Sebenza Women Awards co-founder Kini Shandu suspended for a year for misogynistic comments

Kini Shadu (left) at the Sebenza Women Awards 2023. File Picture: Supplied

Kini Shadu (left) at the Sebenza Women Awards 2023. File Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 9, 2024


Social media can be a very dangerous place if you don’t know how to use it properly. Some people get caught up in the fame, forgetting that the highly addictive social media fame can either make or break you.

In one of his hottest verses on “Run Jozi”, KO has a powerful quote: “Next thing your career is over, ntwana over some characters”, in which he was referring to people who put their jobs on the line on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Seems, many didn’t learn a lesson from that line and continue to ruin their lives because of social media.

One of the people who went clout chasing was Kininonke Shadu, the co-founder of Sebenza Women Awards.

In a post deleted from Facebook, Shandu spoke about how women who have children out of wedlock bring shame to their families and shouldn’t be asked for a hand in marriage.

The “Umkhokha: The Curse” actor continued to say no man would impregnate a well-kept woman (referring to virgins) and not pay for damages, but with the ones who already have children, you have to think twice before paying for damages.

People on Facebook called for his head, saying he was being sexist and misogynistic.

What made them even more angry was that he co-founded the Sebenza Women Awards, a platform aimed at celebrating women. So it was ironic for him to speak ill of the same people he was supposed to be uplifting.

Sebenza Women Awards then announced the suspension of Shandu.

“Mr Kininonke Shandu will be treated as a first-time offender for bringing the name of the Sebenza Women Awards into disrepute - which means that we are not going to cancel or fire him from the Executive.

“However, he now does have a disciplinary file against him and will be cancelled only this year from participating in the Sebenza Women Awards 2024.”

They further stated that the actor would donate sanitary pads to girls and issue a 30-second video apology.

People felt like that was a mere slap on the wrist because although he would not be the face of the awards he’d still be working behind the scenes.

“This man has been consistently malicious towards women for years. It's always been baffling that he is in any way or form associated with women's awards.

“It's equally baffling that his recent behaviour is considered a first-time offence, while it is so malicious and harmful not only to women but to children who grow up in this fatherless society whose dignity and humanity are trampled upon by this man.

“We are watching the brands that continue to associate with such misogyny. As Kini's day has, so will their day come. To him, the plight and recognition of women is just a money-making scheme.

“This statement simply seeks to sanitise the situation and not take it for what it really is,” commented Nhlanhla Thandwa.

Many people who agreed with Thandwa also highlighted that the organisation was lenient on Shandu because he was a co-founder.

So, they suggested the best way to deal with the matter would be for women to not participate in the awards.

“In short, he will be behind the scenes and, therefore, still gain anyway? For all future nominees to withdraw and distance themselves from this joke of a brand, surely there are other platforms that genuinely honour, empower and respect women in this country,” said Mandisa Ndiso Xaba-Khuzwayo.

Read the full Sebenza Women Awards statement below: