Bren Mupa unveils book on ‘surviving abuse through a mother’s love’
Tackling controversial and difficult subjects is not new to her. In August 2020, UK based Zimbabwean fashion journalist Bren Mupa, a ZAOGA FIF church member of more than 35 years, trended on social media after writing a powerful article imploring the church founder Baba Ezekiel Guti to speak out on the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe.
“Why have you remained quiet Baba at a time like this when police brutality is rampant in all corners of our nation? Why do you continue to eat and sit at the same table with those that brutalise us your church members?” she asked.
The article also on Nehanda Radio, clocked over 85 000 views and was shared over 1300 times on various social media networks.
One and a half years later, Bren is tackling another difficult subject, this time more personal. Last week she celebrated launching her first ever book that looks at how people can tackle domestic violence. She uses her life story as a teaching board.
The book aims to help people understand what domestic violence is and how it can be avoided. She also touched on a topic titled, ‘The Pastors’ poor theology’ where religion plays a big role in undermining people’s liberties.
She told Nehanda Radio in an interview: “The book is my memoire meaning my life and what I have been through. Yes, domestic violence that I went through myself.
“Anyone going through domestic violence should leave. Don’t wait until you are carried out in a body bag, rather leave alive. It might sound easier said than done, but, some women are just suffering and staying in violent marriages because they just want to carry the ‘Mrs’ title.
“What use is the title when one doesn’t have peace of mind? By the way, some men are victims of domestic violence. Never suffer in silence.”
In the book, Bren touched on what she called ‘The Pastors’ poor theology’. She explained the theory as:
“My experience when I was going through domestic violence, the pastor who was counselling me at that time advised me to stay in that marriage because according to him, staying in the marriage gave me dignity.
“According to him God hates divorce so I had to stay. Well according to me Jesus did not die for me to be abused.
“The book is a mixture and a rollercoaster. Reading it would give you more perspective.
“My book was written from the wounds of abuse but bringing the positive energy that my mother always carried.
“I am a fashion Journalist, Mother and now a published author.”
The world is slowly coming out of Covid-19 pandemic. During its peak, Covid-19 lockdowns made it more difficult for victims of intimate partner violence to find help. Formal support services were sometimes closed or operating at reduced capacity.
The virus also made family, friends and neighbours often more remote and less likely to spot signs of abuse.
Summarising the book, Mupa wrote:
“I named you Matipa because I believe you were given to me straight from God’s palm. Matipa, simply translated from Shona, means ‘you have given us’. This name is a gift, not a label. We needed no ceremony to name you. There was no need. You were naturally a gift from God.
“You have walked a tough journey with me thus far. You have already witnessed some things that you should not have as a child, yet those experiences have strengthened our relationship as mother and daughter.
“You have travelled with me, mum and grandmother, to amazing places in the world and created lifelong memories, all of which you will cherish for the rest of your life.
“We have eaten together, laughed together, cried together and have had our ups and downs, but one thing binds us together: love. I have learnt that life is fleeting, not promised, and precious.
“It is a long journey, full of trials and tribulations, but, through it all, we live to learn. In every adversity, there is a lesson and a blessing.”
Friends and colleagues were on hand to congratulate Bren for the book.
Longtime friend Doreen Mutemeri wrote; “Pain and grief triggers many things within a person, and for Bren she created a masterpiece out of it. Years to come this will be a scar reminding us of the pain she went through but also a reminder of how loud she roared her way out of the most difficult situation. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and today am proud to see the woman Bren has become. Well done. Here is to many more books, our new author.”
Another friend Hendrinah wrote; “Bren congratulations on publishing your first book!!! I’m very proud of you, and I’m not just saying that because I would like a free copy 😛.”
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Lante, commenting aboard a flight wrote “What an incredible read, lm 96576ft above sea level reading this memoir and l am in awe of Bren’s strength and courage! She definitely laid it bare and we love to see it! What a beautiful letter to Tippy too! Im in awe xx.”
Fran also put in a word; “”To say l’m impressed is an understatement, I was there when this dream was birthed and it was like a joke,but ey here we are.All l can say is Bren lm super proud of you “This is a real achievement 👏🏾👏🏾”
Gogo Beritha chimed in saying; “Well done Bren on this great achievement. You are one of the most tenacious women I know. Your determination and resilience is highly commendable. I am so happy for you and so proud of you.
“What a special way of remembering your loving mother! Instead of wallowing in your sorrow you turned your grieving into something positive. That’s just amazing. Congratulations and all the best for many more publications to come.”
Bren’s sister Rudo Muparadzi had the final word; “Laying it bare has become a gift to me and my daughters. It is an oasis of advice and strength to all the women especially myself. Knowing of the importance of being an open mother, being a pillar of strength to my children, learning about abuse and knowing when to put an end to it.
“I have learnt of self worth and starting all over again.. It’s a book that u can share with all women because it is an anchor of change. I would read it over and over. All thanks to Bren Mupa for instilling in us her own views on motherhood and family.” Nehanda Radio
The book Laying It Bare: Surviving abuse through a mother’s love is available to buy on Amazon: CLICK HERE