South Africa and indeed all humane souls were aghast when a video of Mampintsha beating up his girlfriend and protégé Babes Wodumo went viral on the Internet. The abuse video resonated back then for several reasons: one is that domestic abuse is prevalent in South Africa, and the other is that this time, the person abused (Babes Wodumo) is a public figure.
Ordinary people, celebs across industries, politicians and even the government rallied around Babes Wodumo and even made every effort to shut Mamintsha up and penalize him accordingly. A hashtag, #MuteMampintsha, began trending on South Africa twitter almost immediately, compelling Mampintsha to make a public apology.
Apology did not pre-empt a court appearance for Mampintsha on assault charges. He was released on bail and would appear in court again later this month. And no, it did not prevent Mampintsha from counter-suing Babes Wodumo for assault, claiming she is prone to violence when drunk.
This claim may have found some affirmation when a woman surfaced days later, claiming Babes Wodumo assaulted her at a guesthouse. Babes Wodumo was to have appeared in court over the allegations levelled against her by the Durban woman. She apparently snubbed a court appearance and was fined for contempt of court.
The fine, however, did not dampen public sympathy for her over her alleged abuse in the hands of Mampintsha. On the contrary, public support for her was still effusive and the determination the court should dispense justice in the case against Mampintsha was strong.
The consternation, then, can better be imagined when Mampintsha, who runs West Ink, announced the music video of his song “Khona Iyngane Lay’Ndlini” was out and it featured Babes Wodumo.
“Surprise Surprise. Khona iy’ngane kayndlini is finally out & guess who’s on the track? The one n only GQOM QUEEN @BABESWODUMO Checkout the full video on YouTube – Link on my bio! (Video Premiers at 11am) Let’s retweet and get some energy 😍😍😍”
Surprise Surprise… Khona iy'ngane kayndlini is finally out & guess who's on the track? The one n only GQOM QUEEN @BABESWODUMO
Checkout the full video on YouTube – Link on my bio! (Video Premiers at 11am)
Let’s retweet and get some energy 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/xBOxH83snE
— S H I M O R A (@MampintshaNuz) May 3, 2019
The announcement was one thing. The reality that Babes Wodumo actually featured on the video was another. And his is where the public finds itself uncomprehending, and for the right reasons, too.
The music video of “Khona Iyngane Lay’Ndlini” was not recorded before Babes Wodumo shared the Instagram Live video of Mamointsha abusing her. And the video itself makes references to Mampintsha’s words in the abuse video Babes Wodumo had shared. Why would she do this? Why had she done this?
Is her appearance on the “Khona Iyngane Lay’Ndlini” video not a subtle endorsement of her alleged abuse? Or was there no abuse at all and the abuse video she shared was merely a publicity gimmick?
At this point it is particularly hard to say. And the difficulty in determining why she decided to feature in the video is not in her interest either. Over the past couple of years, Babes Wodumo has built a reputation for fiduciary fumbling such that her words may not always be believe or trusted.
The public remembers only too well how she had claimed previously that her usb stick was stolen and the unmastered song in the usb was already playing in parks across South Africa. From claiming her usb stick was stolen, and asking that it be returned, she had released the supposedly stolen song to some success.
It is also public knowledge that she had publicly denied Mampintsha abused her even after having appeared on Metro FM while Masechaba Ndlovu spoke about her alleged abuse in the hands of Mampintsha. This was all before the viral video she shared on Instagram Live.
In all of this, in retrospect, it is not Mampintsha’s reputation that has actually suffered but Babes Wodumo’s. She has exhibited a ghastly lack of consistency such that only a few out there still take her and her words seriously.
At this point it might appear the viral Instagram Live video was a publicity gimmick after all. This is especially so as Mampintsha shared on his Instagram page today Sunday 5 May 2019 a picture of him and Babes Wodumo, supposedly at a function, almost arm in arm, with the caption “Link in bio ☝️ Happy Sunday 🎬”
Sadly it is one gimmick that might draw too much blood from her career and ultimately ruin it. Who is Babes Wodumo if the world no longer takes her seriously and if the world cannot rely on her words? Nothing.
With “Khona Iyngane Lay’Ndlini” the video Mampintsha has pulled off a great coup, and it is not in the interest of true victims of abuse – not in South Africa, not in Africa, not anywhere. Sad.