Model to start self-defence classes

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Mamohlakola Letuka

THABELO Ngatane, who was recently crowned the Face of Lesotho, said she will next month embark onto a self- defense campaign to equip women to stop gender-based violence.

The campaign will add on to other stop gender-based violence campaigns by different entities which has been ongoing from different organisations through the country.

Apart from physical violations, gender-based violence can also be psychological or verbal while sexual violence is one of the most prevalent in Lesotho.

Ngatane said women have to be empowered to take control of their lives and stop playing victim.

“We are taking back our power through these classes,” Ngatane said.

“We are abused because our perpetrators feel we are vulnerable but with self-defense we stand a fighting chance.”

She said the campaign was being spearheaded by her modelling agency, Tgee Modeling Agency and talks are underway to engage local martial artistes to assist in the initiative. She the scope of work would be determined by the response from women in the country’s 10 districts although they would start with Maseru.

She said although the classes would not completely stop abuse, they would be critical to help women stand their ground and fight off the abuser.

She also added that women are abused daily but they fail to speak out about the violations so there was a need to host a campaign where they would talk to relevant people and unite in the fight to stop marginalisation of women in the communities.

“We need to work together as ladies and stop fighting and laughing each other,” she said.

The model, who will represent the country at the Face of Beauty International, said it is easier to attack an individual than it is to attack a group so women have to unite.

She said that most abusers disregard the civil rights of a woman and view them as powerless and they are underestimated.

“If women have a platform to share ideas and actually come together to conceptualise them then they would develop,” Ngatane said.

“Most women are abused by people who should protect them like lovers and fathers and their power is underestimated. I believe we are not powerless we are actually powerful and we deserve to be seen as such but we have to unite.”

The 18 year-old model was crowned the Face of Lesotho 2018 winner at a ceremony which was held at Leribe English Medium School in Hlotse last month.

Ngatane succeeded Michelle Tau who was last year in India crowned the Face of Beauty International second runner up. The new queen will represent Lesotho at the Face of Beauty International which will be held in the Philippines later this year.

The classes will add on to the current tasks of touring the country with non-governmental organisation, Jhpiego, which is in a drive to promote the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis by people who are at a high risk of HIV infection.

She said she would use her status to ensure that the campaign makes an impact among the youths as they are at a higher risk than any other age group due to their shunning of medical attention.

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