This piece was written by TshisaLIVE’s Karishma Thakurdin after abuse allegations surfaced between Babes Wodumo and her on again/off again boyfriend and manager, Mampintsha.
I am fully aware that as a journalist who is governed by the press code I am not supposed to have an opinion on the Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha abuse debacle that has been unfolding‚ however‚ as a woman and in my personal capacity‚ I not only have strong opinions‚ I also have an incredible sense of anger.
Let me tell you why.
There have been so many different opinions about the way radio personality Masechaba Ndlovu handled the interview with Mzansi’s national treasure‚ Babes Wodumo earlier this year.
For those of you who have been living under a rock‚ let me balance you. In May Masechaba confronted Babes about allegedly being abused at the hands of her longterm boyfriend and record label boss‚ Mampintsha.
Masechaba claimed that she knew Babes was allegedly being abused for a long time and that there was an incident when the Wololo hitmaker’s leg was allegedly broken and she was allegedly punched in the face. In a live video of the interview‚ Babes started shaking and had to be consoled by friends who were there.
Since then Mampintsha has released a lengthy statement‚ a video and has appeared on Metro FM for a ‘right of reply’ interview. In all these instances Mampintsha has not confirmed or denied the allegations‚ instead he has professed his love for Babes and labelled the interview an “ambush tactic” by a third party.
The allegations sent shockwaves through Mzansi and there has been an outpouring of support for Babes. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about‚ I am angry about the backlash Masechaba got for taking a stand against the alleged abuser‚ for speaking out and for trying to empower a young woman.
The reason I’m so angry is because on a daily basis‚ even in our personal circles‚ we often turn a blind eye to abuse until it’s too late. A very close friend of mine was being abused at the hands of her ex-boyfriend for years and she suffered in silence.
For years she would make up excuses for the bruises on her body‚ the cut on her nose or the excessive make-up‚ which hid the evidence of her battered face. All the signs were there. The constant fights between her and her boyfriend‚ his possessive nature. The fear she had in her eyes and her edginess…It was all there.
She endured the pain and suffering in silence for years because she was too scared to speak out. She was ashamed. She did not want other people involved and‚ most importantly‚ she did not want to do anything that would anger him and make the situation worse.
The other problem was‚ as one of her closest friends and a young woman myself‚ I didn’t look closely enough. When she eventually opened up to me‚ I had no idea what to do.
I encouraged her to leave him‚ to take a stand‚ to go to kickboxing lessons to learn to defend herself. But ultimately‚ in hindsight‚ I did nothing.
The abuse carried on for years after until‚ eventually‚ my friend moved cities. Thank goodness she survived‚ but there was a huge possibility that he could have killed her and then it would have all been too late.
Say what you want about Masechaba overstepping the mark. I believe we need more Masechaba’s in this world and I for one salute her. I also think it’s about time that we‚ as women‚ stop turning a blind eye to abuse of any form.
Starting right now.