In a world of evening runs and running clubs comes a celebrity - brand collaboration with a difference.
As a woman, the ever-present fear for my safety is sadly something that will never go away. A simple walk down the road, especially after 5pm, requires careful calculation; I have to put my keys in between my fingers to create a makeshift weapon in case someone decides to attack me, I have to watch the movements of the men on the street in case they decide to try something so I have time to get away, I have to keep looking behind me to make sure I'm not being followed...
While you may want to say that that is unfortunate and that is no way to live, as someone who has been robbed multiple times - once at gunpoint outside my own home - that is my reality. Which is why I am thrilled that Reebok is offering free self defense classes as part of their new "Pretty Lethal" campaign with their latest brand ambassador, Keitumetse Naomi Noinyane (popularly known as K Naomi).
I was also pleased to find that K Naomi didn't just jump on board with the campaign after the marketing team developed this idea, she was part of the process from the get-go.
"As the new Reebok S.A ambassador the brand and I wanted to create a new campaign that would change lives in a proactive way and also address the importance of females and their value in this world," she explained.
"The initiative is personal to me because I aspire to inspire other females to be their best selves. To be Pretty Lethal, especially knowing the type of issues we constantly have to deal with. The initiative is a collaborative idea that speaks for both Reebok and the K Naomi brand because it's main focus is on the empowerment of women... And it's an awesome way to launch what should be an amazing journey together with both brands."
Up until now, the main focus of celebrity and fitness brand collaborations has been simply fitness for the sole purpose of obtaining a hot body or looking cute while you work towards your fitness goals. Pretty Lethal therefore comes as a refreshing surprise in the celebrity x fitness landscape.
It aims to reach South African women by first addressing an ever present problem of safety in their lives, before catering to their interest in fitness.
"I enjoy boxing which also incorporates aspects of self defense techniques. More than anything there has been a increasing number of rape cases and abuse cases around our country, where females are at high risk of dealing with such unfortunate situations," said Naomi.
It's actually pretty sad that our likelihood to be abused and attacked is one of the things we as womn (yes, womxn) have in common. But, gone are the days when we simply take it.
"I have not been oblivious to these problems but through Pretty Lethal I have realized how important self defense classes are for females as well as myself. We can never predict what could happen to any of us so the earlier we stand our grounds we are then equipped with options to protect ourselves as well as each other," she adds.
K Naomi has fortunately never found herself in a situation where she has needed to employ these self-defense techniques but she's itching to try them out.
In addition to gaining knowledge on how to defend yourself, if you help K Naomi and Reebok reach their target of the amount of women they'd like to reach, you will also be helping them expand their target market in future.
"We currently have a target market of how many woman we'd love to join the classes...hopefully when we reach that we can move to the rest of S.A. It has to happen though!"
Beyond self defense, K Naomi shares that there is a deeper lesson in all of this, stating that "it's so important that we realize our value as females. It is so important to realize the power of unity."
Before adding "through Pretty Lethal I'd love for every woman to walk away from a class and be inspired and empowered to take on anything that challenges them in life. The classes are free, fun and so stimulating..."
Classes run every day from Tuesday 18 April to Thursday 18 May between 19:00 – 20:00. You can sign up for Pretty Lethal Self Defense Classes here.
Main image credit: instagram.com/knaomin