Surviving R. Kelly to air on DStv

February 2, 2019

To find oneself in an abusive relationship is mind-bogglingly easy. Even when in it, it may take some time or a couple of incidences to even realise that you are in one. It has nothing to do with how smart you may think you are because anyone can find themselves falling victim to a predator.

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Crime and Investigation on DStv channel 170 will be airing Surviving R. Kelly next week Wednesday, on the 6th of February 2019 at 8 pm. A disturbing six-part documentary miniseries that lets his alleged victims recall in excruciating detail on how Robert Kelly lured his victims and then went on to physically, emotionally and sexually abuse them in the most horrendous of ways.

The documentary goes back as far as Kelly’s childhood and gives us more insight into his relationship with Aaliyah and the infamous videotape of him urinating on a then 14-year-old girl. The docu-series interviews an array of people including:

  • His brothers
  • Back-up singers
  • Mentors
  • Former tour manager
  • Bodyguards
  • Childhood friends
  • Industry colleagues

Victims include his ex-wife Andrea Kelly and ex-girlfriends.

This is the story that will take you inside the mind of a manipulative, abusive paedophile who is way more twisted than most of us can comprehend, and with some of us denying it completely.

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Having spoken to South African actress and feminist activist Rosie Motene, who hosted us for the Surviving R. Kelly screening at MultiChoice, she shared how she is also a survivor of abuse from her then-boyfriend in university. She also shared with us how she was blackballed in the industry because she refused to go semi-naked or do any sex scenes. “If I was blacklisted, and if they tried to force me to do things – an actress who’s been in the industry for over 25 years; they’re going to do it to the Instagram girl or the girl that has just come into the industry,” Motene says.

Even though these women are in America and they met Kelly when they were either 14, 17 or 33, their stories still resonate with what we are to this day dealing with here in South Africa. “I think it is incredibly relevant. A lot of their stories that came out are so relevant and true to some of the cases I’ve dealt with,” Motene expresses.

As much as it is important to push to #MuteRKelly and cancel him, she believes that it is more important to change the ideologies in our communities so that it is the perpetrator that is held accountable instead of blaming the survivor. In this way, cancelling R. Kelly and any other violator will be 2nd nature and nothing to debate about.

With the #MeToo movement having being started in 2006, it has seen a new era where victims from all across the world, men and women alike, from all walks of life finally have a voice that is heard louder than it could have been before. We are in an age where not even people’s celebrity and star power can shield them from the consequences of their actions. Yes, it may take a while to truly get the results and appropriate punishment for the crimes committed, but I for one am glad that this journey on this rocky path has finally begun.

Surviving R. Kelly Just Trimmings
Rosie Motene and Nazarene Khan at the screening of Surviving R. Kelly at MultiChoice

“To young people in the industry especially coming in, do your research on who’s going to be managing you. If you have a gut feeling, then move away from them. Speak to SAGA, the South African Guild of Actors,” Motene advises to everyone who is looking to enter show business or is already in show business. Rightfully so. As the documentary will outline, some of the worst assailants are the gatekeepers to the industry and do use their power to unscrupulously get you to do the foulest of things just for their own sick pleasure.

Motene strongly stressed that “Yes, we are angry. But our voice and our pain is valid.” As it should be because the victims and survivors of these gender-based crimes are  African women from all over the world.

Surviving R. Kelly will kick-off with a double-bill episode on 6 February 2019 at 8pm on Crime + Investigation channel 170.

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