The deadly beat of abuse!

6 May

We live in a country where rape and abuse have become a normal way of life. It has permeated our culture and society so much that women and men have become so disillusioned by the facts and atrocities, which have led to people supporting the abuse, make excuses for abusers and rapists and in some cases making a mockery out of abuse.
The rape of South African women is among the highest in the world, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA)revealed in​ a study that was released in 2017.


To give an example to my opening statement, let us take a look at the Babes Wodumo ( Bongekile Simelane) abuse case. I am not going to use the terminology of allegations, as we have video evidence of her recording her being beaten up by Big Nuz musician and assault accused, Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo. This video was posted in March 2019.
I will not post the video here as it is far too gruesome but it basically shows Babes Wodumo setting her social media page to a live video, then in the background, we see and hear her being beaten. In the live video, Babes was singing in a dimly lighted bedroom when DJ Mampintsha suddenly grabs and slapped her repeatedly. Even with her in tears, she asked him why he was beating her.
As horrfiic as the video was, this is not the first time that the abuse had been discussed. It was last year Masechaba Ndlovu was highly criticised for using her radio platform to unleash the dark secret of Babes, then alleged abuse. I was one of the many who criticied her, not for talking about it but for the manner in which it was done. It was incredibly worrying and concerning that no measures were put in place to protect the survivor. Through POWA we tried to make contact with the radio station so to prevent it from happening again. Our concerns were that there was no counselor in place, what would have happened if the survivor had a mental breakdown? Without professional assistance​, it could have had serious effects​​s on her well being. Our other concern was that since the survivor was not prepared and had not receieved any or adequate psyco-social support she would probably go back to her abuser and the absue would then be worse, if not kill her. Fortunately, she is still alive but through proof of the video that went viral, we see that the abuse continued, she may have survived it this time but for how long?

The aftermath of the video.
After the video went viral, huge amounts of support were rallied for her. I emailed the record label, Afrotainment, headed y DJ Tira Khathi, his response to my mail is attached below. Many called for the banning of Mampintsha’s music. This is all well and good but we must understand that abusers are manipulative calculating and narcissistic beings. Let us look at the history of their union,
When Mampintsha started working with her, bare in mind she was a teenager, he was able to groom her and make her dependent on him. Discovering that her God-given talent could make money, he needed to cash in on that, so he attached his name to every one of her songs. So muting him, would mean muting her, or does it?

DJ Tira

As our society is driven by patriarchy and misogyny, she along with many others believe that she cannot be successful without him, Wrong!!!! Her talent and brand are strong enough to stand on their own.
The obvious and logistic challenges that face her are, that she would have to start recording new material under her own name and label. Not so easy for a young brand but with the correct guidance and management, it is possible. She would also have to legally remove herself from her existing record label, which as history has dictated, it is not easy for musicians to do,
The biggest challenge, however, will be to get counselling and try and find healing from all the emotional, psychological and physical abuse. Part of the issues that we face with victims of abuse is that the emotional and psychological abuse are the first signs of abuse in a relationship, this is why it’s difficult for so many victims to leave. I use the word victims in this case as they feel and believe they cannot get out and in most cases believe that they deserve it. At POWA we highlight the different levels of abuse from psychological and emotional, to financial, sexual and physical. All types​ of abuse are tragic and difficult to break, and the emotional and psychological often results in victims returning their ​abusive homes or relationships. They have been brainwashed into making excuses for​ the abuser and shifting the blame to themselves. Look at many case studies and court rulings, the one question that is always​ asked, is Why did you not leave? Well in most cases it is not that easy. With this level of abuse, one’s​ self-esteem​ is broken​ down.

His reaction to the video and allegations were literally textbook​ cases. He automatically denied the actions, despite the proof, then played the victim, then he tried to discredit​ her, then he went back to the victim playing and now we are in the dangerous phase, where she is undermining and ridiculing her own struggle. We have seen in previous cases, where victims have found the strength to speak out but with lack of adequate support and guidance, they fall back into the manipulation and begin second-guessing​​​ themselves and their statements​. Her latest video that was released​ over​ the past weekend is a ​testament​ to that.
The video features Mampintsha, Babes Wodumo, ​and DJ Tira. The song titled Khona Iyngane Lay’Ndlini (meaning: “There are children in the house”) makes reference to what Mampintsha said to Babes in a video allegedly depicted him abusing the singer in March.

I had received the news that she was involved with him again, and we reached out to her, showing love and letting her know that although​ we don’t​ agree with her choice, we will respect it.
Then through a post by Phil Mphela, he questioned​ my stand on the new video, since I had not seen it, I watched it and had to watch again. I admit to being appalled​ and disgusted by it as it is a blatant portrayal​ of diresepcet for victims and​ survivors of abuse​, as she has ridiculed the pain, placed him in​ an innocent light and made a mockery​ of the whole crime.
Then I​ mulled over it and realized​ that it made sense​, as it falls in line ​with the next stage in the cycle​​ of abuse,​ discrediting her and if possible destroying her. Her soul is already crushed and through this new video, it could lead to her losing​ many fans and supporters, thus breaking down her career. He will then probably​y move on and create other songs and still live off the dividend​s of their collaboration​ songs. At the end of the day, she has been muted.

The twitter posts.

So what is the solution for Babes and other​ victims?
Our government​ needs to fully acknowledge​​d that we are in a state of crisis. ​As a society​,​ we​ need to adjust our mindsets​ and the way we see ourselves and change the archaic​ ideologies​​ around gender and the lack of gender equality​. Through this change, we can begin to shift the rape culture and​ toxic masculinity that has guided us for so many centuries.
We need a shift in attitudes from our law enforcement​ and ultimately​ we need to challenge​ our judicial​ systems​. ​It is a lot of work, it is not easy but we need to start somewhere and we need to start now.

Contact details for POWA-

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