LETTER: Chippa’s Place is very nice but lacks privacy

2017-01-12 06:01

On Chrismas eve, my friends and I attended a birthday party at Chippa’s Place in Mbekweni, Paarl.

Chippa’s Place is well known as it has a tshisa nyama and is constantly hosting big names in the music industry through major events powered by big alcohol brands.

What appalled me and led me to write this letter is what I saw and experienced in the ladies bathrooms.

The doors which were previously full length doors in each of the stalls had been cut in half leaving just the bottom half. Think of horse stables.

Each and every one of the doors has been cut to leave the top part open and exposing whoever is inside the cubicle.

The ladies bathrooms at Chippa’s are the first ones you come across, then the male bathrooms.

What I found interesting and also disturbing is that the male units have not been cut in the same manner and there’s actually a long passage before you can even see into the bathrooms, as opposed to that of the ladies.

What disturbed me the most was that because there’s practically no entrance door or perhaps it stays open because of the traffic, men were walking freely into the ladies toilets looking for their girlfriends and were able to see directly into each stall violating the ladies privacy.

So not only are the women exposed to each other, violating all sense of privacy but the men could also easily be privileged to a half naked woman trying to relieve herself. This on its own can lead to sexual harassment and assault!

As we all know women have to sit down or squat when taking leaks, unlike men who stand.

In order to do this, pants have to be pulled down to the ankles, skirts and dresses have to pulled up. That already is awkward on it’s owner but it’s even more so when you can’t do so in a private space and even more so when it’s not just the same sex that has access to seeing your exposed parts.

There’s so much I could say regarding this but it’s really not right. Why have the women’s right to privacy been stripped away like this? Why do men have easy access to half naked bodies of women relieving themselves? Why are women being made to feel like horses at Chippa’s? Why are the rights of women being blatantly violated in this manner?

I have never seen anything like this and I’m still quite traumatized by the whole ordeal. I would very much like something to be done about this. Far too many women flood Chippa’s place weekend on weekend for them to be treated in this disgusting manner.

I was unable to get Chippa for an explanation while I was there, and the male staff I questioned just brushed me and my trauma aside.

Nzwaki Mapoma via email

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