South African actress Vatiswa Ndara has opened up about her attempted suicide and s.e.xual harassment.
Finer details of these incidents are contained in her book, titled Unfiltered.
She shared this during her interview on King David’s podcast, where she further revealed that she was going through tough times and decided to try and kill herself.
She also described how she was sexually harassed by her friend, who is a TV executive.
“I asked him to meet with me and he agreed. We met at the SABC and he suggested that we drive to Soweto. On our way, he decided to go and cut his hair while I waited in the car. He came back and suggested that we have dinner, and I agreed. He later he took me to his house.”
Vatiswa said initially, she did not want to go inside because it was busy.
“He begged me and I agreed, we stayed until late and he was drinking. When it was time to take me home, he was drunk. I suggested that I drive but he refused. At some point, he said my life was in his hands,” she recalled.
“I knew I was in danger and couldn’t jump out of a moving car. Then he said no wonder I don’t have anything. He said ‘look at your peers, they’ve got everything. We make them happy; we give them comfort’. He then promised to buy me a car if I slept with him.”
She said that she could see what was about to happen but remained calm.
At some point, he said this was a man’s world. He grabbed my breast and said: ‘As an African man, I can do whatever I want’. I played along because I didn’t know how far he could push this. He said I could have anything that I wanted and suggested that we go to a hotel.”
Vatiswa said she suggested that they went the following day, and her plan worked.
The following day I switched off my phone,” she said, adding that this conduct was prevalent in the industry.
“It keeps growing and we keep hearing about the couch casting,” she said.
Initially, she did not open a case because she felt no one would believe her.
“But I confronted him and he apologized. I only opened a case years later in 2019 because I was tired of protecting these people. I opened it, hoping to get justice but it was never carried out. In 2021, I called the police station for a follow-up but nothing happened.”
The actress told the publication that ever since she started exposing secrets of the industry, she was struggling to get jobs.
“I have hardly received offers or been called for auditions and if any, they are few and far between as you sense that I am deemed persona non grata (an unacceptable person).
And to be honest, it was expected.”
Vatiswa further said there was a price to pay for speaking out, hence the general reluctance to do so.
“Some will carry favour with industry bosses by dissing me so as to look good. My gripe and advocacy against the malpractices did not begin with the open letter that makes reference to the Fergusons. I urge people to read the book so they can make informed comments.”
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