#KhensaniMaseko's "No one deserves to be raped" Meant #NoMeansNO!
Image | Sebastian Libuda

#KhensaniMaseko’s “No one deserves to be raped” Meant #NoMeansNO!

From a young age, we are told how we should treat others the way we would want to be treated but; the harsh realities of our world create situations such as the tragic death of Khensani Maseko. A student from Rhodes University  Khensani Maseko, committed suicide last week; she had reported during the last days of July she had been raped by a fellow student to the university,who was rumoured to be her boyfriend.

Khensani Maseko’s death comes at a time when South Africa is waging war against gender-based violence.  Khensani’s story, or rather her tragic ending, highlights the problem at hand in and around South Africa. The victim was reported to have ended her life after posting a sad message on Instagram which stated;

“No one deserves to be raped”

Social media as expected has been buzzing over this unfortunate incident plus its two cents too few.

A confounding question that no woman should ever have to dignify with an answer reared its ignorant head of prominence…

How is it possible for a woman to be ‘raped’ by her boyfriend? 

Since Khensani is no longer with us, as a woman I will attempt to reply;

She said NO and he didn’t listen.

Simply put, that is how one can be raped by their boyfriend.

It’s sad to think that in 2018 we still live in a world where women are still in so much danger from the people we should be trusting. Nonetheless, we still have to answer such chauvinistic questions!

The fact that questions such as these form in someone’s mind only proves how big of an issue we have here.

Whatever happened to “no means no”?

Regardless if you are a boyfriend or even husband, you need her consent. Women are not a possession you can wield any way you want for your pleasure! We are people with rights and thoughts and in this story, Khensani Maseko’s rights were desecrated by a person she trusted.

From a man’s point of view, it is easy to see how treating women as less than is easy.  Men have never had to live with the knowledge that they are susceptible to all kinds of harm including sexual assault in broad-daylight at the drop of a hat.

The month of August in South Africa is Women’s Month; having to set aside a whole month to advocate for women’s rights is a clear indication of a problem in our society. The loss of young omen to the same rights abuses paints a bleaker picture

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Office (ZimStat) reports that at least 22 women are raped per day, which boils down to a woman being raped every hour! 

Think about that for a second, but not any longer, lives are at stake. 

Director of Katswe Sistahood Ms. Talent Jumo stated,

“We live in a society that does not encourage conversations around sex and sexuality. As a result, a lot of girls are suffering in silence. A number of cases are going unreported…,” she said.

Jumo’s statement touches on the taboo surrounding the subject of sex whether consensual or not, this lack of conversation is clearing doing more harm than good.

 A notice to suspend Maseko’s attacker has been issued, a march was held in her memory on the 7th of August 2018 by fellow students of the Rhodes University. Students marched to the Settlers Monument where Maseko would have graduated upon finishing her degree.

Khensani Maseko was someone’s child, sister, friend and she unfortunately, trusted the wrong person. 

Sadly many women out there have and will be in her shoes.

It is our duty to do better in the future to prevent such tragedies…

But how?


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