Yaya Mavundla’s bold fashion statement for Grindr Gang victims


Fashion with a purpose: Yaya Mavundla’s stunning gown featured Grindr Gang news headlines (Photo: Thapelo Kekana)

Trans activist and media personality Yaya Mavundla made a powerful fashion statement at Thursday’s Feather Awards to draw attention to the plight of Grindr Gang victims.

The style star arrived at the ceremony wearing a stunning Queer Comfort custom gown emblazoned with headlines from news reports about the seemingly endless Grindr attacks and other hate crimes against LGBTIQ+ people.

Mavundla, who later went on to win a joint Best Styled Individual Feather Award, said she wanted to bring attention to these incidents and urge the government to do more to address and protect victims.

“I believe that it is always important I don’t forget my position in society and that comes with a lot of responsibilities,” she told MambaOnline, “and there in no way I would turn a blind eye to pressing issues in our community especially when it comes to hate crimes, homophobia and violence.”

Mavundla said, “it was important I use my platform and theme for the Feathers to highlight and address what we are currently facing, and if I’m going to speak of fashion with a purpose when it comes to my clothing line, I need to always walk the talk.”

A Symbol of Empowerment for the Transgender Community

Speaking about her Best Styled Feather Award win, Mavundla expressed hoped it would inspire other transgender people who might feel unseen, unworthy and constantly overlooked.

“For me winning a Feather Award is like holding pure gold with my own hands, it is so special and it is so important for a woman like me. I am grateful. I hope this will be a great example to many transgender people to know that they are worthy, beautiful, deserving and yes they can do it too,” said Mavundla.

The Grindr Gang attacks have plagued the queer community for several years, primarily in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. Queer men, seeking connection through dating apps, have fallen victim to violence, threats, and theft.

A recent high-profile case involved a Johannesburg student who was held captive and severely beaten by a group of men he met on Grindr. The alleged perpetrators are facing charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and extortion.

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