Breaking the hold of shame

02 July 2021 - 10:39
'When Secrets Become Stories' shows how common male violence against women is.
'When Secrets Become Stories' shows how common male violence against women is.
Image: Supplied

She was asking for it.

She should have known better.

Bekezela (persevere), she was told.

It’s because I love you, he said.

It’s not that bad, she told herself.

Sharing their experiences from girlhood to the boardroom, from Cape Town’s suburbs to the hills of KwaZulu-Natal, women from different walks of life show how chillingly common male violence against women is. Together, their voices form a deafening chorus.

Gender-based violence feeds on shame and silence but in this extraordinary collection, brave women reclaim their power and summon the courage in others to do the same. By speaking out, sharing what was once secret, shame’s hold is broken.

With contributions by Lorraine Sithole, Desiree-Anne Martin, University of Cape Town  vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Shafinaaz Hassim, Cathy Park Kelly and Olivia Jasriel, who as a child was sexually abused by tennis star Bob Hewitt.

Heart-rending at times, it is the honesty and courage of the writing that truly inspires.

About the editor

Sukoluhle “Sue” Nyathi is a writer by passion and an investment analyst by profession. She has written three novels The Polygamist (2012), The GoldDiggers (2018) and A Family Affair (2020). The GoldDiggers was longlisted for the Barry Ronge Fiction Award and the Dublin Literary Award, while A Family Affair has been longlisted for the Humanities and Social Sciences Award. She also contributed to Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu? (2019) and Hair: Unpicking and Weaving stories of Identity (2019). Nyathi lives in Johannesburg.


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