Nandile Ndamase is a singer, songwriter, and performer who believes that music is one of the most influential mediums that can be used to reach people in society, and communicate relatable circumstances through lyrics and melodies.
“Life inspires what I write, real-life experiences, emotions, and society. I have always found healing in music because every emotion can be found within music and whenever I felt like nobody related to me, I could always find a song that made sense to me,” said Ndamase.
Ndamase was sexually assaulted at a very young age, and this resulted in her suffering from anxiety disorder and depression.
“I was raped at the age of five. I only spoke up about it 16 years later to my parents when I was 21,” she said.
In a journey of finding healing, Ndamase chose to attend therapy sessions, but she was continuously violated by her therapist, who made her feel uncomfortable.
“I did see a therapist before I spoke to my parents because I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, so I opened up to him. Unfortunately, opening up in that environment did not necessarily help because certain actions displayed by him made me feel very uncomfortable,” she said.
Her perpetrator was arrested and spent many years in correctional service facilities, but this doesn’t heal the double-whammy of the trauma that Ndamase has had to endure.
Ndamase said she had forgiven her rapist for the sake of peace, which had helped her find healing.
“I have forgiven him, not for his peace but mine, and it took me a long time to heal from my trauma, but I eventually did,” she said.
She said she suppressed the memory and as she got older, she started to remember the molestation that occurred before the rape.
“I used to get very distinct images, I even remember the day that I bled, and I remember feeling so much fear and so much pain,” Ndamase said.
Ndamase encourages other rape survivors to stop self-blame and accept that it was never their fault.
“The one thing that I would share with any rape survivor is that it was never your fault, I was at the age of nine to 12 when the images started coming back and even then when I finally figured it out, I blamed myself. Rape is not your fault, it has nothing to do with how you are dressed, where you are, how old you are, what you look like, your sexuality or even your relationship status,” she said.
Ndamase is hoping her music career will end up at an international level.
“I would love to be the artist that people listen to, not just for the sound but for the message, especially when it comes to topics like anxiety and depression,” she said.