December 17, 2015 – Nairobi, Kenya
Erick Matsanza has a passion for catalyzing social change.
The 40-year-old Kenyan activist came across HeForShe on social media in November 2014 and signed the campaign’s commitment. It came at a time when Erick was exploring the direction for a project he had been incubating called Spice Chungu. Inspired by HeForShe, he transformed his project to establish a creative hub in western Kenya to empower rural women.
Women have always impacted society in their own creative ways. The men, however, have never stood up to realize and recognize these abilities.
Just three days after he signed the HeForShe pledge, Erick co-organized #MyDressMyChoice, a big protest in Nairobi. The event was inspired by the act of some men stripping and assaulting women simply because they were wearing a miniskirt. An outraged Erick decided to use social media to ignite action: He dressed in a skirt, posted the photo online and called for other men to do the same. At the protest, a lot of men wore skirts in solidarity and to help end the myth that a dress code should define women.
Reflecting on his path in support of gender equality, an emotional Erick says: “In a patriarchal society, women have always impacted society in their own creative ways; the men, however, have never stood up to realize and recognize these abilities. Today I stand tall because I am inspired by the actions of my mother and my sister who supported my education.”Back To Newsroom