21 April 2019


Kattey's Arrow empowers rape survivors


Obakeng Maje


Mahikeng-born author, Kentse Badirwang, uses the power of words to encourage fellow rape survivors to regain control of their lives. The author of a book titled Kattey's Arrow' spoke to Semphete in an interview.

Just like other young people, the 40-year-old Badirwang sought greener pastures in Johannesburg many years ago. "I embarked on a journey like any other child to seek success in Johannesburg. Little did I know that life would put me through trials and tribulations," she said. "I have learnt from my past and want to use my experiences to teach young girls and women about what it means to be a survivor.

She told Semphete the detailed story behind her book. "I decided to put my past experience in a form of writing. I wrote a book called Kattey's Arrow. The book follows the journey of a young girl who from birth felt her life was accompanied by a profound spirit of darkness that always landed her in painful and emotionally draining situations. "My journey sees me living with childhood depression, surviving multiple rapes, getting caught up in gangsterism and self-destruction. I succumbed to peer pressure and I was introduced to all wrong things. I have been raped twice in my life. First rape took place while I was only 14 and the one person who inflicted that pain was a close family friend," Badirwang said.

"The new little lives make me want to strive for a better life. This book is for those who are too afraid to confront their past. Those who are burdened with self-guilt, those who are endlessly struggling with self-forgiveness and most of all those whose spirits are broken by the past pain and need encouragement to heal.

Badirwang said the book could be a reflection of so many Kattey's out there. "There is a Kattey in all of us, but love can save us all," she told Semphete.

Badirwang is also a founder of non-profit organization Pelegi Movement, which supports and empowers victims of sexual violence and gender based crime.

The author also worked with the departments of Community Safety, Education and Sport Development and the South African Police Service.

"I want to visit various schools in the province and give motivational talks to pupils. Many people keep quiet about rapes and abuse. We need to encourage victims to speak out and expose the perpetrators. This book also encourages and motivates girl children to have confidence and believe in themselves.

Badirwang did not further her studies because of financial constraints. This is why she understands perfectly the reason behind the #FeesMustFall protests. "I support #FeesMustFall Campaign, however I condemn burning and destroying of properties. I also had an opportunity to work with a renowned TV and Radio personality, Dineo Ranaka. We were addressing the emotional wellbeing of women. I am very passionate about working with girls in various schools across the province. "I want to motivate them not to give up. We also need to support government in changing the lives of a girl child and eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment," she said. Badirwang's book launch will take place at Agog Gallery in Maboneng precinct, Johannesburg on Friday.