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New age solution to Mdantsane’s crime and violence

Local Hero nominee Yolanda Dyani’s Facebook page is a lifeline for the community

Yolanda Dyani created the Facebook page with thousands of followers which kickstarted the Kayols Foundation. The NPO assists victims of gender-based violence to find healing and justice. PIC: SUPPLIED
Yolanda Dyani created the Facebook page with thousands of followers which kickstarted the Kayols Foundation. The NPO assists victims of gender-based violence to find healing and justice. PIC: SUPPLIED
Image: Supplied

Yolanda Dyani, 30, from Mdantsane, started a Facebook page which has become a lifeline for victims of abuse, crime, and violence. 

The public group, Mdantsane United against Crime and Violence, has 94,700 members, and posts hundreds of comments from users. 

Most members use this large following to help find missing people, stolen items, or more serious cries for help in dangerous and violent situations. 

Dyani started a Facebook page as a virtual space of remembrance for a six-year-old girl who was brutally murdered in 2020. 

After the burial, the hundreds of members decided on a new name and purpose, calling it Mdantsane United Against Crime and Violence. 

Dyani said: “Women who get assaulted by their partners post that they are in trouble and community members go to investigate.

“There are forums now that get posted. Everyday things, like catching criminals or missing people.”

Over two years the numbers have skyrocketed. Five moderators monitor the activity.

“We felt like it needed to be live, because of what is happening daily. Crime, murder, and gender-based violence is very high.”

Members post incidents daily for assistance or advice.

“Sometimes people call the police and get no answer. Last weekend there was a lady being beaten by her son-in-law.

“Around 3am after failing to get through to the NU18 police station, she asked for help and members contacted the Cambridge police department who arrived.” 

Dyani said she had personally met victims from the Facebook page.

“Last year, one of the admins had the same problem. She was home alone and around midnight a car drove into her yard. She posted about it and the police were there immediately.”

Dyani saw the rising number of posts regarding gender-based violence and decided to open the Kayols Foundation to support victims and registered it as a non-profit company in 2020.

“I am a victim of domestic violence. I felt like I needed to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

“There are women out there who cannot speak up and I can help them heal and find safety.”  

The foundation organised counselling sessions for women through Masithethe counselling services and supported women through “victim empowerment”.

Dyani accompanies victims to the police station to open cases, or to court when testifying.

Through social services, she finds safe homes for victims needing shelter.  

“We do go to the police station when a case is not being updated. This is what made me register.

“Before I would go to the station and they would ask me, who are you? Why are you coming to the station asking about this case?” 

Dyani worked hard to establish a relationship with the Nyibiba police station and social development and said they all work “hand in hand”.

Trying to help women who were too afraid to leave an abusive situation because they relied on their partner for financial security was a major battle.

“I try to empower them through business so they learn how to work with money and start earning their own.

“If your mindset is motivated, it can be laundry, curtain cleaning, or baking, you can make it a business.”

On Mondays and Fridays, Dyani shares adverts for local entrepreneurs as part of the Monday Market Campaign with the byline, “What’s your hustle guys? “.  

Dyani said she was excited about her Local Hero nomination.

”I feel like my work is not in vain; some people do appreciate what I’m doing. Honestly, dealing with all these emotions, I have to also take care of myself."

Nominee, Yolanda’s cousin Luzuko Dyani said she was uplifting the community and helping victims fight for justice.

“Yolanda is the founder of a very helpful group on Facebook and has helped many gender-based violence victims.

“She works together with our government departments to uplift and develop her community.”






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