- For 30 years, Zolani Mahola has remained silent on the traumatic experience she had as a child
- Recently, though, the singer decided it was time to open up and she revealed that she had been abused for years
- Zolani hoped that by sharing her story, she will help others to deal with their own pain about being abused
TimesLIVE reported that Zolani Mahola, the lead singer of popular local band Freshly Ground, has revealed that she was sexually abused as a child.
Her mother tragically passed away during labour when she was six years old and two years later, her father remarried.
It was the typical stepmother situation and because she and her younger sister went to a Catholic school while her stepbrothers attended a government school, things were tense at home - there was resentment and she was bullied.
Soon after, the sexual abuse at the hands of a member of Zolani's extended family began and went on for several years.
She was only able to tell her father and her siblings about the abuse two weeks ago at her mother's memorial in the Eastern Cape.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the trauma stuck with the acclaimed singer and even resulted in memory gaps.
She found salvage in the Bible at one point as she started reading the Old Testament stories.
“Some included stuff about incest. I was very small, so I didn’t understand ... but I started feeling like, ‘Oh my God, these things are happening, I’m going to go to hell.’ So, literally, the Word saved me."
Later, at age 11, she was bravely able to end the abuse, but the scars were already formed. She says her reaction to the matter was an internal one.
“My level of crazy looks completely different to Amy Winehouse. It’s not the external, it’s the internal experience. It’s not to say that I was getting trashed every night, it’s not to say that I ever crashed a car, it was an internal crumbling."
Zolani had put up an act to fool everyone into thinking she's alright.
“I’d been this public figure and I was very confident, but I was living with this underlying belief that I wasn’t worthy. First I had to admit that there was a problem, it wasn’t working."
She's still healing but Zolani will use her story to reach out to others who are in pain as well.
She will put on a one-woman play at the Baxter Theatre on 23 November, The One Who Sings, and she will take audiences on a personal journey.
“I want to be free, I’m ready now. I’m getting the story out in 2019, so that in 2020 it’s another new page and I go forward and people know this about me and it’s fine. Then they can tell the next person that this thing happened to me but I survived it and you can too."
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