Ayanda Borotho: 'I have seen the toxicity of male privilege around me for as long as I can recall'
'To the deceased, may your blood speak for you and the rest of us. To those who survived, may you find the light that was buried to help you live fearlessly'
Commemorating the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, actress and author Ayanda Borotho has opened a conversation about the importance of stopping the abuse of women and children not only at this time of the year, but on every day of every year.
Ayanda shared her views on the topic through a thought-provoking post on Instagram when she lifted the lid on her friend being killed by her husband, along with their three children, by driving towards an on coming car.
"Every day should be 16 days of activism of no violence against women and children, every day.
"About a month ago, I lost a dear friend who was trying to leave a marriage that was abusive emotionally, physically and financially. The husband drove into oncoming traffic with three of their children, killing himself, her and their three-year-old last born in a head on collision."
Ayanda revealed that the two other children survived, including those who were not with them that day.
"Her husband had been threatening to destroy and kill her for some time. She was in the process of leaving, but because we never really believe someone who says they love us can actually kill us, we stay, try, help, even allowing them access into our space after we leave."
The actress said her friend's hope that her husband would do better led him to take advantage of her.
"That was his chance. And he took it. The trauma of it all sent me straight into a dark hole. I am still processing how our men, husbands, brothers, sons, fathers, who are meant to protect us, end up being the very people who bury us.
"I have seen the toxicity of male privilege around me for as long as I can recall. When I wrote my book Unbecoming To Become, it was an attempt to unpack that patriarchy is a systematic narrative manufactured at birth, nurtured through socialisation and conditioning as we grow, protected and perpetuated [even by women], once we are trusted with it."
Ayanda touched on how she disliked the term "GBV" as it seeks to undermine the severity of the issue, which is the "systematic killing of vulnerable children and women
"The term is only but a manifestation of the toxic patriarchy we have been conditioned to normalise and embrace as part of our reality."
She said she plans to unpack themes from her book in honour of the women and children who were violated and killed by the men they loved.
"To the deceased, may your blood speak for you and the rest of us. To those who survived, may you find the light that was buried to help you live fearlessly. To the trapped, it's not impossible to start over. I beg you to choose you. To the voiceless, we will be your voice until you find the courage to unchain yours."