T-shirts, totes, cushions, and other products with powerful messages like “ndixoleleni” which means “forgive me” and “by the grace of God I survived.”

Masimzukise Jack has received support from the social media community, as well as local celebrities like actress Lusanda Mbane and radio personality Unathi Msengana.