PIC: Supplied (Afternoon Express)
In the wake of the #MeToo hashtag trend,
which is all the rage on social media, actress Bonnie Mbuli has blown the
whistle on sexual harassment in showbiz. Bonnie voiced solidarity with
actresses such as Florence Masebe and Nokuthula Ledwaba who spoke out against
sexual harassment of actresses.
Bonnie recounts a moment on e.tv’s
Backstage when she was called names for speaking up on harassment that was
happening on set. Like many young actresses today, Bonnie was faced with a
choice of fighting abuse or furthering her career.
Bonnie is adamant the status quo will
change only when all the women start speaking up. “Abuse thrives in
silence,” she said when we called her on the phone. “Any kind of abuse
and wrongdoing thrives in silence. But we’re turning the tide in South Africa.”
New technology should make it easier for
women to blow the whistle, she says. “Cases of abuse have been happening. It’s
just that we weren’t hearing about it. Perhaps with the advent of social media
more and more women find it easier to speak up. I’m very glad women are finding
their voices and abuse is no longer stigmatised. Our mothers’ generations
suffered in silence. They just had to take it.”
Bonnie has also
voiced solidarity with former ANC MP and singer Jennifer Ferguson, who recently
claimed that Safa boss Danny Jordaan raped her more than two decades ago.
Bonnie has also suggested that the system in showbiz or power industries makes
it difficult for women to report someone in authority.
“It’s appalling and overwhelming what she
(Jennifer) went through,” Bonnie says. “The woman’s credibility is questioned
when the man is someone in a powerful position. I’ll always be vocal about the oppression of
women and children. I can’t be silent. Back in the day at
Backstage there was a man on set who would sexually harass the women, I spoke
up and reported him . . .”