Tag Archives: GBV

‘In the name of THAT father.’

13 Jul

We are fatigued a year later, and anxiety lives carefree, yet our voice is still not on lockdown. We have learnt to operate, work and live differently. We continue to fight the same battles.

In 2020, I contributed to Destiny magazine May/June issue. I wrote on the realities of GBV in our country, highlight lighting the horrific facts that many people forced to be indoors with their tormentors due to the lockdown. A year later, we are still here, but the violence indoors has not stopped. There are more job losses, the cost of living has increased tremendously, and we are still not safe.

Destiny Magazine May-June 2020 issue. Article:Featured in Cover collaborations: Safety & Security


Taken from http://www.reuters.com A member of the South African National Defense Force looks on during a patrol to enforce a nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020.

In South Africa, we are in our third wave, and we are back to Level 4 lockdown. President Ramaphosa has deployed the South African National Defence Force to two provinces. As history has dictated, when territories go into war, the women, children, and LGBTQI community suffer the most. Misogyny and patriarchy continue to disrupt our lives. The actions lead to wars and violence. 

The reality is that we have been in a crisis for years, heightened by the pandemic. The corruption and lack of accountability have made it worse. 

Did one person cause the latest uprisings? Yes. 

Is everyone looting doing it under his name? No—many are tired, hungry and fed up. Some are criminals. Which is connected to the socioeconomic problems that we have faced for centuries.

Our country is in turmoil from the vaccine and PPE scandals, and our government has failed to provide adequate support to the people. Handing out R350 stipends is not providing support. It is ludicrous that government officials and ministers squander millions of rands and then carry on with their everyday lives with no accountability. 

Suppose we had access to vaccines, adequate health care and a government that stands for the people. In that case, we could have avoided a lot of the covid related deaths. The looting on the ground is inexcusable but is it any different from those ministers and government officials who have looted state funds?

Our focus is on the SANDF on the ground; we have not forgotten the related deaths in 2020.  

Collins Khosa, we still remember. 

Over the past few days, we have seen communities putting their energy behind one man; as my comrade, Steve Letsike stated- ‘Your anger is misplaced. Zuma hands himself to the police; there is an uprising. Women, LGBTIQ People, children are murdered and raped. You are quiet in your homes and not bothered—Nisile’. 

Imagine what could happen if we placed that energy into fighting GBV?

As we try and navigate through this next wave and phase of uncertainty coupled with the expected violence on defenceless people, we need to take care. Take care of ourselves, our mental well being and be gentle with ourselves. 

Find coping mechanisms that help with anxiety or negative triggers. Find one’s positive triggers. Once you have taken care of yourself, remember to check in on those alone, in abusive homes or fragile. Check up on your ‘strong’ friends and family too. With the high level of PTSD, our bodies have no control over when it affects us mentally, physically or spiritually.

The reality remains. We had a pandemic way before GBV; the brute and force that our country has shown for one man prove that womxn, children and LGBTQI in South Africa are alone. The reality is that patriarchy and misogyny will always take centre stage, and that unity is conditional. Government support is conditional. 

Support structures



Anxiety, depression and suicide.


0861 322 322



Dr Reddy’s Help Line

0800 21 22 23

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline

0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line

0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline

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ADHD Helpline

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Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline

0800 12 13 14

SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line

0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line

011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour

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Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line

(9 am-4 pm, seven days a week)

076 882 2775


Rape Crisis centre



Respect, to our warriors in Malawi!

11 Feb


My three passions in life are Women, Africa, and the arts. A few weeks back we stood in solidarity with the warriors in Malawi, who decided to take a stand against gender-based violence. I reached out to the organizers to see how as a Pan African feminists we could show solidarity and try and help create awareness for the amazing work that they are doing.
I was led to a powerful young force, named Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo. Ulemu, meaning ‘Respect’ is a 22-year-old feminist, she is the founder and president of the Young Feminists Network, a network which serves as a platform for young feminists to engage in dialogue and activism for social justice. The Network currently has 66 members with chapters in 3 cities; Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Zomba. With such a powerful name, she can only receive the respect she deserves as she works on being the change that is needed in the world.

Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo

Through our work as activists, we are all faced with many challenges, regarding our safety, which is governed by policies and laws, that have been set out according to patriarchal principles. In Malawi, the situation is no different, as feminists, particularly the young feminists, one of the major challenges they face is the misconceptions about feminism. As Ulemu stated, ‘a lot of people seem to misunderstand what feminism is and what it seeks to achieve, some because they lack access to information and others because they don’t agree with feminism and deliberately misrepresent it at any given chance. Such misconceptions include the fact that feminism is a movement that seeks to get rid of men or to make women more dominant than men. This ignores the basic premise of feminism which recognizes the oppression women have faced since time immemorial and seeks to deconstruct the patriarchy which upholds this marginalization of women’.

She went on to say that, ‘people believe feminism is unAfrikan. However, this is also a misconception. Although the theories and conceptualizations of feminism may have originated in the West, acts of resistance to the patriarchy have existed in Afrika for centuries. Therefore, it isn’t anything new. ‘

Within the activism space, whether you are based in Africa or the USA, funding is always an issue, and of course in Malawi, it is no different. A lot of funding opportunities apply to registered organizations only, which makes it hard for informal feminist movements to get funding for their operations.


The Malawi women in March 2020.

On 1st February 2020, the Young Feminists Network in collaboration with PEPETA (an online community of young female SRHR activists from DRC, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and over 20 other organizations and individuals organized the “Take It To The Streets” march against VAWG (violence against women) in Malawi. When we go up against the patriarchy, we are always met with resistance, in their case they were denied police protection from the relevant authorities and this was a major obstacle because this effectively meant the march couldn’t take place. Like, true warriors, they did not let this minor obstacle stop them from pushing ahead, they could not hold an official march so they were able to mobilize large numbers and in Blantyre they held a rally, in Lilongwe and Mzuzu they managed to march regardless.
Despite all the deliberate hiccups, in the end, they still managed to achieve their goal of raising awareness on the issues and calling for action from various stakeholders.

The PanAfrican warriors from Zambia, Kenya, and SA, showed solidarity with them through social media and various press. This also brought attention to a sexual assault case, in Blantyre. They were able to set up a time and visited a warrior, Vanessa Chilanga. Vanessa is a woman who was sexually assaulted by a gang of men in Blantyre. She was visited and they are currently creating platforms and strategies to help and support her and other survivors.

What can we do?
We need solidarity with our warriors from across the world, particularly on our continent. To assist the Young Feminists Network or the feminist movement in Malawi in general, please continue to follow their work and stand in solidarity with them and help amplify their voices by sharing what is happening.
As we know International women’s day is approaching so strategic collaboration would also be great and essential. Do you have any platforms, events or stages that we could collaborate on?
Let us get the conversation started. We can start small, with our feminists in the SADC region, we are all in the same time zones, so what is stopping us?

How to get in contact with The Young Feminist Network in Malawi-
Instagram @yfn265
Twitter @yfn265

Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo- @ulemuhk

Rosie Motene @rosiemotene

In solidarity,​ we stand!!!!

A salutation to the warriors!​

31 Aug

As we end of this August, I would like to honour. A few women whom I know have stood in their power and still stand tall.

In South Africa, on 9th August, we celebrate Women’s​ Day, which is a national​ holiday. The whole month dedicated to honouring women. Over the years we have seen that the month has become an explosion of pink-themed​ tea parties, media platforms broadcast Maya Angelou quotes and a number of campaigns are launched. Many of us have become very selective about​​ the types of campaigns and events we attend, as although we should celebrate ourselves, we as women are still fighting many battles.
On the 1st, we saw one of the most important marches of our time, The TotalShutdown march. We saw women across the country taking to the streets, demanding that the government hear our pleas. The marchers across the country have expressed frustration on the countless murders and gender​-based​d violence incidents and women and various vulnerable groups.


