Wednesday, 30 November 2016

TIN TIN : I AM A SURVIVOR

IT’S been five years since Tinopona Katsande shared horrific pictures of her savage beating by her then boyfriend Brian Munjodzi and the former Studio 263 actress and ZiFM personality says she has healed from the whole experience.

Tin Tin, as Katsande is popularly known, was allegedly beaten up by Munjodzi because she asked him to help do the dishes while she did the laundry.
Munjodzi was freed on $100 bail on a domestic violence charge.

Tin Tin posted pictures of her swollen face on social media and the images immediately went viral, drawing condemnation for the attack and of her for sharing her personal issues with the public.

As the nation joins the world in commemorating 16 days of activism against gender based violence, Tin Tin shared how she felt during the time in a Facebook post.
The talented actress said she was dismayed at the vitriol that was spewed at her on social media particularly from women.

“Five years ago my then boyfriend brutally physically assaulted me. I was ashamed embarrassed and called names. I felt vulnerable, exposed and belittled. Social media was awash with women lambasting me for speaking out against this abuse. I was told I should keep such things to myself because that is what my culture dictates. You (my fellow women) called me ‘h***’, ‘stupid’ and ‘deserving’ of such treatment,” said Tin Tin.

She said although saddened by the online mockery she picked herself up and moved on with her life.

“For the life of me I couldn’t understand where all this venom was coming from. At that moment I was completely broken. But, like in every dark situation, the light began to peer through. I sought personal and professional help,” said Tin Tin.

“The counselling and support I received from other women and organisations gave me the strength I needed to move from a victim to a survivor. I found the strength to forgive all and I acquired the wisdom to see the bigger picture. I stopped focusing on the petty and honed in on the progressive which has now become synonymous with my character.”

Tin Tin said as part of her healing process, she set up an organisation to help women speak out when they have been abused.

“Today I run my own organisation SpeakOut-Handinyarare a non profit making organisation focused on eliminating domestic violence through awareness campaigns carried out through creative skills in creative spaces.

“Funds generated from these awareness activities are for the construction of safe houses in Zimbabwe which serve as an active resources centre for victims to survivors of domestic violence,” said Tin Tin.

As part of efforts to raise funds for her organisation, Tin Tin has decided to go back on stage and perform a one woman play, ‘Hot Water Bottle’ at Theatre in the Park in Harare next Wednesday.

Tin Tin was last on stage six years ago when she performed the same play written by renowned playwright Noel Marerwa.

“I haven’t been on stage or mastered a script in almost six years so my nerves are definitely doing scales. People should come support not only me but help realise a dream to build a safe house for abused women.”

The play features Tin Tin as Mia, a young lady who decided not to tolerate unfaithfulness from her husband and finds solace and love from a Hot Water Bottle. Chronicle

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