Women have been vocal for decades about how the system needs to change. They have challenged legislation, physically protested, mourned when they were killed and maimed by a system that encourages men to oppress and dehumanise them. They have encouraged men to join the struggle, helped them understand that patriarchy and misogyny is not a problem that affects not just men and women. And unlike your favourite thought leaders who are silent until a woman brings up an issue pertaining to women, and only speak to delegitimise the woman’s lived experiences, some men are listening, and doing more than that. Men like Cassper Nyovest are publicly taking a stand, on the side of women.
Cassper wouldn’t particularly call himself a ‘role model’. A rapper in an industry that is often accused of sexualising women for material gain, Nyovest has often had to separate himself from the bad rep his industry has. But when Karabo Mokoena, a 22 year old South African woman was brutally murdered and burned beyond recognition by her boyfriend after documented physical abuse, Nyovest says he could no longer afford to sit on the sidelines of the discussions around the horrifying epidemic of domestic violence that has become the reality in South Africa. He joined hundreds of other ordinary men who publicly protested the country’s astronomical rates of femicide and publicly implored others to physically join the fight.
Cassper Nyovest is just one man, but that is usually all it takes, one man in a position of influence (Nyovest has single handedly sold out stadiums in SA) to take a stand on the side of the women and speak with them instead of for them or against them.
Perhaps its time the rest of us who sit on the fence, and ‘quietly’ help only those who we personally interact with can take a cue.