Tanzanian singer cum actress Zena Yusuf Mohammed alias Shilole has revealed that she is a victim of domestic violence in a moving plea to women with abusive partners to speak out.
In a lengthy Instagram tell all on her alleged abuser, husband Ashraf Sadik better known as Uchebe, Shilole narrated the grim reality of her three-year marriage saying it had been one of pain, disrespect and betrayal. Sharing heartbreaking photos of the abuse at the hands of Uchebe, she explained that she had suffered enough and chose to speak out before it was too late.
“I am a mirror of society and a bigger voice, at that, to women. Today, I have chosen to break my silence. My husband Ahrafu Sadiki popularly known as Uchebe has been assaulting me. He does not care how I fare and at the moment I am under the hospice of caregivers. My marriage is void of life and happiness. I have children who depend and look up to me for everything, I cannot fathom dying like this and leaving them helpless. I loved Uchebe and accepted him with all his imperfections. I gave him everything, but it didn’t stop the beatings, disrespect and betrayal,” narrated Shilole.
The Igunga bred Bongo star added that the last straw was on Saba Saba- July 7 - when he descended on her with blows as she slept after a disagreement.
“Two days ago, after hustling on Saba Saba for provisions to cater for him and my children, he beat me up. The reason, a small misunderstanding - present in all marriages; not that he caught me cheating or anything big, no, I respect him. The solution to it, he saw, was to awaken me from sleep with blows. The photos are evidence of what I have on different occasions gone through."
The songbird went on to note that the marriage was over and requested not to be linked to her ex-husband anymore saying she is charting her own course having stood up for her children, taken a stand against abuse and sought happiness.
“I know I will get backlash for posting this on social media, I have no choice. I am a public figure. I have had enough and would like not to be identified as Uchebe’s wife anymore. I would love to be known as mother who put her children, life and happiness first,” she stated.
The lesson, Shilole added, was for all women who may be in the same predicament to lift the veil of silence surrounding domestic violence.
“While I sort out my marriage, may this post be a reminder to all women to break the silence, to boldly speak out and to say no to gender-based violence… When I learnt of other women being abused, I urged them to speak out. When I heard of the woman at Kigamboni who was stabbed and set ablaze I grieved for her and the society saying I wish she opened up. I isolated myself from their struggle while I was one of them. I beg for forgiveness. I am begging for forgiveness because I led you to the belief that my marriage was perfect, it wasn’t.”
The two wedded in 2018 at a star-studded event graced by singers; Jux, Harmonize, Diamond Platnumz and Vanessa Mdee among others before retreating to the luxurious Kilimanjaro Hotel for their honeymoon. The all-expense-paid romantic bliss at Kilimanjaro was paid for by her close friend, Mdee.