Tag Archives: tears

A salutation to the warriors!​

31 Aug

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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.

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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!

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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.”

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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:
https://city-press.news24.com/News/khalo-matabane-women-speak-out-20180429

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.

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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:
http://www.powa.co.za
http://www.tears.co.za
http://www.rapecirsis.org.za
http://www.sadag.org​

Find your safe spaces!!!

20 Aug

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I am a survivor and many years ago I approached POWA for counseling, healing and then training on abuse. I needed the healing to move on and the training, so I could use my brand to create awareness, but I needed to be equipped with the correct knowledge. A few weeks back, I was invited to participate on a panel on a local TV program, called The Daily Thetha, which airs on SABC1. The Daily Thetha is an educational talk show on SABC 1 that explores youth issues as well as, issues of national importance.
The topic was on the #MeToo movement which has spread across the world. On arrival at the studio, I met with my panel, Mara Glennie who founded the Tears Foundation, Zoe Ramashu from SWIFT, Melusi Xulu, an attorney. It is so great to have met and spent time with individuals who are passionate about bringing change to our country. I had to share the amazing work that they do. We will only combat​ this if we collectively​ do our bit.


Mara Glennie’s who started the Tears Foundations, her motivation to help others comes from a deeply personal place.
The meaning of the “TEAR”
Tear Drop
“Our teardrop logo is a symbol for weeping at the violence and degradation suffered by rape and abuse victims; but, more importantly, it is a symbol of cleansing, healing, and hope”
TEARS’ developed a system that uses a simple SMS code and GPS location to allow other survivors to connect with much-needed​ help from their nearest care centre, immediately. They are able to do this because of the help they received from others. They run their foundation from a fully equipped office in Sandton, kindly given to them by Dr. John Wentzel and the Tsebo Outsourcing Group.

The sms details are:
*134*7355#

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Donda Attorneys

Zamakhathini Melusi Xulu is a practicing attorney from Durban. He strongly believes that as a lawyer, it is important and instrumental that he be a servant leader to bring justice to​ our society. He graduated from the University of Zululand with an LLB degree. Prior to him starting his firm he has worked for Legal Aid South Africa (Vryheid Justice Centre)as a Candidate attorney; Siyaya Attorneys in Durban, as a legal practitioner and researcher and he worked for The National Prosecuting Authority as a prosecutor (in Free State) from 2014 to 2018.
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Advice from me.

Speaking as a survivor, I understand the pain and anguish that surrounds​ any form of abuse. The trauma that arises is serious and if not treated accordingly can lead to many other problems such as depression, fibromyalgia, suicide, ​and anxiety.
Each crime is different and can be handled in a ​number of ways, but the most important​​ thing to remember​ is that it is not your fault and that you have the right​ to speak up. It is also very important​ that you find a safe​ space to share your pain and story for healing and assistance.

Sexual harassment​ at work:
The minute it happens you should report it to the authorities, keeping a paper trail is essential, so in the case of sexual harassment​ at work​, one should send an email and ensuring that the head of the department receives it. In various corporate companies, there are HR procedures. For actors in SA, my suggestion would be to immediately report it to SA (SA Guild of actors). You need to be a member to benefit from​ the amazing services. http://www.saguildofactors.co.za
If you​ are physically harmed, seek immediate​ medical attention and keep as much evidence as possible. With evidence, this may be uncomfortable​, but in the case​ of sexual assault, if the perpetrator touched any items, such as glass or plate, simply put your hand in a plastic​ bag and cover the plate. This ensures that your hand or fingerprints​ do not smudge​d the perpetrators. Any bit of evidence is crucial. You have every right to speak up and out on it.

In the case of sexual assault/rape/sodomy​.
The first step, the survivor shouldn’t wash or change their underwear as that would be literally cleaning away the evidence. Secondly, ​go to the nearest police station or nearest medical centre. If you start at a medical centre, they will call the police. If you start with​ the police, the police will take you to a medical centre. After getting the statement, you’ll be treated by a doctor, and smears will be taken and given back to the police. Those smears will be taken to forensics to​ try and verify the perpetrator. One of the biggest issues comes with reporting​ the crime. At the station,​ if a policeman​ or women refuses to open the case based on their personal beliefs​, take​ their badge number and report​​ them immediately​.

Your rights as a survivor:
You are permitted to have a person of your choice present to support and reassure you when reporting an incident.

The interview will be conducted in surroundings that are either familiar to or reassuring to you.

Once sufficient information has been obtained from you, a docket must be opened, registered on the CAS and an affidavit must be made.

You must be taken for the medical examination as soon as possible – even if the sexual offense​ was only reported more than 72 hours after it had been committed, and even if you have already washed.

The medical examination will be conducted at state expense and by a medical professional.

No man may be present during the medical examination of a female survivor, and vice versa. Even a member of the same gender may only be present during the medical examination if you as a survivor agrees to it. ​

You will​ come across people who will try and make you doubt your words, they will ridicule you, it is ok, it is not their journey and pain. You need to understand that your pain is valid and by not stopping it, you will not heal. Your healing could possibly prevent future abuse crimes, as the perpetrator will be stopped immediately. remember perpetrators continue​ to commit these crimes as they have been given the permission​ to and often have people protecting​ them.

It is important​ to share your ordeal in safe spaces, spaces where people have your best interest at heart and will be willing to help and assist​ you.

Contact details:
POWA:
http://www.powa.co.za

Tears:
http://www.tears.co.za

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