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Sophie Ndaba’s son shines a light on abuse and mental health

RAPPER son Lwandle Ndaba Picture: Instagram

RAPPER son Lwandle Ndaba Picture: Instagram

Published Aug 18, 2021


Divorce can get messy, but when you’re a public figure and your son makes a diss track about the troubles of your marriage then things get even worse.

This is the matter that actress Sophie Ndaba is dealing with. Her son Lwandle Ndaba has released a rap track that paints a bad picture of his actress mother’s marriage to businessman, Max Lichaba.

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In the hip-hop ditty, Lwandle alleges that Lichaba assaulted his mother and also cheated on her with his best friend, who is reportedly young enough to be his daughter and allegedly physically abused.

His diss track, My stepfather’s a devil exposes his stepfather’s mistreatment towards his mother. On the track Lwandle claims that he beat her and he was the reason for her depression.

“You the reason momma fell into depression while you busy buying Bentleys and b******.

“You left your wife bruised up on the body. I won’t forget the day you hit her cause you cheated.

“You cheated with my best friend. She is young enough to be your daughter, R Kelly wanna-be,” according to the lyrics of the song.

Actress Sophie Lichaba. Picture: Instagram

Before he released the track, Lwandle told his followers they should believe women: “When women say men are trash, people should stop saying not all of them.”

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Lichaba and Ndaba, who married in a traditional ceremony in 2018, separated last year and are heading for divorce.

The tell-all song sparked multiple conversations on gender-based violence, kids in unhealthy marriages, and mental health.

Globally, mental health professionals have predicted that the pandemic is going to impact significantly over time on the mental health of everyone. There is a predicted increase in cases of depression, suicide, and self-harm due to Covid-19, and other related symptoms reported internationally.

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According to the SA Depression & Anxiety Group (Sadag), the impact of Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown restrictions has led to an increase in the number of calls that the organisation has received from people showing signs of depression. This means that conversations such as the ones happening at Sadag, are important when fighting the stigma of mental health issues.

Sarah Lamont, an occupational therapist at Akeso Randburg, Crescent Clinic says depression is a clinical illness created by an imbalance in the neurochemicals that control our moods.

Explaining that when someone is depressed their mood is not only low but their thoughts are influenced and they are temporarily incapable of seeing circumstances realistically and thus generating a realistic solution.

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Lamont says it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression.

They may include: change in personal hygiene that results in a more unkempt appearance. Changes in appetite that can often lead to unusual changes in weight.

Changes in sleep routine, with the individual often feeling more exhausted and needing to sleep for extended periods of time, staying in bed all day or for an entire weekend.

Avoidance of social interaction and remaining withdrawn or isolated. They may be less active on social media, for example, and their posts might reflect less energy or positivity than previously.

She also says that people who are depressed develop poor coping strategies such as an increase in smoking, drinking, and substance abuse.

“They may also begin gambling as an attempt to find a quick fix to financial pressures. These only have further negative impacts on their levels of desperation and their inability to generate healthier solutions.”

The couple have kept the divorce out of the public eye. While Ndaba refused to comment on the song or the allegation, Lichaba denied being an abuser.

Speaking to Sunday World, Lichaba said: “First, I am not going to comment on this song, what I can tell you is I have never in my life beaten up a woman and I am not about to do that as I have kids who are girls and I have a sister too. My matter with Sophie is at the high court for divorce and that is all I can say”

“I am not sure who will ever in my family want to harm the child I raised and took to school with my own money; the child I taught how to drive a car. When he was sick, I would take him to the doctor. I do not think any of my family will want to do that to him or Sophie,” he said.

One of the positives from this is that it has highlighted the importance of navigating trauma that comes from divorce that can be easily overlooked. If you or a loved one is going through it, Psychology Today shares tips on how you can deal with it.

Do everything you can to choose a non-adversarial divorce process such as collaborative divorce or mediation. This puts you in control of the many decisions you will make. Litigation will increase your stress exponentially, so don’t do that unless you really need someone else to make decisions for you.

Consider hiring a divorce coach to support you through the process. Hire a trained divorce coach who can help you speak for yourself in your divorce negotiations.

Join a divorce support group. There are online groups as well as local groups so you can remember that you are not alone.

Focus on your children. Discuss the idea of nesting (or birdnesting) with your spouse. Keeping your kids stable while you sort out your next steps is your top priority. This is hard because you may have your kids part-time, which increases the pain of the loss.

Forgiveness opens the door to healing. Try to forgive yourself for anything you believe led to the divorce, and one day you will be able to forgive your ex too.