Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
20 Oct 2021
6:30 am

Humiliation leads Ndebele activist to run for poll

Sipho Mabena

In March, Mahlangu was humiliated when Boulders Shopping Centre manager Jose Maponyane ordered him and his partner, in matching outfits, to leave the centre as he was indecently dressed.

Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu poses for his portrait at his home in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga, 4 February 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Jeered and humiliated for who he is, Ndebele activist Thando Mahlangu has taken the first step to effect change, standing as a ward councillor candidate for his constituency in the local government elections. The 35-year-old artist from Mountain View village near KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga has sometimes endured humiliation for choosing to only wear his Ndebele traditional garb – a loin skin and, depending on occasion or weather, a blanket over his shoulders. In 2018, The Citizen reported how Mahlangu, who ekes out a living from his art, was manhandled and kicked off the Gautrain at Park Station in Joburg, resulting...