Metro FM’s Criselda Dudumashe apologises for transphobic comments

Pic: Facebook

Despite initially denying she made any transphobic comments, radio presenter, author and activist Criselda Kananda-Dudumash has apologised to the LGBTIQ community for her utterances.

Dudumash was slammed on social media for statements she made last week as a facilitator at a gender based violence dialogue at the University of Venda.

She reportedly used the term “she man” as a description for transgender individuals.

She also asked men to stand up during two occasions, stating, “as long as you’ve got a dick between your legs you are a man”.

Dudumash was quickly dropped as an ambassador for the Higher Education and Training HIV/ AIDS programme (HEAIDS), which organised the dialogue.

While she initially said the reports were “lies” and that they were part of conspiracy against her for being nominated to the board of the South African National Aids Council, she has now changed her tune.

In a statement posted on Instagram on Wednesday, Dudumash said she is sorry for “for the hurt my words have caused”, and admitted to letting down activists and victims of abuse.

“Given the criticism and feedback, I went back to read the posts and fully understand the anger and backlash from South Africans who expected better from me, particularly given the work I do, my own history and the position I hold as a media personality,” said Dudumash.

“My words came across as though I have no regard for victims and survivors of abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth! As a victim myself and a humanitarian, I strongly condemn all forms of sexual and gender based violence and believe that no one should be violated in any way.

“I remain committed to serving humanity and will continue to make a difference where I can. I apologize to the LGBTIQ community, everyone who attended the GBV session at the University of Venda and all South Africans for my statements. I am so sorry!” concluded Dudumash.

It pains me greatly to see that a post shared on social media and my words at last week’s dialogue held at the University of Venda have upset a number of South Africans, many of whom support me on radio and others being fans throughout my career. I unreservedly apologise for the hurt my words have caused. To the many activists and victims of abuse, I realise that I have let you down. That was never my intent and for that I am deeply sorry. Given the criticism and feedback, I went back to read the posts and fully understand the anger and backlash from South Africans who expected better from me, particularly given the work I do, my own history and the position I hold as a media personality. To my employer the SABC, my colleagues and loyal listeners of my show on Metro FM I apologise for letting you down. My words came across as though I have no regard for victims and survivors of abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth! As a victim myself and a humanitarian, I strongly condemn all forms of sexual and gender based violence and believe that no one should be violated in any way. Those found guilty of abuse or any violation of human rights, should face the full might of the law I remain committed to serving humanity and will continue to make a difference where I can. I apologize to the LGBTIQ community, everyone who attended the GBV session at the University of Venda and all South Africans for my statements. I am so sorry!

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