Dear Bren Mupa, My Story Is Mine To Tell, Not Yours To Silence

You were recently nominated for a Zimbabwe Achievers Award, Female Personality. It’s in my understanding that you stand for women and girls of Zimbabwe, especially their rights, though I may be wrong.

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Bren Mupa, nominated for Zimbabwe Achievers Award

I remember not long ago, you wrote about me on your Facebook page, attacking me and telling me that abuse is personal, and no one should tell a person how to deal with abuse. I hadn’t even done that, but that was your manipulated argument against me. What a hypocrite you are?

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Bren and her followers laughed and mocked me in the comments

Today, on your platform you launched a vicious attack on me because I wrote a letter to my mummy,  MY MOTHER not Bren Mupa’s. You imply that my abuse stories are too much. You are fed up of me, though I wonder why you are such a religious follower of my ‘stupid stories’.

Bren and all the Zimbabwean women who hate me with a passion, I understand why.  Of cause you can’t stand me, I am that woman who refuses to walk in the popular road. I always stop and ask why everyone is going in one direction, and you hate my guts. You love abuse and those that abuse. You claim to be women rights defenders, yet in darkness, you love to pat on the back people who hurt women and girls.

I want to be that woman, who will stand up for the women and girls who are terrified and intimidated by women like you. Those women who inbox me because they are too scared to say something on social media lest the Bren Mupas of Zimbabwe come after them with a whip. Numbers or followers on social media do not frighten me.

Bren and Zimbabwean women, let me tell you something about me. All my life I stood alone, and today it hasn’t changed much, though I have a few wonderful women who are starting to hold my hand and cry and laugh with me.  I have the spirit of an eagle, I tend to fly alone. Today I will stand alone against the whole nation of Zimbabwe, you Bren and the women you are a role model to.

I hate Zimbabwean culture, I hate it to the core. It hurt me badly, and you Bren Mupa give me the justification of why I believe Zimbabwe culture breads abuse.

Right now I can see you smiling behind your keyboard, as you and your followers call me all sorts of derogatory names that I will never call you.

Who are you Bren Mupa and Zimbabwe, to tell me how many times I should be abused?

Who are you Bren Mupa and Zimbabwe, to tell me that my pain isn’t real?

Who are you Bren Mupa and Zimbabwe, to tell me when and how to deal with my pain?

Who are you Bren Mupa and Zimbabwe to threaten me with cultural curses?

Someone says I should go hang and die, and you seem to be very happy about that.

You call yourself a Zimbabwean role model, yet you cruelly laugh at what makes another woman cry?

I hate Zimbabwean culture, the worst culture on earth.

A culture that makes women who abuse other women role models.

A culture that gives awards to women who mock other women.

A culture that says a woman can not be abused by more than 1 person.

A culture that says a woman can not be abused repeatedly.

A culture that says a woman can not talk about abuse more than once.

Even when she talks once, she is attacked for it.

A culture that says it’s a taboo to just say that your mother hurt you.

It’s not in many cultures I see women being mocked by other women because they said they were abused.

You may hate me with a passion Bren, you and your followers who can’t stand the woman that I am, but silence me you shall never. You don’t know the road I have walked.

You may think you can make me fall, you don’t know what still keeps me standing today. But even if you punch me the hardest, I fall and like dust, I rise.

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Even if I stand alone, I still stand.

You may hate the way I stand, and mock me and laugh at me, but standing I am

I will speak about all my abuse from a roof top, I will tell the world what Zimbabwe is like, and you Bren will not stop me.  I will cry if I want to. Laugh if I want, and Zimbabwe will not stop me. I will be Jean, and even if you come after me with 10 thousand Zimbabwean women with whips, including Yvonne Yvette and men like Taka Chivore who are laughing mercilessly at my abuse. As for Yvonne Yvette just because you say your mother called you ugly and you were okay with it doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it. I will still stand. Yes, you may have the masses with you in mocking me, but I am still standing.

You will hear my roar Bren, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.

Oh I hate Zimbabwean culture, God I hate it, the worst of its kind. Today I spit on it.

