Thulisile says "Let's Stand Up and Speak Out against Abuse"

As the fight against abuse steps up, more and more people are coming out and speaking out, that endless list includes entertainers, the world over.

One courageous, strong and inspiring young South African poet and rapper has decided to use her talent and voice to speak up for something that really matters.

Xoliswa Maduna also known as 'Thulisile' recounts her own harrowing tale and experiences. Her mission is to inspire others to also make a stand against abuse.

Believe me when I say I now know what they meant when they said "don't grow up it's a trap" because I experienced abuse at a stage I thought I would just live a happy life and enjoy life as a teenager. I grew up in a caring home full of love, I was raised by my grandmother until I moved to Bloemfontein to live with my mother and stepfather. That's when I started becoming an irrational and troublesome kid.

The reason behind my behaviour was that I was now growing up in an abusive home. I used to watch my stepfather physically abuse my mother and couldn't do anything about it. I felt like doing something, assaulting him back but he was way stronger so I started getting involved with the wrong people. I was also physically abused by my ex boyfriend, I used to cry day and night thinking, Oh Lord why me? why must I be the one going through all this trauma? Little did I know that it would turn me into this girl that I am today.

Now I've overcome the pain even though it still hurts, but not like before, every time I think of what happened my eyes fill with tears. I'm just glad I healed and that those are tears of joy and I do realise that not many would have overcome what I went through without falling into depression or something worse.
Now I am a happy girl living my life to the fullest, always laughing, always with a smile on my face.
I remember being sexually harassed by boys that I used to share the same bus with in grade 6, they used to drag me to the back seat, touch me in places I felt uncomfortable being touched.
In poetry I found escape from reality, in hiphop I found peace and relief. These two saved me but more than anything else, they gave me a voice to speak out against such ills with, they gave me the proper platform and medium through which I can reach countless people.

People in our communities tend to think that if a man beats a woman he loves her, they tend to think abuse is acceptable so much that they wait for tragedy or something bad to happen before they make a move. Well, newsflash! when a man physically abuses a woman it doesn't symbolize love but it is cowardice because you can't hit someone you know doesn't have the power to fight you back.

I now know what love is. A man can't abuse you and claim that he loves you. A man who truly loves you will respect you, treat you like a queen, value you and help you embrace your beauty. So if a man abuses you, speak out, don't keep quiet. Be loud and clear, you have a voice.
It would be folly to think that men are not victims of abuse, women are also capable of being perpetrators, so my advice is the same, speak out and be heard but also get out while you still can.

People tend to judge me and say I'm full of myself, call me names, not knowing the battles I'm fighting, battles that I have been fighting since my early years. Yes, I'm full of myself ,why shouldn't I be? I won my battles