For more than 20 years Mpho suppressed anger and hatred after she was raped by a close family friend at the age of seven. This traumatic ordeal changed her into a bitter, aggressive and angry young girl.
THE RAPE INCIDENT
“When I was five, my parents worked far away and hired a nanny for me. My father asked a close family friend, a man he trusted, to come over to the house regularly,” said Mpho.
“My nanny had run a bath for me. She was cooking but she asked me to get undressed and wait in the bath tub. He came over that night, but while my nanny was in the kitchen he came and raped me. I remember the way he smelled, the clothes he wore, what he did to me and what he whispered in my ear while he was busy on top of me…He said my parents would die if I told anyone about what he had done that night,’ said Mpho.
The silence didn’t help her to forget, but made her more resentful.
“I hated men who I thought were all the same. The sweet girl I used to be had completely changed. I was cold-hearted, violent, rebellious and arrogant,” said Mpho.
LIFE FAR AWAY FROM HOME
Mpho was moved to a school in rural Pietersburg while her parents lived in Johannesburg. Her parents thought the move would help teach her how to become a responsible and mature adult.
“I joined the wrong crowd. My friends and I went to parties, clubbing, drinking and smoking. At 14 I was already dating older guys,” said Mpho.
Mpho was introduced to modelling. “I wasn’t interested in modelling but the prizes and the fame that came with it made me feel great! For once I felt appreciated and important,” said Mpho.
She dated many guys while at school, mainly to prove that she wasn’t lesbian. “The girls found my cold attitude towards men disturbing. My first boyfriend brought out the worst in me. I would beat him up. I refused to let him hug, kiss or touch me… I enjoyed the physical fights we’d have. I loved the feeling of power that came over me when I saw blood gushing … It made me feel powerful,” she said.
THE DEMONS THAT TORMENTED ME
Mpho became the victim of evil spirits which only she could hear and see. “The evil spirit would come in the form of a child or as the cartoon character Mickey Mouse. It would take away my voice and strength. All I could do was to lie there and watch it beat and torture me. No one believed me when I told them that Mickey Mouse would come beat me up every night. The wardens had to call my parents to come and fetch me.”
Her parents saw the bruises and believed that an evil spirit was really tormenting her. “We went to every sangoma, traditional healer, prophet and church… They all promised to help me but with no success,” said Mpho.
Things became worse when Mpho started speaking to a woman that no one else saw. Mpho’s parents sent her to a mental institution.
MY BLINDNESS LED ME TO JESUS
For four years Mpho was physically blind although medical tests showed her eyes were healthy. “I was dep
ressed and accepted that I was blind,” said Mpho. Her mother was invited to the Universal Church. When asked why she was there, Mpho told God that if He existed, he knew her circumstances. After the prayers she regained her sight. “I will never forget the day… My mother jumped andscreamed, ‘My child can see. She was blind butnow can see!'”
Today Mpho’s ordeal serves as testimony to God’s power.She celebrates nine years of happy marriage to her husband, a pastor of the Universal Church and serves by his side as a pastor’s wife, helping to counsel girls and women on rape, abuse, spiritual torment and blindness.