Another day, another name added to the ridiculously long list of women who have been brutally murdered in South Africa. Living in South Africa right now, particularly as a black woman is overwhelming. We have racist (and in some cases xenophobic) views to dismantle every day. There is a pandemic outside that is still raging AND on top of that, the men in South Africa have as their mandate to kill until all the women are dead and they have the country to themselves. Isn’t it funny that everyone knows someone who has been sexually or physically abused yet the amount of slaps on the wrist that these men are given is disproportionate to the women who have been murdered.
In South Africa I have never felt safe running, constantly watching over my shoulder, carefully mapping out which routes to take. Getting nervous when I see a group of men congregating, at times running with a scowl on my face in hopes that I look unapproachable enough to not be murdered. Each time a woman is murdered, we hear and read the same statement from the incumbent president. Last week (June 2020) in the covid-19 update, President Ramaphosa referred to the men in South Africa as the second pandemic that women and young children are having to contend with. Truer words have never been spoken. Being a woman in South Africa means living with anxiety that the minute you step out of the house, you aren’t safe. I for one plan my runs around less busier hours which means less men gawking, less anxiety and hopefully more safety? This is why I advise all women in South Africa to become well versed in protecting themselves, the men in this country have no intention to stop. The proof in this lies in the fact that I had initially written this post in June but I never finished it because thinking of the women who are now another horrible statistic. When will it end? It’s the question on every woman’s lips because we are tired. Rest in peace Kwasa, I am so sorry this country could not protect you.