Fight against abuse

Residents from Gugulethu and surrounding areas converged at the Gugulethu Sport Complex last Sunday in a prayer service organised by NGO Ilitha Labantu, and in partnership with the religious community to raise awareness on women and children abuse.

Survivers of abuse and their family members were also in attendance.

Ilitha Labantu Community Development ambassador Ndumie Funda said the prayer service was for everyone.

Nomonde Fuyani (49), from Kwakhikhi said: “We are living in world where people turned to animals. Men become monsters in our communities. They rape and kill our children. They kill their wives. I hope by having this service, God will intervene and change their hearts and the way they think about women.

“I stayed in marriage for 16 years and I was happy for only two years. That was the first two years in my marriage, the other years, I was sleeping with tears every day. He couldn’t believe when I told him that I’m leaving him in 2014,” she said.

“We are saying: ‘Enough is enough’. By working with religious people, we want spiritual intervention. We believe that there is nothing impossible with God. We cannot leave God behind when we want solutions to our challenges. Our society is overwhelmed by Satanism. People have become cruel.”

President of Abathunywa Ministers’ Fraternity and Apostolic Church In Zion in Gugulethu, Bishop Zamuxolo Mfihlo, said, as religious people, they encouraged people to speak out about the abuse.

“People must come forward and talk about it in public. As religious people, we took a decision to come out to the community and talk to them about social ills.

“And we know that there are some congregants who are abusive to their families.

“We want them to stop that habit and live exemplary lives,” said Mfihlo.

Afterwards, people described the service as empowering. They said the event gave hope to those who were on the point of despair, after they had suffered or lost their family members through abuse by a loved one. Funda urged men to stop harassing women and respect them. She said at Ilitha Labantu they have professional counsellors who are dealing with people who have been abused.

Reverend Nkomfa Mkabile was also in attendance at the event, and entertained them with his gospel music.

Ilitha Labantu can be contacted on 071 171 9654.