Sunday World reported that Thebe Mohatle, the spokesman for the Gauteng Department of Social Development wrote an open letter to Kenny Kunene.
Here’s the letter:
Ntanga, may I speak to you on a subject that is close to my heart: manhood, its responsibility and woman abuse.
I am raising two daughters, one 20, one 14, and their 20-year-old brother. The girls are gorgeous, innocent, biologically not mine, but they are since their father is no more. My mother taught me it takes a village to raise a child. We share a small pondoiki in the middle of a mega township that suffers from a host of social ills like alcohol and substance abuse, rape, house robberies, etc.
The 14-year-old girl is a terrific cook that meticulously prepares a table for the entire family. She smiles lovingly as she orders me to table. She nods approvingly when my plate is adorned with colour from all she has prepared. All this time, she is fully clothed, respectable, and very womanly, just like her mother, my sister-in-law. Looking at her growing up into a woman is a humbling and fulfilling journey that challenges me to always consider my conduct around her. I am careful with words and the tone of my voice.
Bro Kenny, I respect her and will do anything to help prepare her in case some suitor walks her down the aisle on their special day. I also know she might not take that route, but I will pride myself on not producing someone’s daughter-in-law-from-hell in case she does!
Mfowethu, because she is literate, she reads about us – South African men, you included. She recites headlines, shares opinions and engages on matters that affect her innocence as a young girl, as a woman, a South African woman. She aspires to be a human rights lawyer who will focus on the rights of women, given the manner in which her own are demeaned, disrespected, used, violated, exploited, raped and reduced to objects of amusement, as is the case with some escapades at Taboo.
Just last weekend, she asked me: “Dad, will my food taste better if I were to lie down naked with gravy streaming down my forbidden island and dessert smothered all over my mammaries?”
I almost had a heart attack! When I asked why, she answered: “I notice Ntate Kenny Kunene enjoys his like that. It seems he is not the only one, considering that he is forever surrounded by other men. It looks like eating from designer China plates has become old-fashioned. I think I will serve your meal like that next time”. As she giggled away, my stomach revolted, my knees weakened, my blood pressure shot up. I remember waking up gravely ill.
You see, it dawned on me that your sushi escapades and publicity around them speak about us (men) to young minds whose reception is at a curiously high level. My girl is convinced that men have uncovered the secret to a happy meal: a naked woman. My son named the dish “the Kenny Kunene sea fetish, stylishly served on live punani plates”.
Eish, Morena, does it ever occur to you that you are part of a village that should essentially help to raise children into respectable, influential and powerful members of our community? Do you have a daughter, a grandmother, a mother, sisters, aunts, nieces? Would it sit comfortably with you if any of them were to serve men the Kenny Kunene way and get paid doing it?
Could it be that your shaven, naked plates are poor, vulnerable and cannot resist the lure of your deep pockets for survival? Could it be that you are subtly saying that women can be demeaned, reduced to objects that are prone to succumb to male patriarchy and domination? Could you be teaching our boy children that money is king and it can get them anything they want ?
What happened to your desire to ascend to the highest political office ? What would your message have been to the departments of social development, health and education on issues affecting girls and women ? What would your economic policies have been on gender issues, recreation, arts and culture?
Eish, I am worried, Bro Kenny, and I hope you help my daughter see herself as a woman of substance and destiny and not one that can just shave, lie down, get licked and get paid! I’m worried that my son may not grow to understand that he can use his millions to change lives and influence society in a way that is empowering and developmental.
Bro Kenny, can you find a place in your heart to consider a village of men that may join heart, mind and soul to raise self-respecting and empowered boys and girls for the sake of a country and society that is weeping for a resurrection of moral values, respect and growth?
Source: Sunday World