South Africa has one of the highest rates of Violence Against women. We seem to have a problem with the way our men engage women. Our men seem to be lacking a fundamental respect for women. Where they should be seeing something Godly…..they see something they want to destroy


I am 33yrs old now, when I was 27 I was part of a campaign where, I stripped naked and took a picture to take a stand against rape.

The picture was shocking, it was provocative and it was brave. It was the kind of image that was vulnerable but said ‘fuck you, even if I’m naked, it does not mean I am asking to be raped.’


Women are often blamed for how they dress.

Responsibility and blame has shifted from the rapist to women.

It’s women’s fault that they get raped.


That image where I am naked and looking fierce –

‘I’m naked……

Am I asking to be raped?’


That purpose of that image was to raise the issue of rape and crimes against women. It was to get society talking about rape. When we raise an issue then we create an opportunity to address that issue. That image was meant to challenge the status quo where women’s bodies have been sexualised.

The vagina is one of the organs of the body…perhaps we need to remove this veil and get our boys used to its existence so they can grow up to be men who respect it.


Owing to the fact that we have a problem with irresponsible journalism in this country- the intention of that image was not properly explained in a mature manner. Journalists from the Sowetan positioned the picture in an undignified, crass and immature manner. For the sake of pushing sales, they compromised ALL of society.


Sowetan did not use its platform to empower black men and women about Rape and women’s bodies. Instead it started a journey of confusion for our youth that continues to this day. Our youth don’t know what that picture stood for or what it was saying.

As a result, every time they engage negatively with that picture, they don’t even realise the impact it’s having on rape survivors.


Does how our youth is engaging with the picture, suggest that our youth doesn’t take rape seriously? Ultimately that picture is a picture of a naked women…..and so what? Your mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, lovers and daughters ALL have a vagina. What is so amazing about my vagina that it’s still causing you grief 5yr after the campaign?


I am not ashamed of my body, it’s just the vehicle that houses my spirit, so please understand that your issues with my naked body….are YOUR issues.


I never have and never will have sleepless nights about doing the Rape Campaign, so when you tweet me that image out of malice and spite, 1stly I acknowledge your supreme ignorance and 2ndly I’m reminded that I’m ‘that girl that stripped naked for the rights of other women.’…..




This picture is going to walk most of my life with me….It is the journey my spirit has chosen for me in this lifetime. Using my voice and my body to affect change for women is an honour for me.

I challenge you….every time that picture comes up……I challenge you to talk about rape and how we can find solutions for our women and girls to feel safer among our OWN men.


12 thoughts on “THE NAKED PICTURE

  1. Powerful massage you said a mouthful dear Mamiya i hope all men from all walks of life will take this in a very serious light like i’m and SAY REAL MAN DONT RAPE. AND DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL TO OUR WOMEN!

  2. People always see what they want to see hopefully one day they will understand what that pic meant instead of fighting and degrading you…….you played your part Mamiya its up to them now.

  3. I hv been in a abusive relationship so wen I c something like this it make happy to see that there are ppl out there who see tht woman are are being violated against if its for a good course sisi siyabonga

  4. People who hate or rather wish to have your outspoken braveness will try to destroy you Mamiya. But they won’t, you’re way stronger than they think. I was almost raped 2yrs back but in God’s grace I escaped. I was traumatised and it took time to for me to get over it. I cannot imagine how long does it take for a Raped woman to get over it. I get scared when I see young girls drink and walking at night half naked. Today’s youth live their lives like Rape doesn’t exist. Thank you for opening up people’s eyes and minds.

  5. Been raped been abused nd i respect yu for what you have done for the rest of Us woman…..lotta luv nd respect for yu Mamiya!!!!!!!

  6. Ntsiki, you have explained yourself extensively about the campaign you chose to do. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandfathers and all understand it perfectly. Don’t be immobilized by what sick minded people have to say. You created that response , let it do it’s purpose , and you live your life. Do what you have to do sisi.
    Yiba yile cherrie igrand uyiyo qha.
    Sharp kaw

  7. You continue to inspire the nation with your writings and through the spoken word(Poetry).You are the most powerful instrument of change and peace in our country and we,the people of South Africa applaud you for your bravery to air views that represent us all and the voiceless.We aspire to live in a country that is free of rapist,and criminals that harm our children and beatiful sisters.

  8. Its bin a year now,but it seems as if it happened last nyt..I was raped #21March 2013#
    But I am not a victim
    I am a SURVIVOR
    Thank u MaMiya

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