GBV – a personal tale

Once upon a time I worked in Mariannhill and I was staying in Pinetown, there by Ilanga FET College but further down the road, at the end of Bamboo lane.It’s a few kilometers from the taxi rank, which I didn’t mind because it meant I got to exercise at least 5 days a week.When I started renting in NPN, I shared with someone who was actually planning to move out behind my back, leaving me with a burden of a huge, expensive flat. So after a month I moved two floors down and moved in with my Ghanaian friends. A couple. The wife was pregnant at the time. The food they cooked stank so badly, so needless to say, after a few months I said my goodbyes and rented a bachelor flat on Bamboo Ln from Kerry, a young lawyer who was too sweet for her profession.

I could finally have friends over!A problem soon developed, when this muslim man (headwrap, thawb and all), was always following me home. I noticed him for weeks before he finally spoke to me.

To this day, I honestly don’t know why I never got a gun or at least pepper spray.After I rejected him, he openly followed me. He didn’t even try to hide it any more. The following distance became shorter and shorter.

I wish I could say that he was the first creepy guy to do that to me but nope.Back in primary school, I used to walk past Mjoka road just to be in a group, then offramp kaMsane and swiftly cross to gogo’s house. One creep used to wait for me by the bamboo bushes kaGog’uMaCele. He’s dead now, thank God!My biggest pain is that I couldn’t tell on him because I knew it would have been turned around on me.I would have been asked what I knew about adult things and blamed for his actions and intentions, so running to my grandmother is all I knew to do.The other creep also in primary school would pop up out of nowhere whenever I was walking alone, and I can still smell his cigarette breath. I think he’s also dead.What I can’t figure out is how they were not scared of my dad🤔So, from an early age I was aware of the dangers of predators and that somehow I was an easy target. Being a loner did not help me one bit. Introversion and shyness had a lot to do with it also.

I often wonder if my getting fat was in part because I was trying to protect myself from predators.

I already know that the stress of corporal punishment definitely has a hand in it and the fact that I had access to every type of junk food that you could imagine and there was no restrictions on how much junk food I could eat. Genes also have a role to play in it.

Back to the point, I think that men of different ages from different backgrounds are capable and feel comfortable treating women badly because they have been raised to believe that women are lesser beings and that they are entitled to women and their bodies.

How else do you justify playing with a gir’s feelings because you are bored. Or getting a girl drunk, so you could have your way with her?

I have witnessed so many hazardous situations where a guy preys on a woman or girl, perhaps that’s why I don’t like drinking (in public especially).

I also don’t like not having a plan b, in case I get ditched in Durban market at dusk as has happened before. (A story for another day).

I have devised all these safety protocols for myself, which are unfortunately not fullproof.

We can certainly minimize our risks by:

  1. Limiting alcohol consumption in public or when around males
  2. Always have enough money for a cab ride home or a hotel room
  3. Meet blind dates in public areas
  4. Never be alone with a guy you don’t know very well (uncle Steve’s 90 day rule has some merit)
  5. Avoid sleepovers when you are not ready to be intimate with someone

Unfortunately girls shouldn’t be the ones getting advised about these things, but there seems to be a broken telephone situation with the other gender. It appears that the misogyny and patriarchy is deeply entrenched and will not be challenged successfully any time soon.

Published by FabulousMeuJwara

I'm a dark-skinned black woman who loves life, fashion, food and books. I am a writer at heart. I am fat and fabulous. I enjoy traveling and exploring. I am creative and smart. Welcome to my world!

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