As part of Women's Month, e.tv’s daily drama, "Imbewu - The Seed" penned a storyline highlighting the plight of women abuse in relationships.
Mishka Gounden, who plays the character of Mira Rampersad in the drama, executes her role as the abused girlfriend perfectly.
The storyline, which started at the beginning of August is entertaining and educational.
“Having storylines like these makes a difference. It has the power to inspire, help, empower, educate and bring awareness to individuals in our communities because they can relate or develop a better understanding of certain matters,” said Gounden about the current story being told.
She said once the story started, she has been inundated with messages from fans who shared their own experiences, thanking her for highlighting the topic and for portraying such a storyline accurately.
While Gounden, who is a part of the initial cast of "Imbewu - The Seed", made the role look easy, it was challenging and she had to fully prepare herself mentally and physically.
“There are many types of abuse and we showed all of them in the storyline. To mentally and emotionally prepare myself to experience those different types of abuse, in order to give an impactful and accurate performance was a roller coaster,” she said.
She researched the topic, met abused victims, spoke to numerous psychologists and watched documentaries to learn more.
“Physically, it was exhausting. I cried so much on set even when our day was over because I carried the emotional baggage of Mira, it was a challenge to get out of character at the end of a shooting day,” said Gounden.
She said this storyline holds a special place in her heart.
“I had such a professional, passionate and supportive cast. It also leaves a lasting mark in my life due to the fact that I researched so much into abuse and got to meet incredible, strong and phenomenal women along the way. We all worked really hard on this story line and it was an incredibly difficult journey but it worked miracles. To know that I have helped many women through my passion, really warms my heart. This story will always be special to me,” she said.
Offering her advice to all abused women, Gounden said they need to know they are not alone.
“Some women may feel that if they walk away from an abusive relationship they will be completely alone with nowhere to go and to start from the beginning will be hard. However, it is important for them to understand that wherever it is they go, will always be much better than where they are right now,” she said.
She added that women possess a great amount of power, they must regain that power and liberate themselves from the shackles of abuse.
“There are many places where help is provided and free. There are organizations which help women regain their lives and help them be independent women,” she said.
Gounden said this month is important and needs to be celebrated.
“We have such a rich history of women in SA who are phenomenally courageous and brave. They have made their mark in history by standing up for their rights, fighting against the system despite all odds, sacrificing their lives, fighting for justice and gender equality and liberating women. They are expected to take on many roles, whether it's within their families, careers or any other aspect of their lives. That's why I am proud to be a woman to carry this wonderful legacy forward,” she said.
*"Imbewu - The Seed" airs weekdays on e.tv, Openview Channel 104 and DStv Channel 194 at 9.30pm.