WATCH | Patrick Shai's widow Mmasechaba pours out her heart: 'It was his time'
Breaking her silence for the first time since discovering the body of her husband, veteran actor Patrick Shai, last Saturday, Mmasechaba Shai opened up about her loss and cautioned her children not to allow social media to shame them.
Close friends and family members gathered at the Market Theatre in Newtown on Thursday to honour the late actor at his memorial service.
Shai took his life on January 22.
Taking to the podium, Masechaba reflected on her life with Patrick since marrying him when she was 16, being a victim of gender-based violence at his hands and deciding to stay with him.
“I'm not crying for Patrick right now, I'm crying for my kids. How are they going to recover from this. How? But I know God will be your father. I know God will always be there,” she said. “This pain is deep, very deep. For my kids, it is deep, for my grandkids it is so deep ... he was a father first, he was a husband, he was a caretaker. He carried us. We were not perfect and he was not perfect.”
Masechaba revealed that their marriage had a lot of challenges and she had wanted to pack her bags and leave but stayed for the sake of her children.
“I used to be a victim of this man. In our lifetime, I stopped living a life of a victim ... I was never intimidated by these beautiful women who became the wives of my husband. The one thing that Patrick was, he loved so deep ... when he started talking about him being a perpetrator, we were all hurt, trust me. The wounds were open again ... I packed my bags so many times and he came and cried and begged me.
“It was his time. This man did all he could with all his faults. He was laughing all the time ... The reality hit me late in the evening because he was always playing ... I really believe that everything that he was, some of you are, so deal with your issues and let us be. ”
Pointing at her children, Sechaba, Tshepi and Kopano, with their children who were standing beside her as she spoke, Masechaba advised them not to be affected by the public's opinion of them.
“What people say about your father, about us as a family shouldn't matter. Don't allow people to shame you. Don't be defined by social media and the comments and everything. We are not defined by what society thinks or wants.”
Masechaba went on to say that she was convinced that because of the way she lost her husband, it was his time to pass.
“He was striving for perfection but at that point, it was time for him to leave. Because we didn't see, we didn't feel anything. It just happened. It was his time on that day.”
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