With the stories of femicide continuing to dominate headlines every day, one Khayelitsha artist is doing his bit to discourage men from unleashing violence on women.
Inspired by the tragic killing of his own sister by her partner, Afro-Pop artist Zandisile Rhayi has penned a song called Intwenje.
Speaking to Vukani, the award-winning Rhayi said he was still in his teens when the incident happened but he still vividly remembers it.
“It will forever be etched in my mind. It was in the evening just after we had supper when my sister Thenjiswa, popularly known as Norooi, was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. I was young and the experience of watching her body and blood flowing down the floor will sink in me for many moons,” said Rhayi.
He said having to watch the continuing brutal deaths of other women such as Reeva Steenkamp, Karabo Mokoena, Uyinene Mrwetyana and Nosicelo Mtebeni brings back the sad memories of his own sister’s killing.
And in the song he sings “haybo zange ndayibona intwenje” (oh no, I’ve never seen such a thing) and rebukes the behaviour of some evil men.
The lanky musician said government needed to intensify programmes that speak to the boy child.
“Young boys need to be taught how to treat women. But sadly we live in a society where young boys watch as their fathers unleash violence on their mothers. They grow up thinking it’s the right way to treat women. As a society we all have to stand up and do something,” he said.
Rhayi said his sister’s boyfriend came across as a good man and they never imagined that he would bring such pain to the family.
“Sadly there are no warning signs. All I can say to women out there is that they shouldn’t stay in abusive relationships. One act of violence should be enough to walk away immediately before it’s too late.”
Now married with two children to popular actress Inathi Inkosi Rhayi, the musician has vowed to visit schools and motivate young boys to treat women with care.