TransforNation aims to empower

Ilana Bellotto is the co-founder of TransforNation which aims to empower young girls through self-defence classes.

If you want to be part of the solution against gender-based violence, you can join Girl Power: self-defence and empowerment called TransforNation.

Run by Devlin Brown and Ilana Bellotto, this recently launched initiative was a way for the two to show their complete intolerance of gender violence and rape, and they hope it will soon be part of schools across Gauteng.

Ilana Bellotto shows various ways women can fight back should they need to.


The two launched their initiative at the Randpark Fitness Centre and, through this, they plan to empower not only young girls but women and boys through self-defence classes.

Brown explained that this movement works solely on crowdfunding “Any amount given is important to the enrichment of the girls and boys that would benefit from self-defense training,” he said. Adding that the more funding they receive, the more schools they can start to impact. He said they went the crowdfunding route as it connects people to a cause.


Ilana Bellotto demonstrates on Leana Els how a woman can best defend herself.

Through this movement, they hope to approach the fight against violence differently.

“Far too often [we hear] great discourse about gender violence in the country and about the scourge of rape and what needs to be done tackle such issues,” said Brown.

He went on to say that he believes people can all agree that a multi-generational intervention needs to take place this.

“This needs to happen after centuries of colonisation, apartheid, institutional violence, gender violence and forced migrant labour.”

Brown believes that gender relations are skewed in this country and though it is not a girl’s responsibility to stop herself from being raped, should she find herself in that situation, she needs to be able to do everything she can to protect the integrity of her body.

“She needs to be able to have the awareness to avoid certain situations and boys need to learn what their bodies are.”

He and Bellotto are of the attitude that everybody needs to be part of this movement as it would help all women and children.

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Neo Phashe

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