Sexual abuse muted Rosie Motene

Rosie Motene is gender-based violence activist.
Rosie Motene is gender-based violence activist.

Veteran actress and activism Rosie Motene reveals that it took her 12 years to speak openly about her sexual abuse.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday after hosting the screening of the much-talked about Surviving R. Kelly documentary, Motene said the abuse happened to her in university.

"Only last year did I feel that I was healed from the sexual abuse that happened while I was at university," she said

"Even now I'm still not ready to talk about it fully, at least I can talk about it without crying, and it took me 12 years."

In a City Press story last April, Motene was one of the women that alleged that a prolific local director sexually harassed her.

Motene also opened up about being uncomfortable with doing sex scenes a few years ago when she joined Zabalaza, after she decided to return to the small screen.

"Yes, after I resigned I was blacklisted and they were trying to do that to me - a veteran actress of 25 years," she recalled

"What could they be doing to young girls that just came in? The last few years being involved with the South African Guild of Actors we are working strenuously in changing laws on set."

For years, Motene has been an outspoken activist against gender-based violence through her work with People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa).

She said as a survivor, it was hard to watch the R Kelly documentary that will premiere in SA on Wednesday, February 6, on Crime + Investigation (DStv channel 170) at 8pm.

"I came out about my abuse nine years after the incident happened.

"Why I came out and joined Powa was to understand why for many years I blamed myself," she said.

"I came from a very privileged background and I went to private schools - but I wasn't educated on the fundamental principles of abuse."

Motene urged that the documentary be screened around high schools in the country.

"I strongly wish - and I might be lambasted by the department of education - that it should be shown in high schools," she opined.