Survivors Stories

Mantwa's Story

A beautiful, soft hearted but bold and God fearing women I am. My name is Mantwa Moreme, a resident of Mpumalanga, Bushbuckridge in a township called Shatale. I am the first born child in a family of three. I have a younger brother and sister and we are surviving by our lovely mother after the passing of my dad. I am a graduate in Bachelor of Commerce in Economics. Ultimately I am a driven, well mannered, very ambitious individual who under any hindering circumstances is eager to succeed.

I would like to share a tragic story of my life. On the 16th of November 2014 I had a misfortune. At about 12h50 am, ten minutes before one o’clock in the morning, I was kidnapped. This date marks the traumatic time of my kidnapping and the devastating experience of rape. Being raped is no laughing matter; it is an experience that no one should ever go through. But since we are not architects of life some things are just destined to happen. These experiences are not there to deter us from our path but are there to test our endurance and strength. Now, going back to the events of the day, I remember this day so vividly, it was a rainy day and not just a rainy day but a very heavily stormy rainy day. I was dragged out from the comfort of my bed at my very own home, a place where naturally, any person would logically associate with safety. I was in my gown and bare footed. At first I thought it was one of those weird nightmares but when I stepped onto the water this is when I came to a realisation that this was not a bad dream but indeed it is reality. I cried so badly and I was like, oh my God is this really happening? I truly could not believe why God would let something like this happen to me. However, even though many questions were running through my head, I did not stop talking to my God.

I was left with a broken leg and very helpless. For the duration of 6 weeks, I was on crutches. I had to go through physiotherapy sessions in order to get back on my feet again. The sessions were not easy but for the sake of my health and physic to get back to normal, I had to be strong, it was not easy but because I needed my full recovery I had to persevere. For my emotional wellbeing I had to attend two different psychologists. It was then after my sessions that I realised that life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us. Anybody who has been verbally abused or physically abused will spend a great deal of their life rebuilding their esteem. I am an extraordinary person who lived through hell. I buried all of my feelings about it. We must remain strong in the face of adversity and meet the challenges one day at a time. And as time heals both the body and soul, we may come to understand the meaning of our trials and recognize the good that comes from them.Sometimes it is difficult to understand why life throws us a curve in the road and then suddenly changes everything. While there are no maps to steer us through these tough terrains, there are certain assurances to help guide us in our route. Having faith, perhaps, is the greatest assurance of all. This experience has changed me forever, they say that time heals all wounds but secretly I know that this wound will not completely heal and will forever leave a deep scar that will never be forgotten.

Life is a series of lessons; I have faith that no matter how painful it may seem at times, I am uncovering truths of immeasurable worth. I have learnt to be content in whatever circumstances I am facing. At times I sit and think, some things are meant to hurt me or harm me but I remain at peace knowing that life is about balancing the good with the bad #forever I soldier, and God give his greatest battles to his strongest soldiers. Psalm 94 v 14 keeps me going and I have faith that I am strong, capable, deserving and wise. I told myself that one day I will look back and smile, there is nothing without an ending and nobody ever said that it would be easy or that the skies would always be sunny. When grey days and worrisome times come along, you need to stay strong. Told myself if people like Oprah Winfrey and Rebecca Malope could survive rape and inspire then why can’t I be the same, survive and inspire. I don't let bad moments overcome me, I am patient and I know they will pass. It is hope that gives me the strength to keep going when I feel like giving up. I have learnt to let go, refused to have negative thoughts and replaced them with positive ones. Some lady who inspires me said, “Most people would use this experience as a life excuse, Mantwa know that you were not consumed, you have prevailed.” I really do believe there is a power greater than myself. My story just helped define and shape me as does everyone's story. Many people still do not understand the implications of sexual abuse. This is not just the act of physical abuse, but it is the misuse of trust and shame that follows. Unlike any other pain that inflicts either the emotional or physical. Rape inflicts all pain possible, emotionally, physically and mentally. I am a victim YES but I will not let it victimise me and I am proud to say I am a SURVIVOR! To get to the place that I am currently at, I did not do it all on my own. I was with God and his angels that are still on earth. I am yet to face bigger challenges such as attending the court case and possibly facing the culprits face to face. I am waiting for that day and from God I will seek strength.

A special thank you goes out to my loving family, my best cousins Busisiwe and Amantle and a very special friend my BFF Takatso. A very big thank you goes out to the medical team; the two amazing woman, my psychologists; Mrs Magda Rall and Mrs L.P Sibuyi and the best doctor anyone could possibly hope for, Dr Okonta. They have truly played a huge role in helping me slowly put back the pieces together. Thank you also to my sister in christ Lindz (Twinnie ) and my lovely friend Mantwa Mashego and everyone else who has played a role, stood by me during the toughest time of my life. Thank you all and appreciate all the efforts and time you have given me.

Much Love: Mantwa