For The People

Fight Like a Girl: A Self Defence Master Class

By Noni Dondolo

Linda Seekoei, Miss Heritage 2020 finalist and founder of a Non-Profit Organisation; Kubu Development has introduced and launched Fight Like a Girl, which is a self-defence class that aims to combat the vulnerability of women in Kimberley.

The initiative provides physical support through self-defence classes taught by Sensei, Blessing Kanguwe who has been offering free self-defence classes for young girls prior to his collaboration with Fight Like a Girl.  This alliance creates a holistic experience that not only focuses on physical health and safety, but also stretches towards providing healing through trauma counselling, emotional support, and shelter for victims of violence in the city. The initiative is collectively supported by organisations such as; The Barefoot Campaign, Women to Women Shelter, as well as the Three Angels Restoration Centre.

Women in this country live in constant fear of being abused, raped, abducted and even killed. Gender Based Violence, femicide and human trafficking have plagued this country and come like thieves in the night to steal a woman’s sense of security and to strip us of our dignity.

With recent spikes in human trafficking incidents and reports in and around Kimberley, Fight like a Girl is a much-needed initiative in our communities.

Linda says that the initiative was inspired by her own personal experience.

“A close friend of mine was followed and attacked by an unmarked vehicle very recently,” says the initiator of the project, Linda Seekoei. “I therefore decided to take a stand and bring women from all walks of life together, to empower and equip them with skills that will ensure their safety,” she adds.

Attending self-defence classes will certainly empower individuals, physically, emotionally and mentally. The fight against gender-based violence, femicide and human-trafficking is a continuous struggle that has taken on many shapes. Fight like a Girl attempts to counter such pertinent issues.

In recent reports three suspects were arrested in connection with a human trafficking ring operating in and around Kuruman and Rustenburg. Eleven victims were found in a brothel and rescued after being held against their will, sexually trafficked and exploited. This is after reports of the arrest of a woman who is allegedly part of the human trafficking ring operating in the Barkly West and Kimberley region. Proving that not only is Kimberley plagued with the crime but the entire country.

Fight Like a Girl seems to be our only defence line against trafficking as our government has not established laws that criminalise this crime. This leaves many traffickers unprosecuted as the South African Penal Code lacks the criminal codes that specifically outline human trafficking. Instead, they group incidents into crimes such as rape, sexual assault, physical abuse and abduction.

It is exactly this uncertainty and the eagerness to do more for the women of this country that drives and fuels the passion behind this self-defence initiative.

“I would love to see the project grow and expand into schools, where we visit different schools in the city and provide these classes. The plan is to also make Fight Like a Girl accessible to the public so that we can see more women attend and become empowered through a network of sisterhood and support systems put in place for their safety”, says Linda Seekoei.

“We are facing many demons as women in this country and one of them should not be how to protect ourselves”, adds Seekoei.

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