The messages were blunt – gender-based violence must “F off”.
Those were the words on a placard carried by a tearful Xoliswa Buthelezi in Pietermaritzburg who attended the march.
Another said: “My vagina is not your playground unless invited.”
Thousands of women gathered across the country to protest against gender-based violence and femicide as part of the #TotalShutDown march on Wednesday.
In Cape Town‚ some gathered at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and mothers who lost their children to gang violence met at the Castle of Good Hope before making their way to Parliament.

The organiser and the survivors who stood on the streets in solidarity, I salute you all!

A few days later, we were woken up to the horrifying news of a young student, named Khensani Maseko, who had taken her life. It was reported that Khensani had been raped by her boyfriend and could not take the trauma any longer. Like so many people who have been violated, the trauma of abuse and rape can lead to many other factors such as PTSD-Post traumatic stress disorder which in many cases can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and in Khensani’s case, Suicide.
Khensani, I believe​ you. May your dear soul rest in peace!

Prior to the month starting, we were also shocked by the arrogance of the South African rapper, Brickz, who was convicted of rape, who was hired to perform at the Kwaito and House Music Awards nomination party.
Brickz, who was found guilty of raping a 17-year-old relative in 2013 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, was released on bail in April pending the appeal against his conviction.
The awards’ founder and CEO, Perfecta Khumalo, was not deterred and said the awards would not “abandon” SA musos.
Out of this there was was light and I would like to salute the MD of Transafrica Radio, Busi Ntuli. They automatically pulled their sponsorship from the event on hearing the news that a rapist would headline the event.
This was her statement taken from Twitter:
”Unfortunately the organisers have through their PR practitioner informed us that Brickz stays. We have subsequently informed them that TransAfrica Radio can no longer be their partner,”.
Busi said the decision was a “no-brainer” and the station had the “duty to be on the right side of influence.”
“It was a no-brainer. The creative industry has since the beginning of time played an influential role in society. It is our duty to be on the right side of influence. I still love kwaito and house music.”

Busi, I thank you and salute for standing in solidarity with the survivor. Many people would have put money and business before this.

I would also like to salute my sisters who stood up and spoke on the trauma allegedly inflicted by Khalo Matabane.
Firstly to my warrior queens, Ntombi and Buhle.
Your power and reliance is astounding. I know the journey has not been easy. I can relate and I know that at times, it all seems overwhelming as many feel more comfortable in judging us. We know this, but more importunely we believe you and we love you.

To my other warrior queens who were brave enough to share their journeys in The City press newspaper:

Palesa Letlaka, Ingeborg Lichtenberg and Nico Athene I salute you.

After my article came out in the paper, the new CEO of Urban Brew, Verona Duwarkah called me and we met for coffee. She needed to make a proper apology and have ensured me that drastic changes have been made and I can categorically state that their productions are a safe place for all actors and crew to work on.
They have been working with SA guild of actors and working out strategic and concrete ways of creating safe spaces for actors in South Africa.

Verona, I salute you!

With that,​ I also need to thank my SAGA (SA Guild of actors) family who stood by me from day one. They work tirelessly at ensuring that our industry runs efficiently

Lastly, I salute those souls who are living with the pain, may you find your strength and voice to speak out. May the perpetrators be named and convicted.
Psalm 69:29

29 I’m hurt and in pain;
Give me space for healing, and mountain air.

Abuse in any form needs to be seen as trauma. Trauma takes time to heal and I urge you to get assistance from​ professionals in the field.
Please be sure that you find secure and safe spaces to share your experiences and always know that it is not your fault.
Healing is essential before embarking on legalities as you need to be strong. That is possible through professional help and support.

Organisations that I fully endorse: