How the ‘Strong Black Woman Persona’ perpetuates GBV

 “Mosali o tšoara thipa ka bohaleng,”

“Mosali o ngalla motšeo,”


We all grew up hearing these words; they are so ingrained in our minds such that we are unable to distinguish the difference between these words and our beliefs. I remember an impressionable 7-year-old me. It was New Year’s Eve and there was a flurry of activities and festivities outside the house as everyone awaited the New Year. Our celebrations were disrupted by a loud scream that erupted from the back of the house. It was our neighbours again. I say again because this was a normal occurrence where we would hear a voice of a woman and husband screaming and fighting, yet another physical altercation had erupted between the two of them.

The plight of the black African woman always being told that they are as strong as nails, makes them succumb to enduring abuse at the hands of their partners. Recently, Lesotho has been making headlines with high rates of femicide attacks making rounds. Suffice to say, these incidents are not isolated nor did they just emerge, but they have been around for decades. The only difference right now is that we now live in the age of social media and speaking out; they have become more highlighted in mainstream and social media. Our cultures as black people perpetuate gender-based violence. There, I said it.

Ever wondered why the main conversation around “litlhobohanyo” is female-centric and focuses on what and how a wife should be, how to be a woman of virtue and strength, how to keep the family intact. While these traits are honourable, they are sometimes the breeding ground and ammunition that harness the norm and seal the coffin on a black woman dying at the hands of a black man. African women have a high tolerance rate, throw cheating at them, they shall forgive and stay, physically and emotionally abuse them, and they will find reasons as to why they triggered the abuse.

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