I am not a Zimabwean, I am Just Jean

As ridiculous and annoying my ‘abuse’ is to you

Maybe let me ‘apologise’ for being over abused. My intention is never to annoy you.

My tears may be a joke to you Bren, but to God they were prayers, and each tear he counted and cherished.

Bren Mupa and Zimbabwean women

My story is mine to tell, not yours to silence

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21 thoughts on “Dear Bren Mupa, My Story Is Mine To Tell, Not Yours To Silence

  1. it’s a shame that you have been failed by a few hundred out of the hundreds of thousands that are from zimbabwe. Like you said your pain is yours and no one will ever understand. My pain made me embrace mu culture and learn to love me and grow. I am sorry that some socialites made your life miserable but there are some girls that could take a leaf or two from your story before social media,before all the blogs as well as after all that. I do hope that in the future you will reflect again on this and help other people who might be in the same situation that you were in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sha we don’t care about you.zimbabwe doesn’t even want u.enda ku ghana and whilst you are at it get mental treatment unotopenga.hatidi type dzako muzimbabwe we have enough problems

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  3. Jean please keep telling the story even if you have to tell it a million times. Don’t be bothered by what the girl next door says. Hold your head high you have saved a million suffering woman of whom most are still wrapped in their cocoons. Take the big sister role and show the way

    Giving up is part of the rotten culture which we are trying to rid off.

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      1. S’thaS

        I think you should start from where it all started then comment mabatira nyaya padenga auntie

        Just because you had it all rosey and you have not experienced the abuse doesn’t give you the right to shut up the one who has

        Ndimi vanhu vari kutaurwa kuti you tend to want to silence vamwe just because you did not go through it

        Dzidzai kupfuura makanyarara kana musiri kuziva kwazvatangira

        Jean Gasho am with you my sister

        Hanzi mwana as inga cheme anofira mumbereko it’s your time to heal and if writting is your healing point write on gal

        Ivo vese vari kuti you need help don’t they know kuti itori therapy yauri kuita being able to tell your story through writing about it and putting it out and exposing and facing your fears

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  4. Yo! So much emotion. I am a Zimbabwean woman and the “Zimbabwean culture” described above is new to me. What is Zimbabwean culture? Because Zim has different tribes, ndebele, kalanga, shona, sotho etc. We have different cultures (norms and values) so when they are enveloped it confuses me. There is nothing like Zimbabwean culture. What is acceptable to one is culturally unacceptable to another tribe. Not every woman in Zimbabwe is abused or has experienced abused. Not every woman has had a horrible experience with their spouse or boyfriend. I love Zimbabwe and have never experienced physical abuse nor have I come across women who support it in my country. Am sure every country in this world we live in has had cases of women and children being abused it’s not isolated to Zimbabwe. Recently a woman in South Africa was killed and burnt to Ashes by her boyfriend. Does that mean all South African men are like that, does that qualify his actions to say that is South African culture, nope it’s just an individual case that affected many. I was born and bred in Zimbabwe and have travelled to different countries and continents and I would still choose Zimbabwe despite our economic hardships. Considering we lived in the same country and have had different experiences how does one come up with a “Zimbabwean culture”? Have ethnographic studies been done to qualify this? Pertaining to the abuse you experience I think go for counselling so that you can truly heal.

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    1. You sound like you are on a rant. Zimbabwe does have a mainstream culture. I am not proud of it though I am a very proud Vachihera and love Zimbabwe. The culture of abuse is rife and the culture of parents are always right is prominent. I EMPATHISE with this girl. When you have no family to belong to, you lose everything. Maybe consider that what makes you love Zimbabwe is because you feel you belong and that she doesn’t feel like she belongs and therefore doesn’t like it.She isn’t saying Zimbabwe is a horrible country and ALL individuals are horrible. But she is saying that she lost HER Zimbabwe because she has nothing there that gives her meaning. She now loves Ghana because her husband is from there and she received something from Ghana that she doesn’t receive from Zim…which is meaning.If you don’t understand that then expand your horizons in thought. And if she did not like Zimbabwe, your response gives her more rights than ever. I wouldn’t want to belong to a country whose people react like you. And ps…at the end of the day, this girl is a writer. She wouldn’t be a good one if she didn’t know how to get your attention.

