male rape on Gomora

Male rape is real in Gomora

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November is traditionally the month of activism against abuse of women and children, but the celebrated writing duo of Phathutshedzo Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon have brought into the spotlight the social problem of male rape. For the past month, Gomora, a collaborative effort by Makwarela, Beynon and Seriti Films, has illustrated a subject which is only spoken of in whispers, if at all. As Miss Manzi continues to torment Teddy, viewers are left with no doubt that male rape is indeed a reality.

Mazet and Sonto risk it all

As Mam Sonto felt Detective Mahlasela getting closer to cracking the Dube murder case, she was left with no option but to take the greatest risk of her criminal career. She had taken risks before – driving 25 stolen cars into Mozambique, stealing cars in broad daylight, killing a white lawyer, which is much braver than killing any ordinary lawyer, right – but this was possibly the boldest move ever.

Mazet dressed up as a policewoman – and a beautiful cop she makes – before sneaking into Mahlasela’s office. Having already been fed information on the whereabouts of Mahlasela’s confidential files, she found the Dube murder docket and photographed the papers. Once Mam Sonto perused the images taken by Mazet, she knew that the police had listed her golden brooch on the evidence gathered at the scene of Dube’s murder.

Meanwhile, Thathi’s suspicions of her mother continued to grow.

Sonto thinks of a plan

Even though Sonto is the mastermind of her gang, she often invites her juniors to offer ideas when she is as stuck as she was on the case of the missing brooch. And Mazet, also stuck for ideas, suggested killing Thathi.

The idea of killing her “golden egg” was unthinkable and Sonto told Mazet to “voetsek” from her office! However, despite her anger, Sonto momentarily entertained the idea. But after coming close to pulling her gun on Thathi, Sonto instead offered her wrists to her daughter.

“If you think I’m guilty, then have me arrested.”

It was a convincing enough performance by the old lady. But Thathi has seen her mother nonchalantly dispatch with dead bodies enough times to know that she is a ruthless and well rehearsed killer.

After dismissing Mazet’s filicidal idea, Mam Sonto came up with her own scheme; finding a replacement brooch.

But everyone knows Thathi has expensive taste. Finding a replica brooch that matches Thathi’s exacting standards was never going to be easy, especially for a straatmate like Mazet. After going from one jewellery store to the next, Mazet came back with what she thought would pass for an identical brooch. But it turned out she had bought a cheap fongkong which drew Mam Sonto’s ire!

A second search for the replica brooch yielded zero results leaving Sonto to compose her goodbye speech to the grandchildren as she seriously contemplated skipping the country.

Finally Sonto found the store invoice for the brooch purchased by Thathi. Having the store details meant her search for a new brooch would be easier. But the brooch was out of stock!

Meanwhile, Thathi received a phone call which lifted her mood. Sonto’s criminal antennae sensed it was Detective Mahlasela. As soon as Thathi hung up the phone to go and meet the detective, the crime baroness opened her safe door and began to chuck rolls of money into a go bag. She had no intention of being locked up in a place where rape – male rape, female rape, all kinds of rape – is a daily occurrence.

Employee of the year

Did you ever imagine that a murder case could be solved by the police cleaning lady? While sweeping the floor in Mahlasela’s office, a cleaning lady discovered the missing brooch, still encased in the evidence bag. She placed it on Mahlasela’s desk before informing him and his incompetent partner. The two men were as thrilled as two Powerball winners. But the cleaning lady, who is completely unaware of the magnitude of her contribution to the case simply said “she was just doing her job”.

For all the talk of police corruption, at least we still have honest government workers.

You have the right to remain silent…

At the police station, Detective Mahlasela (real name Kabelo Moalusi) unveiled the incriminating brooch to Thathi. She stared at it through wide eyes before confirming it as the brooch she had personally chosen for her mother’s birthday. But Thathi developed cold feet. She no longer wanted her mother thrown in Lockdown where Tyson and her gang could do unspeakable things to her. Mahlasela soon talked her down from the fence on which she sat. And the two of them went off to Sonto’s Inn where they hoped to confront her.

Meanwhile, at Sonto’s tavern, the old lady was bent over her safe, chucking wads of Madibas into her bag, in preparation for a hasty exit when guess who arrived? No, not Mahlasela and Thathi but Mazet who came bearing a gift: the replica brooch. Mam Sonto – the killer of Jomo, Gift Dube, Mbongeni Ndaba and Thathi’s lawyer – was so thrilled that she began to pray to the same God who commands us “thou shalt not kill.”

Not long after, Thathi and Mahlasela arrived in her office, both of them dying to say the one phrase that they have held on the tip of their tongue for months;

“Sonto Molefe, I am arresting you on suspicion of murder. You have the right to remain silent.”

When the right to remain silent came shooting from Mahlasela’s mouth, Sonto remained calm. Thathi mentioned the brooch found at the murder scene. As calm as a lamb, Mam Sonto pushed her scarf away from her bosom, to reveal “her birthday brooch”.

You mean this brooch, she said?

Even though they gave Sonto the right to remain silent, it was Mahlasela and Thathi who were speechless.

The reality of male rape

After Miss Manzi and Teddy did the deed for the first time, Teddy looked wounded. This was a cause for confusion with some viewers as Teddy had been very keen on Manzi, the subject of his many  sexual dreams. But whatever ambiguity existed in the week before, viewers were left with no doubt in their minds that Teddy wanted out of his situationship with Miss Manzi. All week he has worn a long face and done everything in his power to avoid being in close proximity with Manzi. One time, he fled to the safety of the boys toilet where he sat, contemplating the mess he is in. But while he sat there, two other boys entered the lavatory, while discussing their own sexual fantasies of Manzi. Nowhere else are joy and heartbreak, lovemaking and male rape presented more shockingly, almost like the head and tails of the same coin.

We saw another social issue that fuels male rape; the socialization of boys to be strong and silent. When Teddy showed signs of discomfort with the condom selling school assignment, at the breakfast table, Zodwa was dismissive of her son.

“Sex is sex” she said.

Teddy seemed ready to confide in Principal Dlamini about the abuse he is suffering at the hands of Manzi. But at the last moment, he withdrew. Perhaps if boys were taught to speak about such things, Teddy might have been more forthcoming.

When Manzi dropped in, unannounced, at Mam Zodwa’s house, she (Zodwa) was thrilled to receive such an important guest. She left her son in the hands of the very woman who is causing him grief. As soon as Zodwa left for work, Manzi slammed Teddy against the bed and again had her way with him. If Teddy was unsure of his feelings, all uncertainty has evaporated. This is officially sex by coercion, male rape, in more direct terms.

Till next week, my pen is capped


Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic

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