Lady Zamar retells her story of being raped by Sjava in the new Showmax documentary series Unfollowed.
Thembekile Mrototo hosts the show, which delves into the growing phenomena of cancel culture and its impact in South Africa.
Lady Zamar filed a rape case against Sjava in 2017, but he maintained his innocence. The National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute due to a lack of evidence.
Lady Zamar pondered on everything that happened, as well as the ongoing abuse she receives on social media, in the first episode of the series.
“I come from a very religious background, and I was taught not to be alone with men. The very first day, I felt like it was my fault. And so I felt like I had no leg to stand on… I struggled to walk away from it because I constantly blamed myself,” she tells Mrototo.
She adds that because of her background, she has always known love to come from a place of fear because that is how her father was.
“It was very abusive. And so it was so easy for me to be like, ‘Okay, so I guess this is what I’ve been looking for my entire life’. But I knew deep down that it wasn’t. It was a constant violation because I felt obligated.”
Lady Zamar says that it took a friend directly telling her that what she’d been through was rape, for her to start freeing herself.
“Because I always felt like it was my fault, I never put the words ‘sexual assault’ to it,” she says.
She said that her boyfriend encouraged her to speak out about being raped by Sjava because he was tired of seeing her complain and cry.
“When I started my boyfriend, I think it was August of that year, he was very tired. He was like I can’t keep listening to you talk about this, you cry every single day, and you are always a mess and every time you’re around people you keep smiling. Nobody knows, so we have to deal with this all the time, so I decided to speak out and say this is what happened,” the singer said.
— Thembi Ndebele (@tndebele41) August 23, 2023