Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy has opened up about his abusive past, in an interview announcing that he would be supporting child rights group Women and Men Against Child Abuse on Monday.
“When I was approached, just to speak about what I want to do now that I’m retired from football, I asked them if there was an organisation that deals with child abuse, women abuse, violence, you know … because obviously my youth life is all about seeing the worst things and the good things,” he told Joe Maluleke.
McCarthy said when the organisation approached him, it opened wounds from his childhood and he felt that it was best that he get involved to raise awareness that would eventually help perpetrators change their ways. He further urged other celebrities or well-known people and men in general to come forward and, hopefully, abuse against women and men would fall.
He said one of the many causes of abuse could be because men did not understand the power they possessed.
“Kids and women cannot defend themselves against us – to use kids and women as a punching bag is vile,” he said.
He said he and his friends had the same sorts of families and fathers who liked a drink or two on a weekend, “and obviously you know, when people are filled with alcohol, alcohol makes you do crazy things”.
Though he was not abused physically, he said the abuse his mother suffered at the hands of his father, and which he witnessed, affected him deeply.
“My mom unfortunately was on the end of a beating, and because I was the youngest of three kids at the time, I was always in the house and I was the one who was witnessing and, yeah, I just made a promise to myself that I want to work my socks off and make a success of my life so I can get my mother the life that she deserved.
“It’s never going to make up for what she suffered for us but it’s the best that we can do for her. It was just me wanting to give my mom an amazing life that she deserves for all the blows she received.”
Listen to the full interview below: