Jose Chameleone and Daniela divorce

I read something that broke my heart today. Prominent singer (and old kinda sorta friend) and his gorgeous wife Daniela are getting divorced. But that’s not the bad part. Why they are getting divorced is the part that broke my heart. Abuse, of the verbal, emotional and physical nature (allegedly).

I want to start by saying that if this is all true, then I’m extremely proud of Daniela (and every other woman out there going through the same) for making such a brave move. Being both African, female and married, believe me when I say I know how hard it is to get up and say you have had enough and actually walk out of a marriage. Too many of us stay trapped in marital prisons in the name of societal ideals, status, religion, financial security and a host of other reasons. My question today is, though, when is it all too much? At what point is it okay to say, “I will not be doing this anymore. I wasn’t born to suffer and I do not deserve this,” then pack your bags and move on? And will we, as a culture, ever be ready to accept this reality? That contrary to popular belief, women are not punching bags?

I saw someone comment on the story saying that barttery, torture and emotional abuse were not grounds for divorce and that Danielle should go back and cook for Chameleon. My heart broke into tiny little pieces because so many people think like this. I thought of all the women out there whose relatives and friends share this person’s view and I silently wept on their behalf. Are our feelings, our emotional well-being that unimportant? Are we really only good for cooking and cleaning?

In that moment, my heart went out to Daniela (and I don’t even know her) and I silently thanked God that she was brave enough to rise above all the bullshit advice and make a move in the direction of better living and better mental health. Because absolutely no one should ever have to tolerate what she [says she] did. Not for financial security and certainly not for children. I know for a fact that I’d die first before I let my children be part of a situation like that.

I pray for a day/life when we’ll stop minimizing and trivializing women’s issues.

I also pray for a day when men who do things like this will seek help. We can blame the alcohol all we want but there are underlying issues here that need to be addressed. By the time a grown man chooses to beat on a defenceless woman, instead of defending said man’s actions and encouraging the woman to stay, we should try to understand and get to the bottom of why it is happening. And then get said man some help.

Let’s stop this trend of woman shaming and instead put our heads together to end things like this.


The end of the road.

The hardest thing about being married is that there are rules and guidelines. You are supposed to act a certain way, feel a certain way. And because of this, it’s so hard to get help when things arent going well. The general “you’ll be alright” and “give it time” is said so many times that if I have to hear it ever again, I just might hurt someone.

So this is my dilemma. I’ve finally gathered the strength and courage to leave. But like one would expect, the finality of it all is very scary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having second thoughts or anything. This marriage has taken more from me than all the bad things that have happened to me in the last 25 years combined. And if it goes on any longer, I’ll never be anything, achieve anything. The little energy I have left after even the briefest of interactions with the man I married is just enough to get through the day. Sleep is such a relief, only to wake up and do it again the next day. I’ve done my best not to go numb, because I don’t think anyone should have the power to change another like that. I certainly won’t be giving out that power any time soon. I have sooooo much love in my heart, and I do pray that I will be able to share it with someone for the rest of my life.

That being said, my family seems to think that if I close this door, I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. I can’t lie and say I do not fear this. I do, more than anything else in the world. But fear of being alone is what got me into this mess in the first place. There’s not a single day that I have not woken up and thought that I should have waited. I should have said no when he asked. I should have listened to the voice inside my head when it said “cancel the wedding”.  But I was afraid of ending up alone, of what everyone would say, of eventually going astray. And yet here I am again at the exact same crossroad.

I’ve never needed support white as much as I do now. And yet it feels like my loved ones say and hear what they think they should say and hear. I do not feel heard, understood or empathised with. On more than one occassion, I’ve been made to feel like a deserter. Funny how I used to think the exact same thing about people who got divorced. But the thing is, we never really know people’s circumstances. Some situations should not be endured by anyone. And it’s terribly unfair of anyone of us to expect that of anyone. You know there’s a problem when death starts to feel like an attractive option or way out.

I’ve decided to make an appointment with a therapist. I think the unbiased ear and expert advice will help, both in terms of unburdening my heavy heart and perhaps making me feel a bit less disdained.

I need prayers and hugs and support and wine and all the patience and kindness in the world. I’m not a horrible person. I’m far perfect but I’m not horrible. As a matter of fact, I’d like to think that I’m a nice person with a good heart. And I just want to love and be loved in equal measure.  Is that too much to ask?

Anyway I’ve decided to trust the process.  This too shall come to pass.

And to everyone out there going through the same thing, I hope the words on this blog give you courage in knowing you are not alone.

Do you have a similar story to tell? I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for stopping by!

Married African woman.