Mission of Malice: My Exodus from KwaSizabantu
Penguin Random House South Africa, 2021 - Adult child abuse victims - 256 pages
In the 1980s, Erika Bornman's family joins, and ultimately moves, to KwaSizabantu, a Christian mission based in KwaZulu-Natal, which is touted as a nirvana, founded on egalitarian values. But something sinister lurks beneath 'the place where people are helped'. Life at KwaSizabantu is hard. Christianity is used to justify harsh punishments and congregants are forced to repent for their sins. Threats of physical violence ensure adherence to stringent rules. Parents are pitted against children. Friendships are discouraged. Isolated and alone, Erika lives in constant fear of eternal damnation. At 16, her grooming at the hands of a senior mission counsellor begins. For the next five years, KwaSizabantu wages emotional, psychological, and sexual warfare on her, until finally she manages to break free and escape at the age of 21. Escaping a restrictive religious community is difficult, but rehabilitation into 'normal' life after a decade of ritual humiliation, brainwashing, and abuse is much more painful, as Erika soon discovers. She cannot ignore her knowledge of the grievous human-rights abuses being committed at KwaSizabantu, and so she embarks on a quest to expose the atrocities.
Mission of Malice - My Exodus from KwaSizabantu chronicles Erika's journey from a fearful young girl to a fierce activist determined to do whatever it takes to save future generations and find personal redemption and self-acceptance.
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