After having a bad start to the year, Reitumetse Mokoena is closing it on a royal note as she was crowned Miss Hazyview 2020 at the weekend. Hazyview is a small town north east of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.
The reigning queen says she’s going to use her reign to help other young women who, just like her, have suffered abuse at the hands of people they love, be it lovers, uncles, fathers or even brothers.
She says earlier this year her now ex-boyfriend physically abused her but because she was ashamed, she kept it a secret.
The Mpumalanga-born admits that she was scared to tell her parents about the abuse she was subjected to. However, in hindsight, she confesses that talking has helped her a lot.
“Talking about me gave me strength. When I told my parents, my dad was so angry and told me to never be afraid to talk to them. My mom was disappointed that this happened,” she tells Move!.
The 21-year-old is the first to point out that she appreciates how her parents reacted because they didn’t judge her, instead they supported her.
“My parents are very supportive with everything I do. I mean, even the beauty pageants they say I must go for it. People in my village look down upon themselves but my parents are very encouraging,” she says.
Reitumetse who now rue the day she met her ex says the guy she met through her then-friends even wanted to kidnap her.
She recalls at least three incidents of physical abuse from man 16 years her senior. Even though she didn’t tell those close to her about what was happening behind closed doors, she did report him to the police the very first time he hit her.
“I did report him to the police and told me to get protection order against him,” she says.
But the lass is not quite happy with the way the police have handled the case. “I’m not even sure about the case against him because they [police] are doing nothing about it,” she shares.
“He would send me text messages with threats. It is so scary,” she confesses.
“I haven’t discussed all my plans with the agency. But I want an organisation that would advise young girls on how to go about life and support each other. Most of the things I want to run them through the agent,” says the beauty queen.
She says no one should have to be abused that is why she wants to equip women of her generation with the necessary knowledge and skills to go through life safely and freely.