Gender based violence is still an everyday issue in this country and according to the country’s GBV stats, three women are killed every day at the hands of their partners. Tase Jack has decided to use his storytelling skills to create powerful designs.
The latest case is that of an Eastern Cape woman who was shot dead by her husband inside a police station while trying to open a case of domestic violence. Although women and children are more vulnerable, they are not the only ones who experience GBV. Men get attacked, too.
Cape Town designer Masimzukise Jack, also known as Tase Jack, was attacked in December last year when he visited his nephew at initiation school.
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.”
To deal with the trauma, he started telling his story and speaking out against gender-based violence and he used his creativity to share his message, designing cushions, totes, T-shirts and other products to call out any form of abuse.
Most of his products carry a powerful message such as “ndixoleleni” which means “forgive me”. He has received support from local celebrities like radio personality Unathi Msengana and actress Lusanda Mbane. Now if this is not strength, we don’t know what is.
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Main Image: National Arts Festival