Several high-profile cases of domestic violence made headlines this year, including the murder of Karabo Mokoena, who was killed, allegedly by her boyfriend.
Between April 1 and May 21, 60 women were killed in Gauteng alone – 10 died at the hands of their partners.
Now South Africans are saying enough is enough, and local celebrities are making sure their voices are heard as well.
Whether they are taking to social media to address the issue with their thousands of followers or starting campaigns to raise awareness, these Mzansi stars are speaking up to end violence against women and children.
Busisiwe ‘Cici’ Twala
Singer Cici made headlines in June after an argument with her then boyfriend Arthur Mafokate ended in her being dragged for 300 metres when he drove off in his car while she was still holding onto the door handle. Arthur denied intentionally dragging her, saying he was unaware that she was holding on the door.
Instead of retreating from the spotlight to recover from her ordeal, Cici, whose pelvic bone was broken during the incident, decided to speak out to raise awareness about what happened to her.
“Before being an artist, I am human. I saw no shame in saying this is what happened to me. I need to show people that they must speak up for themselves. So that someone could also get to a point where they say, ‘I am worth more that this person has downgraded me to be’,” she said during an interview with Gagasi FM.
Thando Thabethe created the ‘Make It Stop’ campaign in 2015, which aimed to create awareness about domestic violence. The TV and radio personality grew up in an abusive household, and watched her father abuse her mother.
“He would raise his hands at her for many years and I would watch it happen. The abuse was so bad that it eventually led to my dad committing suicide,” she told the Daily Sun.
But experience inspired Thando to help other women. She stripped off her clothes earlier this year to take part in Marie Claire’s naked issue. Thando posed nude for ‘People Against Women Abuse’. “I’m an activist, feminist and huge supporter of women’s rights,” she told the magazine, adding that she is happy to use her voice for important causes.
When celebrities are caught up in domestic violence scandals, their peers usually keep quiet to avoid drama. But not Bonnie Mbuli! When the actress and TV presenter heard about Cici’s altercation with 999 Music boss Arthur Mafokate, she didn’t hold back her feelings.
“I know it sux, but Cici will heal, grow,” she tweeted to her 167 000 followers. She added: “So grateful for Cici’s courage throughout this, can’t imagine the pain of those who’ve been silenced before.”
Maps Maponyane’s father Marks made headlines this year when he was found guilty of abusing his ex-wife Sylvia Maponyane. But it is not a case of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” for this father and son, as Maps stood in solidarity against women abuse after learning about Karabo’s death.
“Surely there comes a time when enough really IS enough and we all TRULY protect women, and CALL OUT & SHAME every single man that doesn’t!!?” he tweeted after her burnt body was found several months ago.
Ayanda Thabethe joined Denise Zimba and Khanya Mkangisa, in Thando Thabethe’s ‘Make It Stop’ campaign. The initiative came under fire for using celebrities instead of actual abuse victims, but Ayanda explained why she took part in such an important campaign.
“Conversations have been started, restarted and hopefully those going through this terrible ordeal would have taken some time for some introspection today. I took part in this campaign because Put simply I believe that No man has any right to physically or emotionally abuse and or manipulate a woman in the name of love. Remember your worth. You were in God’s thoughts before creation, you are wonderfully and fearfully made,” she wrote on Instagram.
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