Millicent Makhado used her YouTube Channel to spread an important message about gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence has been described by president Cyril Ramaphosa as the “other” pandemic that South Africa is fighting alongside Covid-19. It’s also a societal issue which many of the country’s biggest celebrities have lent their platforms to addressing and the latest to do so last week was former Muvhango star Millicent Makhado. The Thespian shared her own experience of having to walk away from an abusive marriage before sharing some insight into why it isn’t always so easy for others to do the same. 

Millicent Makhado talks GBV on Youtube

Millicent Makhado is renowned across the country for her starring role on SABC 2’s Muvhango where she played the role of Agnes. Although her tenure on the soapie was often dramatic, she took to YouTube to discuss some of the difficulties in her real life instead. Speaking on her channel to her 640+ subscribers, Millicent shared the harrowing experiences of her previous toxic love affair before taking the opportunity to offer advice to her followers. 

She revealed that after finding herself in an abusive marriage, she had to make the difficult decision to walk away. However, she also shaed some insight on why that’s not always so easy. 

The TV star opened up when she said, “This is a very difficult topic, as a young woman who was in an abusive relationship that became marriage. I realised it is not easy to leave an abusive relationship. As much as I was told how stupid I was, that I was a fool or useless, I still didn’t leave.”

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“When I finally left my abusive relationship, I went home back to my mother. Your family is always there for you, I know it might be hard to believe but they will love and take care of you,” 

South Africans touched by Millicent’s story

The topic of domestic abuse is a very triggering one in South Africa, largely because of how many people have experienced abuse or know somebody who has. Although the nature of her video was extremely sensitive, Millicent’s followers thanked her for opening such an important discussion online. 

One commenter wrote, “There are people who have no where  to go to they stay in abusive relationships because they have nowhere to run to. That is why we have to teach women to work hard and acquire skills so that we can be independent.” 

Another commenter shared her own testimony by saying, “11 years ago I walked out with my son and hope in my heart. I celebrate that decision everyday. Ladies, nobody, nothing is worth your life, peace…. Don’t overthink, if you are in this situation, please plug the courage to leave, walk away” 

If you or a loved one find yourself in an abusive relationship then you can call the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428 or send a Please Call Me to *120*7867#.


SAPS Emergency Services 10111
Toll-free Crime Stop number 086 00 10111
GBV Command Centre Contact the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre toll-free number 0800 428 428 to report abuse
STOP Gender Violence Helpline Tel: 0800 150 150/ *120*7867#
South African Police Service Report all cases of rape, sexual assault or any form of violence to a local police station or call the toll-free Crime Stop number: 086 00 10111
Legal Aid South Africa Call the toll-free Legal Aid Advice Line 0800110 110 for free legal aid if you cannot afford one
Commission for Gender Equality Report Gender Discrimination and Abuse: 0800 007 709
South African Human Rights Commission Call 011 877 3600 to lodge a complaint about human rights violations.
Domestic violence Helpline Stop Women Abuse: 0800 150 150
AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322
The Warrior Project FREE legal helpline for victims of domestic abuse: 0860 333 353
People Opposed to Woman Abuse(Powa), Tel: 011 642 4345
Child Welfare South Africa, Tel: 074 080 8315
Childline South Africa, Tel: 0800 055 555
Families South Africa (Famsa), Tel: 011 975 7106/7
Tears Foundation, Free SMS helpline: *134*7355#, Tel: 010 590 5920
The Trauma Centre, Tel: 021 465 7373
Thuthuzela Care Centres