Wheels roll for abuse awareness

ON A MISSION: Lunga Ncala will cycle 16km daily during the 16 Days of Activism. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
ON A MISSION: Lunga Ncala will cycle 16km daily during the 16 Days of Activism. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

Male victim to ride 16km daily

NOT every man who has been abused by the woman he loves is brave enough to share his story, but Bay FM presenter Lunga Ncala is doing just that – and cycling around Nelson Mandela Bay to commemorate the national 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.

“I want to be a man who stands for women, supports them and shows them that they are not the only ones affected by abuse and that it happens to men too,” Ncala said.

Starting today, the presenter, who moved to Port Elizabeth more than six months ago, will cycle 16km every day for the duration of the 16-day activism campaign, in aid of Port Elizabeth’s Yokhuselo Haven.

Yokhuselo Haven is the umbrella name for two shelters dedicated to women and their children who are affected by domestic violence – Prospect Hill Crisis Centre (PHCC) and The Haven Yokhuselo.

The havens aim to be places of safety for those in crisis, helping with rehabilitation through counselling and empowerment.

Yokhuselo manager Lindsay Ziehl said Ncala was doing something “amazing” and the publicity for the haven would be welcomed.

“Lunga is very brave because not many men would come forward.

“People need to remember that it’s not only women who are abused, but men too,” Ziehl said.

Ncala said the abuse he endured in a past relationship broke him down as a man. But two months after moving to Port Elizabeth he got a bicycle, started cycling and rediscovered who he was.

“When I moved here, I was depressed and using substances. I got a bike and through cycling [and] being on the road I got to know myself [and] PE. And, through prayer while cycling, I found God,” he said.

With a new bicycle sponsored by Wayne Pheiffer Cycles, the presenter said he was looking forward to cycling around the Bay with his banner that proclaims “Making it my Fight”.

He said the hardest step he had to take to get on the road to recovery was leaving his abusive partner.

“The battle does not end when you leave the one abusing you. The biggest struggle comes after, because you ask yourself: ‘Who’s going to love me?’ ” he said.

“I want to feel I’ve done something. I want to raise awareness, because most men who are abused feel they can’t talk to anyone because if you go to the police you won’t be taken seriously or will simply be laughed at.”

To follow Ncala on his 16km journey follow the hashtags #cyclemycity and #16km16days on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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