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Guys, We Can Do Better!

The ongoing acts of violence against women and children in South Africa have reached an unacceptable level and should be condemned with the strongest possible action. 

As men, we can do much better by not keeping quiet and ensuring that we don’t create victims through our own actions. The social media hashtags will trend for a day or two and then all will be forgotten. Before you know it, there will be another uproar when these heartless excuses of human beings resurface in our midst. I may not have the answers to all the questions that come to mind, but surely, something has to be done to end these barbaric acts against our innocent and defenceless children, sisters and mothers. Tougher action has to be taken against anyone proved to have had a hand in violating those of the feminine side. A serious and regular effort has to be entrenched into our heads as a constant reminder to do our individual best to create a better environment for our women and children. Every man wants their own girl child to walk the streets freely, without fearing for their lives, but the same men go out to cause harm to the same children and women, who depend on them for safety. It is both sickening and senseless. 

We can’t keep applying the same systems that fail to yield good results and continue to hope for things to change. It is also not enough to turn a blind eye to the abuse and violation of the opposite sex. The silent are perpetrators and are equally guilty of the crime. If you keep quiet, you’ve already decided to take a side and therefore are endorsing the violent act. You are therefore an accomplice. Yes, Soccer Laduma is a football publication and you surely expect to read football-related content in this platform. However, this publication is more important than that just catering for football. To widen the message and send out an SOS, we have to use all the available resources to make a clarion call on all responsible men out there to do all they can to ensure the safety of our women and children. Before we are about football, we are about families and loved ones, communities and, therefore, what hurts the next person hurts you. Just because it hasn’t happened to your child or someone you know doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen or it won’t ever happen. This scourge needs everyone’s effort in order to ensure we raise better men for the future generations. Real men need to stand up and be counted, spread the message and act in order to guarantee the safety of our women and children. We can do much better than just folding our arms or distancing ourselves from the perpetrators.  

As the sporting community, no movement can ever be bigger than us. If there’s a powerful tool that we can use to change lives and improve our social and economic challenges, it is sport. It doesn’t matter if you go to church, court, taverns, weddings, traditional ceremonies, or any other event you can think of, you will meet more sports people than any other discipline. That’s why it is very important for sports people to stand up against these heartless monsters, and make a difference in their communities in order to safeguard our future generations. Every football club has structures in our communities and that’s where football can play a major role in influencing a change of mindset by encouraging all our members to become role models and set an example for the younger generations. That’s when the ground forces can start leading the revolution by first showing love and respect to their own sons, lead them by example, their wives, kids and partners, fellow female supporters and everyone around them. That’s the way we can add value and a meaningful contribution towards improving the treatment meted out to our women and children. We all have a role to play and sport can be the most effective tool to spread the word. Enough is enough and therefore we, football fanatics, have to use the game and sport we love to change lives by being good examples and ensuring the safety of our women and children, be it at the stadium or in communities. 

We need to raise better men, responsible men who will take it upon themselves to protect our women and children. To do that, we have to be better men and do whatever it takes to encourage one another to look at our females positively. The high level of crimes and violence could be minimised by more love and respect in our communities. Once again, if there’s one community that can effectively influence change, it is the sports community, with football in the forefront. Let’s do our best to curb this cruel violation of our females. 

Cheers,

VeeJay 

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