Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba defends 'mjolo slaps better when you are protected' slogan

30 August 2021 - 13:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba. File photo.
Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has defended her department's latest campaign slogan to ramp up vaccination among citizens 18 and older. 

Last week, the department unveiled the campaign on social media, including the catchy phrase “mjolo [dating] slaps better when protected”. 

“No condom, no sex. No vaccine certificate, no dating,” read the post. 

The post had tongues wagging with many on social media saying it was “tone-deaf” and “distasteful”.

Defending the campaign, Ramathuba told Newzroom Afrika the slogan was intended to “speak” to young adults because “mjolo is their thing”. 

“When we are targeting a certain grouping, the messages will talk to that particular grouping,” she said.

“We are currently busy vaccinating 18 to 35-year-olds and these are young women and men who mjolo is their thing. These are young people who are still dating.”

Ramathuba said the messaging on the post was a “simplification of science”, adding that when the government opens up vaccination to the above-16s, the message will talk to them.

“We are calling on all young people to say make it not be cool for you to be vaccinated while your partner is not,” she said.

Earlier this month, poet Lebo Mashile suggested that women normalise withholding sex from partners who refuse to get vaccinated against the virus. 

Mashile's thoughts were part of a bigger conversation on social media that was sparked by the Gauteng government's call for men to get vaccinated. This after concerns emerged about the low turnout of men compared to women at vaccination sites.

“For years, HIV stats in SA for men have largely been based on women, especially pregnant women, testing. Men with women are healthier and live longer.

“For our own sake, women need to normalise making 'pum pum' access conditional on getting a vaccine and general Covid-19 regulation adherence,” she tweeted.

TimesLIVE recently ran a poll asking readers if they would dump their partners for not getting vaccinated.  

Forty-six percent of those who took part in the poll said dumping their partners was “the worst idea ever”, while 32% said they would do whatever it took to have them take the jab.

Twenty-two percent asked what their love life had to do with the vaccine.