WATCH | Basetsana Khumalo on mental health awareness

'Vulnerability is not weakness. It is the necessary door that opens us to heal our darkest places'

TV personality and former Miss SA Basetsana ‘Bassie’ Kumalo talks about mental health.
TV personality and former Miss SA Basetsana ‘Bassie’ Kumalo talks about mental health.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

In commemoration of Mental Health Awareness Month, TV personality and businesswoman Basetsana "Bassie" Kumalo has shared an extract from her book, which highlights some of her most challenging times.

She shared a video on Instagram of how she overcame some of her most challenging hurdles.

In the video, Bassie reflected on her most depressed moments: "It was mayhem. Drips, injections, it was absolute chaos in the ward. We tried everything but I went into labour - the babies were just 20-weeks-old, twins. I could feel their every move. There was such an intimate part of me for 20 weeks but they didn't survive.

“The doctors put me into a labour ward and at one point I started to lose consciousness and I told Romeo we had to make a decision. The doctors gave me an option to have a general anaesthetic or a caesarean, but I said, 'no, I don't want to go home with a scar and no babies',"

Bassie said she chose to go into labour and gave birth "even though I knew I wasn't going to be able to take them home".   

With tears streaming, the former Miss SA continued to read from her book.

“My sister Lerato had gone to our home to fetch my Bible and my father's crucifix, which is one of the things  I happened to keep in his belongings after his passing. When she came back I told her to read me my father's psalm with his cross around my neck.

“When the curtains closed, I delivered my babies- a boy and a girl. The nurse quickly came and asked if I wanted to see them. I said, 'no. Let them go in peace'."

She sai her husband, Romeo, was there every step of the way holding her hand.

“I cried, he cried, we all cried. It was painful. I went into severe depression when I lost my babies.” 

Bassie said she couldn't get out of bed and questioned herself about what could have been.

The businesswoman continued to lift the lid on how important this month was for her, and said it is  her duty to encourage people to be more understanding of mental health issues.

Her caption read: “I stand in one voice with our leaders in the call to educate the public about mental health and encourage all of us to be more understanding of each other. To reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to.

“I have shared my own journey with depression openly in my book, and reflected on my recovery in last night's LIVE book reading. Vulnerability is not weakness. It is the necessary door that opens us to heal our darkest places.”


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