Social media users rally to organise baby shower for Mnakwethu's MaShelembe

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Makhosazana MaShelembe Shelembe
Makhosazana MaShelembe Shelembe
Photo: Facebook
  • Strangers on social media band together to organise a baby shower for Mnakwethu's Makhosazana "MaShelembe" Shelembe, whose emotionally-charged story touched many viewers.
  • Mnakwethu on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) tackles the issue of polygamy and gives married men a chance to overcome the fear of introducing the culture to their current wife/wives.
  • In the much talked about episode, a pregnant Shelembe spoke about the emotional abuse she was enduring in her marriage.

An emotionally charged episode of Mnakwethu that aired earlier this week has seen strangers on social media band together to organise a baby shower for Makhosazana "MaShelembe" Shelembe, whose story touched many viewers.

Shelembe appeared on the controversial reality show hosted by KwaZulu-Natal polygamist Musa Mseleku on Tuesday night. The show tackles the issue of polygamy and gives married men a chance to overcome the fear of introducing the culture to their current wife/wives.

In the much talked about episode, which trended on social media, the viewers were introduced to Bheki Langa, from Nquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal, who wanted Mseleku to assist him in asking his wife, MaShelembe, to accept his mistress Hlengiwe Sithole.

The episode left viewers angry and in tears after Langa revealed that he had already secretly paid lobola for his mistress without seeking permission from his wife first.

A heavily pregnant MaShelembe refused to let her husband take a second wife. Her voice a mere whisper, and tears rolling down her face, Shelembe's voice cracked as she shared the emotional abuse she was enduring in her marriage. She also revealed that her husband does not support her financially and no longer spends time with her.

The anguish, which was evident in her voice, prompted social media users like Ncumisa Ndelu to mobilise online and organise a baby shower for the unemployed soon-to be mother of two.

Less than 24 hours after the show aired, social media users, mostly women, managed to get Shelembe's contact details and called her to offer words of solace and support.

Speaking to W24, Ndelu, who has organised a drop and go baby shower in Durban for Shelembe said she was touched by her pain.

"I'm a woman, and I couldn't not be touched."

"My intention was not to make her relive the trauma of the night before. The intention of the initiate is to let her know, 'we see you; we hear you; we love you as women'."

Ndelu, a journalist by trade, a wife, and mother of two daughters, said the response for what she has now termed the 'provincial baby shower has been overwhelming. 

The post she shared on her Facebook page had received over 1 000 likes and nearly 4 000 shares by Thursday morning.

"It's crazy. The response has been overwhelming. I have received phone calls and inbox messages from women wanting to get involved. I literally slept after midnight last night because of the responses. It's beyond my wildest imagination.

"The initiative is being spearheaded by ordinary women to support another woman. We are fixing her crown. When I told her about the baby shower, she was very happy and that's all we want," Ndelu added.

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