Why I’m boycotting Chris Brown’s concert

2012-11-06 11:27

Hearing about Rihanna and Chris Brown getting back together made me feel quite ill.

But I can’t say I was surprised – it’s a classic case of battered woman syndrome.

From what Rihanna has told us about how her father abused her mother and how Chris had a tough upbringing, the two were destined to gravitate towards each other again.

Watching her being interviewed by Oprah in Barbados felt like she was preparing us for the inevitable reunion, because she couldn’t (for the sake of her album sales, perhaps) simply take Chris back without explaining to the world how she’d gone to therapy to begin to repair her relationship with herself so she could begin to repair her friendship with her former lover – and forgive him.

So just because Rihanna has forgiven Chris, should we?

How about R Kelly?

He came out a few months ago with a sob story about how he was abused when he was a child by a woman 10 years his senior.

Does that mean we should forgive and forget that he was convicted on 21 counts of child pornography a few years ago, or that he has been named in several accusations of sexual abuse?

I’m not Chris’s girlfriend or R Kelly’s wife, but I find it incredibly difficult to carry on as if nothing happened.

According to Gender Links for Equality and Justice, there were 35 820 reported cases of sexual offences against women and 28 128 against children in South Africa from 2010-2011.

And in research conducted with the South African Medical Research Council, 15 307 cases of domestic violence were opened in Gauteng alone between 2008 and 2009.

With figures like these, it’s not enough merely to slam abusive behaviour on social networking platforms. So I’m taking a stand and boycotting Chris Brown’s concert this December, and you won’t find a single R Kelly album in my music collection… I encourage you to do the same.

» Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine is a freelance editor, writer and blogger.

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