Hope Healed My Trigger

By Zizipho Ndevu

It was just this week that I felt triggered by the horrific stories that had emerged on the news about multiple women who had been raped and murdered and fellow Africans that had been brutally murdered because they weren’t citizens. If I am being completely honest, I still feel the chill in the air on this clear day just thinking about all the pain and bloodshed over the past week. Many people I spoke to share their stories and pain, a few of which mentioned that they felt physically sick just hearing all the bad news. There was a spirit of dread in the air many expressed, and I agreed, I could feel it too. 

However, in the midst of all of this something happened after I went to church and was surrounded by hundreds of people who in the mayhem and pain still believed in South Africa, still loved one another and were willing to put all their differences aside to pray as one nation. I was moved by the response of the church, and not just the one I attend but by many others who shared images of prayer sessions they had attended over the weekend and during the week. The point of prayer is never about the numbers but about the shared belief that God can still do something, that the current situation no matter how bad can still be turned around. It is the choice of belief instead of fear, to love instead of hate and to try instead of giving up.  

P.U.S.H – stands for Pray Until Something Happens, a common phrase used in Christian communities, but I would like to encourage us to all adopt a PUSH mindset throughout this season in South Africa. To PUSH at church, home, work, schools and social spaces. That every South African, regardless of faith, denomination, gender and race would stand together and pray until something happens. 

The intriguing thing about crisis is that it has the miraculous way of realigning and refocusing those impacted by it, somehow or other it causes extreme chaos while simultaneously making the important things clearer. 
I was walking around one of the local malls really upset and triggered when I saw a girl, aged 7-9 having the time of her life swinging around in a school skirt that lifted with every turn, she was completely unaware of what was happening in the country, just a few minutes away from where she was. She played and was absolutely impressed by her athletic ability to jump up high and swing around at warp speed. She smiled and laughed all by herself with very little room for anyone’s opinions or approval. My trigger was interrupted by her passion and willingness to just be herself. 

My point? In the middle of all the horror and terror there is a little girl dancing in a mini skirt. She is not afraid to be a girl-child and she made me brave to be a woman too. My trigger faded with each of her giggles. 

PUSH is the belief that we can be in the middle of something horrible and still have faith and fun and hope and joy. We can still find time in the middle of the insanity to choose a different perspective. This is by no means saying it is easy, and I knew this to be true when I was surround by so many who prayed hopeful prayers with tears streaming down their faces. With broken hearts they hoped for a better day for all. Hope is not about denying the reality of what has happened to us or those around us, but it is about believing and acting on that belief to create something different, the hope that we can start over, that we can heal and repair.  

So today, less triggered I choose to PUSH. 

By Zizipho Ndevu


Article Tags


Gender-based violence

Rape culture



South Africa


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