Former Bafana Bafana footballer Benni McCarthy recently announced his support and endorsement for child rights group Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA)‚ and in an interview recounted his own experience with abuse.
Benni said that growing up he saw his father beating his mother and he resolved to work hard to give her a better life.
“My mom unfortunately was on the end of a beating‚ and because I was the youngest of three kids at the time‚ I was always in the house and I was the one who was witnessing all this. Yeah‚ I just made a promise to myself that I want to work my socks off and make a success of my life so I can get my mother the life that she deserved‚” he said.
The football star said that the ordeal gave him a resolution to be different than his father.
“Kids and women cannot defend themselves against us. So‚ to use kids and women as a punching bag is vile. So‚ I promised myself that I would never become that guy who uses woman and kids as a punching bag‚ but try and make a difference‚” he said.
Benni said that he himself was not abused but that observing the alleged abuse had a mental effect on him which he drew from in later years.
“Whenever it looked like it was getting tough‚ I would just think about what I went through and where I said I wanted to be‚” he added.
He said that he hoped his story would inspire others to have the courage to speak out on abuse.
“At the end of the day‚ I made it and I came from a violent and abusive background so anyone else in that situation can do the same. If anyone is suffering they should come forward because there are ways to get help‚” he added.
According to IOL‚ Benni’s father Dudley died in 2008 after suffering from complications related to diabetes.
Listen to the full interview below:
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