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      1. Chiedza Calpurnia Ishemunyoro,

        You are so very on point. Well said on both your posts. I agree with you.
        My difficulty with Bren is that I am not seeing any cause for her negativity, deriding and hostility towards Jean. Jean has not held a gun to anyone and frog-marched them to read her blog. Those who wish to read it they do, and those who do not just do not. But Bren sounds like she is somehow compelled to chide and deride Jean, and again I ask, but why? Bren sounds like a school playground bully who is inviting others to gang up and descend against another, bully her, laugh at her, scorn mock and harass her for no apparent reason or rhyme at all. It’s a bit sad and cruel, isn’t it?

        Jean does tell us clearly what her motivation for her writing is, but Bren does not seem to tell us what her own motivation is, and as such we are left to guess. Could it be jealous? Or hatred? Or maybe Jean touches some raw nerves somewhere? Or is Bren trying to get cheap publicity by riding on Jean’s scared back and piggy-backing on her name and her experiences? I guess when she (Bren) puts her head on her pillow at night, in the privacy of her own thoughts and her heart and conscience, she is not entirely proud of her treatment of Jean.

        Others have suggested that there is no such a thing as a Zimbabwean culture. As we know, culture generally refers to customs and behaviors of a society, and every country, society, people, has its culture. Question then is, how could it be that Zimbabwe (only!) either no longer has, or has never had a culture? That cannot be. Zimbabwe does have a culture. An example of this Zimbabwe culture is what most ladies have mentioned in response to Jean (surprisingly from a hostile angle), that they too were put through same or similar treatments by their mothers. THAT is a Zimbabwe culture.

        There has also been a reference to an example of a South African man who recently killed and burnt his girlfriend to ashes, and a rather rhetoric question is asked to say does that then represent the culture of South African men. I answer that on the affirmative. I answer with a strong yes. South Africans in general have a culture of killing people. Most respectable reports show that of the top 20 most dangerous cities in the world, where one most likely to get killed, South Africa has 4 or 5 cities. Basically, we all know South Africa is dangerous. Even South Africans themselves know it. People die there. Remember the recent xenophobia attacks, etc.

        Could it be that Jean is simply placing a mirror (or she is a mirror) in front of each one of us, and some when they look at that mirror, they do not like and cannot cope with what they see of themselves, and as a result they throw eggs at the mirror?.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You sound like you are on a rant. Zimbabwe does have a mainstream culture. I am not proud of it though I am a very proud Vachihera and love Zimbabwe. The culture of abuse is rife and the culture of parents are always right is prominent. I EMPATHISE with this girl. When you have no family to belong to, you lose everything. Maybe consider that what makes you love Zimbabwe is because you feel you belong and that she doesn’t feel like she belongs and therefore doesn’t like it.She isn’t saying Zimbabwe is a horrible country and ALL individuals are horrible. But she is saying that she lost HER Zimbabwe because she has nothing there that gives her meaning. She now loves Ghana because her husband is from there and she received something from Ghana that she doesn’t receive from Zim…which is meaning.If you don’t understand that then expand your horizons in thought. And if she did not like Zimbabwe, your response gives her more rights than ever. I wouldn’t want to belong to a country whose people react like you. And ps…at the end of the day, this girl is a writer. She wouldn’t be a good one if she didn’t know how to get your attention.

