JT Medupe: We need to do better to protect women
As violence against women doesn't seem to be decreasing anytime soon, former Generations: The Legacy actor JT Medupe says it is up to every man to take the initiative to stop the scourge of abuse.
JT recently performed in the State Theatre adaption of Redi Thlabi's book Khwezi, which told the story of Fezekile “Khwezi” Ntsukela Kuzwayo who accused former president Jacob Zuma of raping her in 2005. The Johannesburg High Court dismissed the charges, concluding that the sexual act in question was consensual.
JT told TshisaLIVE he went through a rollercoaster of emotions during the theatre run but learnt more than anything about the need to stand against abuse.
"We need to fight against the rape culture in our country, the abuse of women. I think as men, we need to do much better to protect women. We need to raise our boys to be better men. We need to make sure they don't look at women as sexual objects they can do whatever they want to with."
He said that it took a change in mindset and to own your own experiences.
"Some people will say they were raised a certain way or with a certain type of thinking but everyone of us can change. The amount of abuse that is happening is a worry. It should be a worry for all of us. It is a scourge on society that we need to get rid of."
He said that playing the role of a person who was trying to prove they had not sexually abused a woman was difficult and emotionally taxing at times.
"The hardest part has been to try get into a space where I convince people that I (as Jacob Zuma) did not assault Khwezi but that it was consensual. As JT Medupe, I am against women abuse so this was challenging and very emotional. It has taken a toll on me but I take it a day at a time."