Mzansi Celebrities Who Have Bravely Opened Up About Being Physically or Sexually Assaulted

It’s not always easy to speak up about sexual assault. Not only does talking about being assaulted bring the whole experience back to the present for victims, but there’s also the fact that shame can be attached to the incident — even though being assaulted is not the victim’s fault under any circumstances.

But when a celebrity talks openly about being assaulted, it can help heal the wounds of others who have gone through similar incidents. Assault can happen to anyone, and it doesn’t matter if you’re famous or not. It’s gut-wrenching and life-changing no matter who you are. Celebs who step up, however, put faces and names to sexual assault, which opens up the conversation.

Being famous isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Now more than ever, celebs are speaking out and sharing their own experiences in a bid to help and give courage to other people to leave a toxic and abusive relationship..

Loyiso Mcdonald was sexually assaulted by his neighbour when he was a child. He told his parents about the incident and it was only after he broke his silence, did other boys come forward.

"This is why it's so important to speak up. Once I spoke to my parents, and told them what I had experienced, they handled it with care. Out of that, other boys told their stories."

Skeem Saam actress Pebetsi got married in late 2020. Speaking to the another publication, Pebetsi revealed that she had suffered unexpected abuse during the relationship. However, she insisted that she did not want to badmouth her former husband.

“I don’t want to badmouth him or reveal too much of what happened, but yes, I suffered unexpected abuse from my ex-partner. We are both currently going through a process of healing, and we are no longer living together. I have been attending therapy, and my journey of healing has been going well so far,” she said.

Baby Cele has described her first marriage as a scary one. She faced physical abuse and even when she knew she needed to leave and her friends encouraged her to leave him, she still remained in the marriage for the fear of getting hunted and killed by her ex-husband. 

According to her, her first husband is not qualified to be called a man but a monster who could kill her like a dog if she left him. She was later able to leave the marriage but she became conscious and even scared to try another relationship. This was because the harsh treatment she received from the marriage made her feel worthless and led to her having little trust in men. 

Hungani suffered physical abuse when he was dating his then-lover while studying abroad.

“I’ve used so many tissue oils brands and facial treatments to repair my skin as best l could hide my scares”.

Read his story here 

Tsholo Matshaba

Tsholo accused the father of her child Dingaan Mokebe ( #Muvhango James) of physically abusing her when they were dating. She had to go through counselling for all the damage she endured.

Shoki Mmola

Shoki was an abusive relationship with her then-husband of ten years. However, she was left with deep wounds after they parted ways.


The actress watched her stepdad(s) beat up her mother and says she fell straight into the same pattern as soon as she started dating. And years later when Nozuko started dating in her late teenage years, she found herself being in an abusive relationship, just like her mother.

“When I was 19-years old, I dated an older guy who was 26 years and he was very abusive. I remember the first slap from my first love, I never questioned it nor told anyone about it. My second love was even worse. He was emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abusive,” says Nozuko.

The star says it was only when she found herself in these abusive relationships that she started to understand how growing up in an abusive home impacted her.

“It all started making sense to me now as an adult and I was like oh my word this is the result of what I went through.”

She only started dealing with the trauma as an adult, she says.

“I had to face my childhood trauma. I had long forgotten certain things that happened to my mom. And that is only because I kept them out of my memory.”

In 2019, after being in an abusive relationship for 3-years, Nozuko finally decided she had had enough, and she left.

What gave her the courage to leave that relationship? The day her ex tried to hurt her face. She knew it was time for her to leave him.

Andile Gaelesiwe

One of the celebrities who was taken advantage of by the person who was supposed to protect her is Andile Gaelesiwe. The ‘Khumbul’ekhaya’ host  revealed that she was raped by her father.

"So in September days before my bday I got thee traumatic shock of my life when I saw this face on my timeline. Thread. This was my biological father being looked for on this app. More traumatically he was my rapist. The last time I saw this man was when...he forced himself on me. So you can imagine my horror when I see people comment and some even joke re Khumbu and It broke me, I relived," she wrote on Twitter.

Andile is now an activist in the fight against sexual assault and runs an organisation, called Open Disclosure Foundation, which offers help to rape victims.

Tumi Morake

Tumi Morake talked about her rape ordeal.  She revealed that she lost her virginity at the age of 15 when she was raped by a boy  whom she had a crush.

“It was one of those weekends where we had a performance at one of the universities in the Free State and I had borrowed a belt from this boy I had a crush on. When I went to return it at his residence he locked the room and raped me. When I told him to stop he didn’t listen and when I tried to push him away he wouldn’t let me go,” .

The comedian said that she did not report the incident as she was afraid people would ask her what she was doing in his room in the first place. She says the incident left her broken.

Amanda du-Pont

Actress Amanda du-Pont raped by an ex-boyfriend Jub Jub.

“I’d refuse to have sex as I was tired or didn’t feel like it but he’d force himself on me. By then I was falling out of love with him but I still didn’t have the guts to leave. Rape in a relationship is horrible. You don’t understand that a person who claims to love you can violate you like that,” 

Rami Chuene

Actress Rami Chuene was raped when she was six and eight years old by close family friends.

“By the time I found out what being a virgin means, it was already a situation where I thought ‘Ah that means I am not it’. I never got the opportunity to brag like other girls about ‘my first time’ or that I am virgin,” 

Ntsiki Mazwai

Musician and poet Ntsiki Mazwai revealed the identity of her rapist while showing support for one of his victims. “I was also raped by Brickz,” she tweeted during the kwaito star’s rape trial.

Sipho ‘Brickz’ Ndlovu was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for raping a teenage girl in 2013. Ntsiki opened up about the emotions she felt after being raped in a song she released in late 2017.

“I finally acknowledged the tremendous amount of pain I have been carrying. I had a spill over. I wept… My only prayer is that Done To Me helps me and other victims purge the pain. I can’t write a happy song when I know I’m shattered inside. I wept from the pain till I wept from the joy of releasing it,”

Khanyi Mbau

In her book, Khanyi Mbau talks about how she was physically abused by her ex-husband Mandla Mthembu. She spoke about being hit while pregnant and also being beaten until she bled. She ended the relationship when she just couldn't take the abuse anymore.

“Abuse makes you angry and needy at the same time. It leaves you feeling schizophrenic.”

“I wrote my book as a trail of my history and origin, defining my destination”

Letoya Makhene

Letoya Makhene opened up about how she was physically abused by her ex-husband for years. Even though the abuse went on for years and made her lose her confidence, she felt too afraid to leave him. After 9 years of marriage, she eventually did left and today she's found new love and seems happier.

“It’s never easy to talk about a painful part of my life but somewhere, somehow I needed to grow and draw strength from the situation. I guess it was part of my healing process”

“I know we live in a world where many woman are in abusive relationships and I felt like I needed to share my story with my people, to inspire them to stand up and take their power back”

Kelly Khumalo

Kelly Khumalo became an activist against women and child abuse when she opened up about her own abuse. She came forward about being physically abused by her ex-boyfriend, rapper and singer Jub Jub. She managed to survive her situation and is encouraging other women to stand up against abuse.

“You are the person to say I will not do this, I will not be treated like this.

 Nyalleng Thibedi

 Nyalleng Thibedi also spoke about her experience with domestic abuse at the hands of her partner. “When someone tells you that you’re unworthy, you’re a good for nothing, by the time the abuse gets physical, they have worked so hard at breaking your spirit, there’s no way it’s not going to affect you,”. She added that she got out of the relationship when she realises she would lose her life.


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