Amid mixed criticism from across the country, Masechaba Ndlovu has admitted that the way in which she exposed Babes Wodumo’s abusive relationship was unprofessional.
At the beginning of June 2018, Masechaba Ndlovu interviewed Babes Wodumo on Metro FM’s The Drive. Midway through the interview, Masechaba probed the Gqom singer about the state of her relationship with Mampintsha before questioning the singer about the abuse she had faced at the hands of her now ex-boyfriend.
Although Babes eventually opened up and admitted that it was an abusive relationship, Masechaba was widely criticised for her tactics in approaching the sensitive story.
It’s also worth pointing out that while she had her critics, the Metro FM presenter was also praised by many South Africans who are fed up with the rate at which women are abused in this country.
For the first time since the controversial interview, Masechaba has spoken out about the incident.
— #RealTalkOn3 6pm SABC3 (@RealTalkOn3) August 8, 2018
The radio and television star was a guest on Real Talk with Azaniaand the two former Power FM colleagues talked about things relating to Masechaba’s career and personal life.
Sandwiched between those two areas of discussion, was the Babes Wodumo interview.
When she was finally asked about the interview, as well as the reaction it evoked, Masechaba revealed the context behind her actions
It all began in February, when a frightened Babes (and her manager) approached Masechaba for help.
Masechaba recounts: “Babes and her manager approached me at the Black Panther premiere, and my heart simply broke when I saw… Well put together, we even have a picture together, but if you looked at her face there was a great sadness, and it all made sense when they approached me and told me that they approached me to help Babes.”
She continued, “‘Help her, please. She is terrified,’ she was there with her manager Keke and they approached me, they needed help, she [didn’t] know how to get away from Mampintsha, and Keke had done as much as she could to remove her from that situation and she was representing her at that point in time.”
She then revealed that after this encounter, she gave her phone number to Babes and her manager and asked them to make the next move.
Let’s fast forward to the day of the infamous radio interview. Babes and her entourage allegedly advised Masechaba that they would be steering clear of this tricky topic, and instead focusing on her career.
“They said: ‘This guy is gonna kill me, I can’t do this thing anymore’. And I’m like ‘Listen, it’s okay, I respect what you say, I respect how you feel, we’re gonna carry on, we’ll just speak about the music’, and we had decided just before the interview we’re told don’t go there anymore, she doesn’t wanna do it anymore.”
Masechaba revealed to Azania that the manner in which the interview played out was not part of the plan, admitting that it was “unprofessional”, but there wasn’t an ounce of regret in her admission.
“It went against the code of conduct of broadcasting… In that moment not only did I break the rules, but I basically threw my entire career under the bus by trying to protect a young lady.
“I removed my professional cap, and I stopped being a broadcaster and I became a human, and I became a woman.”
However, as a final message to her critics, Masechaba revealed that Babes did not feel humiliated by the presenter’s antics. Instead, the singer felt relieved:
“The entire truth is gonna come out, and every single female public figure who decided to take it upon themselves to speak on something they knew nothing about is going to be incredibly embarrassed… There’s a backstory Aza that I can’t even tell you on this platform. I didn’t humiliate Babes, Babes was relieved.”
“I didn’t humiliate Babes, Babes was relieved,” she said.
And now, over two months after this interview, the nation awaits the final outcome of the Babes and Mampintsha love story. The months that have followed have featured everything from rumours of a reunion, to rumours that Babes could be pregnant with Mampintsha’s child.
As for Masechaba, her role as a whistleblower has been rightly hailed by those who are active in the fight against abuse and domestic violence.