Brian Baloyi has called on South African men to respect women and put an end to the gender-based violence ‘pandemic’ in the country.
The three-month lockdown brought upon by COVID-19 has resulted in a sharp increase in domestic violence against women, resulting in in President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring that the country is currently fighting two pandemics.
Baloyi, speaking during a Men Against Gender-Based Violence conference organised by Ti’ 425, has first-hand experience of the problem, and believes the answer lies in addressing the overall problem of violence in the country.
“I keep saying to men that sometimes we use these things as an excuse that I grew up seeing this violence that’s why I am doing it,” the former Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper said.
“With me, the difference is, when I looked at myself as a young man I made a vow that I will never raise a hand to a woman. I can tell you that to this day, I have never raised a hand to a woman. From when we started dating in the township, you would see people beat up girls and I have never done that. That’s the vow I made.
“I will never want to be like that man because I know the pain. Not only the pain that I had suffered, but the pain that my mom suffered. I never wanted to see another woman go through that pain.”
Baloyi added: “For me when it comes to men and boys, it’s not about having to teach them not to raise their hands on a woman. For me, it’s not to be violent at all. If we say don’t raise a hand to a woman, it means we are saying you can be violent to one another.
“Our generation, we have to make a stand and say what kind of world we want our kids to live in. Are we just going to live like this and let it rot and become worse or do we want to fix it? For me, I want to see us coming with solutions. How do we deal with the problem of these men that are going out and killing our sisters, mothers and our grandparents? We need to come up with solutions and act on them.”