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    3. Culture refers to general term for the social behaviors and norms found in human societies. There is enough of women and child abuse in Zimbabwe for it to be within the UN radar, Anecdotal evidence from local NGOs and clinics around Harare show that women and child sexual abuse is rampant in Zimbabwe. Do you not even read the news stories or do you dismiss it as lies as well? Have you not heard of early marriages, something still practised all over Zimbabwe. Child prostitution, child labour and don’t get me started on women abuses (too may stories go untold), rape culture, domestic violence which are also norms in Zimbabwe and not specific to any tribe. This culture of abuse is heavily influenced and propagated by religious and traditional beliefs which have shaped our perceptions of what even constitutes abuse. Religious beliefs in particular often discourage divorce, encourage forgiveness and occasionally condemns those who seek psychiatric services instead of relying on faith. And the fact that she has received this backlash (an attempt to silence and dismiss her) all over social media particularly from women supports her claim of a culture of abuse. Just because it hasn’t happend to you or someone you know doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If you want stats, do proper research, its out there. And the fact that its not isolated to Zimbabwe shows how big a challenge it is. We cannot win this fight if we don’t acknowledge any such fight exists to begin with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean, I have never read your stories until I came across that Bren woman. It is the way she wrote a caption about your struggles that made me read your story and then stories to understand. It is the way she captioned that screenshot from your sibling who told you to go hang yourself. Your sibling gave it all, the abuse disguised as “love”. I saw nothing but envy and deception in their post. But back to this woman called Bren. I went back to her profile to see, she is the real attention seeker with no real talent other than to entertain empty heads, she lacks depth and intellectual capacity. Not surprised her tribe is similar. I am mostly shocked that this woman is representing achievements of Zimbabwean women. What a pity ! I have never gone through what you have but I know many people with such problems. So I would know not to silence you when you speak. Your come back is very eloquent and concise. I hope when she reads this she pays attention and grows a pair; and perhaps seeks real and meaningful achievement not the superficial nothing she has. Keep writing Jean, you have a special talent. Look to see if you can write a book or something.

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    1. Bren be proud of who you are… no one should judge you until they have walked in your shoes!!! A wise man makes his ‘own decisions’, an ignorant man ‘follows’ the public opinion… and… A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything.

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  6. Its so sad when we cannot support each other and feel each other’s pain as women in general, talk less as Zimbabweans. Its no wonder our nation is a shambles. We truly lack the ability to see as one eye and speak with one voice. If someone has encountered challenging times if we have no words of encouragement to offer, I strongly feel it is more sincere to remain silent than to rant and rave in order to get a bunch of likes.

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  7. Kunzi enda unocheka huku na amai vako you call it abuse? Saka huku dzaunodya kuGhana dzinouraiwa sei, nani? Imi vanhu muchasekerera benzi rikapedzisira roitira tsvina paruzhinji; kana kufamba rakashama. Chino nechino you will be back to tell us how your husband gives you sex. …ohhh, let’s hope it will be for long coz the way you understand ‘abuse’ is weird and will not surprise if you come back and tell us how ‘abusive’ he ‘was’. Tikwanire benzi remunhu. You are just in Ghana, not even Europe taizoti pamwe waona zvimwe. The way we know it Ghana is worse than Zim..usatishatirisa panapa. Pedzerana nemunhu akakuroyaimbwa yemunhu..ukati kushata. Uchapedzesera wototuka vese nababa vako for making you ugly and foolish.

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    1. Hi Bhonimbi Chikwete,,

      If I may as, what is the source of your anger, ill-will, vile and vicious abuse that you are hurling towards Jean.

      And also, to take you up on a few of the many things you say on your post:

      1. Kunzi enda unocheka huku na amai vako on its own, in isolation, probably may not be abuse, but, if it traumatises you (like it did with Jean), yes it can be abuse. The context does matter in abuse. E.g., having sex with someone is not necessarily rape/abuse, but if she does not want and is traumatised by it, it can be classified as rape/abuse.

      2. Jean hasn’t said (and she does not need to say) whether she eats chicken or not. But, even if she does “ku Ghana ikoko”, surely someone else would have to slaughter the chicken, certainly not Jean, as it would very likely traumatise her again. There are so many people in life who cant stand the slaughtering or skinning of an animal – whether they eat meat or not. Its not as if for you to eat meat you have to slaughter the animal yourself. No.

      3. I take strong exception on you referring to Jean as “benzi”. You wouldn’t like anyone calling you that. Neither does she. It is disrespectful and hurtful. Jean deserves respect. She does not need any new abusers.

