'I was powerless to do anything about it'

Makazole Mapimpi says he witnessed first-hand the effects of gender-based violence while growing up in Tsholomnqa.

On Mandela Day, 18 July, the Sharks and Springbok wing launched his 21-day campaign #Mapimpi67, which aims to help end gender-based violence in South Africa.

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Too many women and children in South Africa are being brutally assaulted and are dying at the hands of men every day. As men we need to play our part to end Gender Based Violence & femicide in our country. Join me on the #mapimpi67 campaign powered by @brandsouthafrica , over 21 days by uploading a video & committing to how you will affect change in your environment to create a safe space for women and children. Tag me and use the hashtag #mapimpi67 and #playyourpart and I will be sharing these on my social media accounts to raise awareness around this issue. @unorthodox_pr #mapimpi67 #playyourpart #endgbv #enoughisenough #nelsonmandeladay #workbyunorthodox

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In a column for Sport24 on Monday, Mapimpi said he had experienced gender-based violence in his family, with his sisters and cousins being abused by men.

'When I was growing up, there was no senior male figure in our family,' he explained. 'After my brother died, I was the only man in my family and I was young as well. I was powerless to do anything about it, and I couldn't even speak up or voice my opinion on how wrong it was.

'There were so many things you witnessed where I lived and a lot of boys who saw these things grew up to be men who thought it was right to punish a woman by striking her – which is absolutely wrong.

'As you become older, you need to unlearn all those things you saw growing up and to understand those weren't the best examples of how to be a man.

'Most people know how to differentiate between right and wrong. For me, it was clear early on this definitely was not something a man needs to do and I took it upon myself, now that I have a voice that people will pay attention to, to influence and teach others the same thing.'

Mapimpi urged South African men to stand up against gender-based violence.

'At the end of the day, as a man, your role is to take care of your family and to look after people in your community,' he added.

'I decided to make the call to all men in the country to love themselves, to unite against gender-based violence and to do the right thing and do right by women.'

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Photo: Steve Haag/Hollywoodbets