She strides ekasi stage

2009-10-02 13:54

MY perception of young women ekasi changed when I came across a rape survivor on Soweto TV recently.

At 19, her scars spoke volumes about the trauma she had gone through growing up in a township.

With the attitude of a true ­survivor, she told of how she had been raped twice in less than a year.

The first incident happened at the Meadowlands sportsgrounds after a late night party. At gunpoint, she was repeatedly raped by three drunk men.

Four months later she was raped by her brother’s former friend, who dragged her to his house, held a knife to her neck and raped her.

I don’t think I would have survived such trauma at 19, let alone been able to share it with the whole world. At that age I was planning my wedding to ­R Kelly. I had picked the venue, the dress, the first dance song and our children’s names.

Although that didn’t materialise, I still had my whole life to find ­another man. And at 21, I was sure I had found true love in DJ S’bu.

But being a 19-year-old in 2009 comes with different ­challenges and fantasies.

This young woman fantasises about seeing the men who robbed her of her youth locked up behind bars. Every day she goes to the ­Orlando police station hoping for a breakthrough even though the odds are against her.

She is also a Grade 11 drop-out with a one-year-old child to feed. I see young girls like her in long queues at ATM machines every month waiting patiently to get their child ­support grants.

With no hope for a better tomorrow, the children on their backs have become a symbol of failure in a society that judges us harshly for our mistakes.

But this one girl won’t let her circumstances get her down.

“My days of crying are over. The scars might never go away, but my soul is at peace,” she said. The host seemed overly ­concerned about the woman’s dress sense, which he thought was inappropriate for someone who had ­already been raped twice.

But it wasn’t her dress sense that was inappropriate, it was the question and the meaning behind it that made it look like she had brought all this upon herself.

A man with a brain the size of a peanut would still find his way around a woman’s double layers of clothing.

The guest was quick to remind the host that the streets of Soweto were her stage, and that she would continue to ­express herself the way she wanted to. “If you want to rape me for that go ahead. I am a ­happy person who refuses to be a victim of someone else’s grudge on life,” she said brushing her beautiful long legs.

We can all learn a thing or two from her positive outlook on life.

Mapiloko?is?a reporter for?City Press’s investigative unit

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