      4. Zvekunzi achapedzisira woitira tsvina paruzhinji; or kufamba akashama; or that she will be back to tell us how her husband gives her sex, etc., is also a product of angry thinking. Its your own imagination that you are getting carried away with. Apa you arw insulting Jean for what you presume she “will” or might do or say in future! Is it not sad though that after she has publicly written so much in her own words, you are insulting her, not for what she has said, but for what you predict she will say in the future.

      5. Whether she is in Ghana, Europe, or wherever, one thing for certain is that Jean is happy that she is not in Zimbabwe, she is happy where she is, and that should settle it.

      6. I disagree with your saying that Jean’s understanding of abuse is weird. Her understanding of abuse is (unfortunately) from experience. What’s weird is attempts to re-victimise her. Abuse often thrives because victims fear they will not be believed, often because of who they are, or who the perpetrators are, e.g. their status, position, relationship, authority, etc. What is your ‘not weird’ understanding of abuse?

      7. Jean has not called anyone names, and thus she must not be called names. She is not a dog. She is not ugly (Jean is amazingly beautiful,,!!). Attempting to body-shame her seems to me like some below the belt bullying tactics attempt, possibly because you have no sound argument to put forward.

      Again I ask: What is the source of your anger, vitriol and all this venom towards Jean that you are portraying. You sound mean, spiteful, hateful, hurtful and cruel. If it is true that the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart, then what abounds in your heart?.

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  8. Well said Zibani

    The anger that is coming from some of these comments one really wonders 🤔

    Is it that they know Jean on a personal level or is it that they identify with Jean or is it that they identify with Jean’s siblings and her mother

    Ini l always say who are you to judge me if you have not walked in my footsteps if you have not worn my shoes and walked my journey

    This here is bringing out the vileness of our people our lack of oneness our lack of feeling for the other our lack of ubuntu

    Nekuti iwe kwako zvanga zvakanaka kana kuti zvakanaka zvazoreverwei zvekuipa kweumwe?

    Jean is marely penning down her experience in the hands of an unloving mother to which it is deemed normal from some of the comments l am reading both here and on Facebook

    Why do we take something bad and make it good just because society wants it to be good. Her not experiencing love from her mother is not her fault neither is it the mothers fault it is society’s fault because we are the very people who lebel and run with the story

    If we could take it all back to where it all began we might find that her mother too is a victim in all this

    Jean my dear sister my advice to you is find it in your heart to forgive your mother l know it is difficult because she is bitter with you for some reason that she alone knows this l get from what you said in one of your articles of your last visit to your mother

    If you don’t mind me asking you mentioned in your article your father having later sent you a ticket to leave home ?? I haven’t read your other articles prior to this one ya Bren . But it seems your parents were no longer together???
    Are you of the same father with your siblings?? Why l am asking am only trying to understand where the haterage your mother had or the lack of love came from
    Pardon my intrusion my dear but it all is part of your healing going back to where it all started

    Then you start from there you will get the answers

    But for now continue writing girl vazhinji vari kubatsirikana including ivavo vari kukuitira hasha when they sit down and reflect they see themselves like zvambo taurwa kuti they are looking in the mirror and they don’t like what they see 😅

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  9. And who ever said your own mother who carried you for 9 months cannot abuse you? Kuna ana amai vanoita abuse their own daughters and threaten them with kutanda botso bull crap just coz ndi mai vako. I understand what Jean went through coz my mother was a saint to the outside world but to me was so horrible to the extent that I grew up thinking that she wasn’t my real mother. Zvishoma zvataurwa naJean izvo, my own mother hates me for no reason to the extent of talking about me with my other siblings, if I get a good man who wants to marry me she sends my own younger sister behind my back to seduce that man and all the men ended up recanting on their promise to marry, and they at least would tell me after sometime the reason they would have changed their minds, it was all to do with my family’s behavior towards me. One man actually said hauna amai iwe and your family does not love you. Funny how strangers would see through my mother and not those who I called blood! Ndaiitwa character assasination to the extended family so that everyone would never want to hear my side of the story, zvakawanda kani zvavaiita and still does up until today. So Jean keep telling your story I for one understand abuse at the hands of your very own mother takawanda! To socialites who cannot relate to abuse I suggest they shut up!

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