festival a hit with sowetans

LONG LEGGED: Nwabisa Ngcukana at the miniskirt festival in Soweto on Sunday. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 22/11/2009. © Sowetan.
LONG LEGGED: Nwabisa Ngcukana at the miniskirt festival in Soweto on Sunday. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 22/11/2009. © Sowetan.

The mood was exuberant as scores of women clad in their shortest skirts converged on Vardos in Mapetla, Soweto, on Sunday.

The mood was exuberant as scores of women clad in their shortest skirts converged on Vardos in Mapetla, Soweto, on Sunday.

The men came along and were well-behaved. It seemed the unwritten rule was just look and admire - but don't touch.

This was the second Mini-skirt Festival. The first festival last year was triggered by the public humiliation of Nwabisa Ngcukana by taxi drivers, who attacked her at the Noord Street Taxi Rank in Johannesburg because she was wearing a miniskirt.

With the help of a concerned community member, Terry Mokoena, Ngcukana was spurred into action. The two were to become the brains behind the festival that advocates the rights of women.

Ngcukana's ordeal was widely reported by the media, prompting human rights activists and gender rights campaigners to take to the streets highlighting the rights of women. They wanted people to know that wearing a miniskirt was not an invitation to randy men to harass women.

According to Mokoena the campaign has been going well.

"Next year we would like to make this event bigger. We need to attract more people and in the process educate festival-goers about the need to respect women. Who knows, we might end up having an international Mini-skirt Festival," he said.

Sunday's event was a low-key affair in a month with several campaigns around gender issues. Tomorrow sees the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse.

The men in attendance were very supportive of their partners and sisters. And the star of the event was definitely Ngcukana, who has become a celebrity women's rights activist because she stood up for her rights to wear a mini- skirt.

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