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"He had police friends so I couldn't even report the abuse": How South Africa's War on Women Impacted Me

A South African woman shares her story of gender-based violence in the hopes of helping other women.

South Africa's gender-based violence, especially rape and femicide, is a national crisis. The past week has seen women marching to bring about a solution to the widespread epidemic. The following is one South African woman's account of gender-based violence at the hands of her partner and what led her to eventually leave him.

Read her story in her own words below.


I'll share my experience, maybe it'll help other women to see the signs I should have seen long before he put his hands on me. We first met with what started as awkward cat-calling even when I didn't want his attention. I gave him my numbers out of fear but as we kept chatting he appeared to be a fairly decent guy who was actually more "charming" than first impressions led me to believe. I was 17-years-old, naive, and so I fell for him.

However, he soon began scrutinizing everything that I did and used excessive force and fear to get me to "admit" to cheating on him. He'd even threaten to snatch my younger brother from the streets out of spite, and once, he told me that he would physically tie me to his car and drag me around the township until I was exposed to the bone. Every time I tried to leave, he'd give me his crocodile tears and "I'm going to get help" sob story. For some time it would be calm and he'd love me with so much passion. I'd be naive and think he had changed and stay, and then all it would take was just one missed call to trigger the whole damn cycle again. He had police friends, so I couldn't even report the abuse, because they would just call him and then he'd really be pissed.

I kept convincing myself that I can change him when actually, he was too far gone. It got so bad that he would threaten the rest of my family as well. He once nearly hit my mom with his car. The last straw was when his baby mama was around from KwaZulu-Natal and she "caught" him and I just chilling at a local spaza shop. She slapped me so hard I had a swollen face for an entire week. But that wasn't even the worst of it. I then had to watch him beat her like a damn drum and only then did I realise what he was truly capable of. He was manic and then it dawned on me, his threats were not just threats, they were promises.

I realized that you can't change a leopard's spots. Leaving him wasn't easy and he threatened the shit out of me and my family. To this day, I still look over my shoulder when I'm at home in Cosmo City, for fear that he may still get me.

"Speaking out is hard because society makes you feel like it's your fault you're a victim."

Like you should've known better. It was always, "well what did you do to make him so angry? Surely he must've had a reason?"

But, I don't want anyone's pity. I just want to create awareness and give other women the reassurance that they're not alone and the courage to know that they can escape the clutches of horrible humans.

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Miss South Africa Wants Men to Write Love Letters to Women to Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping abusive men from writing these love letters too.

South Africa's newly crowned Miss SA Zozibini "Zozi" Tunzi has launched a "HeForShe" campaign which aims to tackle the alarming rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the country. The campaign, which is in partnership with the South African arm of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), wants South African men to step up and join the collective fight against abuse. However, the campaign has been criticized by many because of the way in which it wants men to step—by writing love letters to women. The campaign has divided South Africans, particularly those on social media.

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South Africans are Outraged that a Convicted Rapist's Crime is Being Downplayed in an Interview on National Television

The country's public broadcaster is interviewing convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow's mother who insists her son is not a rapist but a man who 'made a mistake'.

Almost two weeks ago, Judge Mokhine Mosopa of the Gauteng High Court, sentenced convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow to life in prison. The sentence came after he was found guilty of raping a 7-year-old girl in a bathroom at the restaurant where he worked as a waiter last year . At the sentencing proceedings, South Africans were appalled that Ninow was allowed to recite a bizarre 48-line poem which he had addressed to the victim and her family, allegedly as a way of showing his remorse. As if that weren't bad enough, South Africa's public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), has now interviewed Ninow's mother in what many have described to be "insensitive" and a downplaying of his crime.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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