Bongi Mlotshwa Picture: Instagram.
Bongi Mlotshwa Picture: Instagram.

Enhle Mbali's mother Bongi Mlotshwa speaks up on gender-based violence

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Jun 24, 2020

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With gender-based violence (GBV) on the increase in South Africa, award-winning makeup artist, Bongi Mlotshwa decided to engage the public on the issue and share her experiences.

The mother of local actress, Enhle Mbali, took to Instagram to talk about how she saw GBV as a common thing since she grew up in a household where her grandmother and mother were abused.

“This femicide situation that’s been happening is getting out of hand. Sadly, most of us think it’s a new thing, but it’s not. Most of us have seen abuse and normalised it. I’ve seen three generations of abuse. 

"I’ve seen my grandmother and mother being emotionally abused, and I was emotionally abused, and have been in a relationship with someone who used to hit me,” Mlotshwa said.

Mlotshwa added that seeing her parents fight somehow made her think that’s what happens in love until she realised that it shouldn’t be like that. She expressed how seeing another generation of women go through the same thing is saddening, which is why she is encouraging mothers to talk to their children about the abuse they endured.

“It seems like the cycle is going on and maybe we’re not doing a good job as parents, and society as a whole but without shifting blame, we have a problem. 

"I think as mothers we need to change the game because we are ones who usually experience these things. We need to tell our girls that no one should beat them up, we need to tell them the truth about what we’ve been through and how it made us feel,” said Mlotshwa.

In August 2017, South African women marched to the Union Buildings to highlight the plight of women and girls in the country.

In response to that march, the government held a National Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit to find solutions to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. The summit was held in November 2018. 

If you have experienced abuse or know someone who is being abused, contact the 24-hour Gender-Based Violence Command Centre toll-free number on 0800 428 428. 

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