“I am not blaming anyone, especially not my dad, for me being gay,” says a distraught Thulasizwe 'LaSizwe' Dambuza.
This is following an article about the popular social media vlogger, who is also Khanyi Mbau's brother, published yesterday. The report has since led to accusations of defamation and sabotage, with Dambuza claiming he has been misquoted.
According to Dambuza, the purpose of the article was supposed to be about his sexuality and him making a success of himself as a young person.
But then the article made the explosive claim that 18-year-old Dambuza is gay because of his father’s absence in his life.
"Because my father didn't raise me, I am who I am today. My environment socialised me to connect with my feminine side over my masculinity. I grew up peeing like the females in my house," reads the opening paragraph.
“That part was rewritten to suit them," he said.
"When I said that, I meant that my father was not a 365, 24/7 type of a father but that doesn’t affect who I am. Now it seems like I am blaming my dad for me being gay. It's made to seem like I am saying my dad is the cause of all of this, and also carries a (connotation) that I can easily go to a switch and say ‘undo, I am now straight', which hurts me.
"I am not just a celebrity, I am role model to young kids. I get messages (for advice daily). Now all this looks like a publicity stunt," says Dambuza.
After reading the article, Dambuza posted a video in which he expressed his discontent and anger at the ‘lies’ published on the publication. He consequently received a call from a representative of Sowetan, telling him to remove his video from social media as it was defamatory.
“I was told that they would release recordings of the interview if I do not take down what I said. Since this is my first saga (controversial article), I felt scared – anything can happen. With media, footage (audio) can easily be tampered with and then all this can easily become bigger than what it is. I just felt to end all of this, I needed to follow the instructions and obey,” he noted.
But removing the video does not make the article right, said Dambuza. He said he acted out of fear and confusion to what, he felt, were threats. He then deleted the video from all his social media platforms.
He further commented that the article has negatively affected his relationship with his father. Their relationship has become unnecessarily strained. He said he went to speak to his father on Tuesday morning, but was advised by his sisters to come back later when "things have calmed down".
The article also alleged that Dambuza is not accepted in the media industry, due to his sexuality.
Thalasizwe Dambuza. Picture: Itumeleng English
"I acknowledge that I did the interview with them, but my words were taken out of context and moulded to suit them. Now it seems like they are out to ruin the relationship between my dad and my reputation in the entertainment industry.
"Already this seems like I am bashing the people that feed me, I am burning bridges, which I am not. It was never my intention. It comes across as me saying that everybody who gave me a job thus far never accepted me," he said.
In comments that have come through from the article, some readers have taken to attacking Dambuza, labeling him as "stupid" and "attention seeking", while others have risen to his defense.
Sowetan live is busy spreading lies about Lasizwe sies abana mahloni 😤😤🙄😕 pic.twitter.com/cPIdODLPxW— Nosi (@Nosipho___) June 21, 2017
SO many children are raised by single parents and turn out just fine. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. This needs to be fixed.— FeatherAwardsSA (@FeathersSA) June 21, 2017