The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
REACHING a milestone gives some cause to pause and reflect and it was the same for radio and TV personality MisRed last week who used her 30th birthday as an opportunity to talk of about her ruinous early marriage that left her broken, losing 20kg in weight as her husband tormented her.
While MisRed’s star has risen steadily over the last few years, 2019 seems to be the year in which she has settled all debates about her stardom. Her voice on radio seems stronger than ever, and her radiant looks and character have made sure that she continues to be a social media darling for many followers.
It was only a few months ago that pictures of a curvaceous MisRed on a motorbike sent tongues wagging across Zimbabwean social media. Jah Prayzah’s video for Kunerima, in which she was the main attraction, hit a million views on YouTube in a month.
Zimbabwe, it seems, is in love with a woman who has embraced her curves with pride. The country simply cannot get enough of the sassy, bubbly woman who now sounds equally at home behind a microphone or in front of a camera.
But before she was MisRed, she was just Samantha Musa, a 21-year-old girl who fell in love with a man who she claims could sometimes be ruthless.
“So I had my first child before I was MisRed. I was 21 and it was a mess. It was just a mess. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I mean, when you’re younger you really think that you love someone then when you’re older you realise that this really wasn’t it,” she said in an interview on her birthday.
“Emotional abuse was him belittling me as a woman. He was making me feel like I was nothing. And he would do it intentionally. Some people feel do it without knowing but he would plan it out. He would say what can I do, to reduce who she is . . . it sounds crazy to people who know the story because he doesn’t seem like that.”
According to MisRed, the man whose name she could not even mention was not only tormenting her, but seemed to take pleasure in it.
“But he would tell me, ‘I’m going to make you suffer,’ and he would go away and he would plan it and I’d still accept it because I was in love. Because I had gotten pregnant when I least expected it, I think my life kind of stopped at that point . . . when I got married he took me away from my family and it wasn’t an option, because I had to go back as I was still living in Mozambique back then. He said I don’t want you to go back and so he went to my house and my parents were there, he was like ‘I’m going to ask your parents for you to marry me so that you don’t go back,’” she said.
MisRed said she had eventually found herself in a marriage of convenience.
“I was so shy and I didn’t want to disappoint my parents . . . I had gotten with this guy and he had somewhat of a control freak thing that he had within him, he said, ‘you can’t go back, I’m going to figure out a plan.’
“Here he was going to my parents’ house and saying, ‘I want to marry her’ and my mum was like ‘what do you mean you want to marry her? She hasn’t even told us about you’ . . . I was so embarrassed that I ended up agreeing to that marriage because of embarrassment, not because I loved him or I wanted to be in that relationship but because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents,” she said.
At 21 in a controlling and abusive marriage, she watched her dreams evaporate.
“At this point I didn’t know what to do when I ended up with a guy, staying with a man at 21 years old. I should have been travelling, enjoying myself, living life. But I was stuck in this situation. Then I got pregnant.
“When I realised I had given away myself and my dreams and my hopes and I was stuck in this house. Day in day out I’d wake up, clean the house, cook, sleep, wake up, clean the house, cook, sleep. That’s not who I wanted to be. I wanted more and I couldn’t even discuss being more because that would make me a bad person in his eyes and all I thought about was pleasing him,” she said.
Her Damascus moment would come after a visit from her mother, who broke down when she saw her daughter’s dramatic weight loss.
“And then one day my mum . . . bless her heart, because she’s always worried about me, she was like ‘I need to see you. I haven’t spoken to you since you’ve been at this house.’ My mum came and I had lost 20kg and she was like ‘mwana wangu urikuitei.’ And I’d hurt her pretty bad. I had disappointed her. It wasn’t meant to happen like that but it did and my mum was like, ‘this is not you.’ I’m naturally a big person and at the time I was weighing 52kg,” she said.