Her life story could fill a horror movie – and it has.
Her story of love, pain and suffering is a cautionary tale that no one is ever what they seem.
Mpho Chuma is the woman who lives – literally. She survived attempted murder when she was stabbed 26 times by her ex-boyfriend.
Her story of survival is detailed in a Showmax documentary. She tells us how it all happened.
When her friend invited her over for a chill session at her house in Mamelodi, she never thought she would meet a man that she thought was the love of her life. She was mainly there to have fun.
He made her heart skip a beat.
“He was light in complexion, not tall, and had this quietness that attracted me so much. He was kind, supportive and caring, exactly what I prayed for.
“I was pregnant at the time, but he accepted the pregnancy because he said that he loved me, so he vowed to accept any baggage that I came with.”
But what was supposed to be the start of a beautiful love story turned into her worst nightmare.
The 28-year-old mother and student now speaks out against any forms of abuse against women and children.
She and her former partner met in November a few years ago.
He was supposed to be, “the man of my dreams”.
She says it all began when her ex-boyfriend asked to impregnate her.
“I was not ready because my first born was still young, but he couldn’t understand,” she tells Drum.
They had a few fights after that but the one that had her putting a break to the relationship was watching him disrespect his mom.
“He had a disagreement with his mother and I couldn’t tolerate watching him disrespecting his mother right in front of me. He forced me to take his side even though I told him that I wasn’t raised like that.”
Mpho lives in Soshanguve with her mother, Nthabiseng Raseala, who received a call from her ex-boyfriend’s sister about their fight.
“We had dated for like a year and he never showed any signs of being abusive. The only time that I saw there was something wrong with him was when he had an altercation with his mom at their gate. I was visiting my family at the time.
“He was fighting for his mother to open the gate, and I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t wait for his mother to open the gate and then talk properly in the house. Then when we got to the house the shouting continued and I was surprised how he spoke with his mom, so I decided to leave.”
“He saw me, and came running after me, he grabbed me roughly and said that, ‘if I dare take another step then he will show me his true colours’. I was terrified and surrendered to his demand.”
“But when we got to the room, I explained to him that I didn’t like how he spoke with his mother and he shouldn’t disrespect her in my presence because I didn’t like it. He kept forcing me to understand his story but I stood by my views.
“[He said] I was getting on his nerves, then threw a bottle at me. But it missed and only spilled alcohol on me.”
Mpho called it quits right there.
She says the breakup only lasted for about a month before he came back to apologise and get her back.
“I told him that the only way we can get back to each other is only if he gets a counselling because he had a lot of anger to deal with and I couldn’t tolerate that behaviour. I promised to even go with him because I needed him to get help,” she says.
“I was working a night shift when he told me that he had booked for a session with a psychologist who lived on his side of town, and I said ‘okay cool not a problem, I can come through’. Indeed, on that day in the morning I went there with the intent to accompany him.”
But things took an unexpected turn.
“I was sitting on the bed when he told me that, ‘actually no, there won’t be any breakup between us, the only breakup between us is through death. So, if you want to break up with me, you’ll have to end your life and I will do the same’.”
“He said that was how we were supposed to end things. It was death that will do us part. He then hung up a rope in his room with a knife in his hand. The door was locked,” she says.
“He told me to choose how I wanted to die. He gave me a choice that it is either he cut my throat then he would hang himself. I decided to go with the rope. Indeed, he put me on the rope and, as I was hanging, he kicked the chair. I don’t know what changed his mind, but he took me off the rope.”
She says in that horrific moment she was rescued by a knock at the door.
“He left with the person who was knocking after he opened the door. His mother was in the house, and I quickly ran to explain what my ex-boyfriend was doing to me and by the time he came back, the house was locked. We called the police but we couldn’t reach them.”
Mpho says when her ex-boyfriend came back, he insisted they open the door.
“But his mother didn’t want us to open the door. He was so manipulative that he was able to switch stories. He told his mother that I am the one who is crazy and he wouldn’t do such a thing and encouraged his mother to open the door.
“His mother didn’t believe him. He broke the door and forced his way into the house. His mother tried to block him from me, but he managed overpower her and ran towards me. Unfortunately, when I tried to escape, he grabbed me by my shirt.”
He only stopped when his sister came in.
“She was able to calm him down, but he told her that I was the one who is crazy and he wouldn’t do that to me. His sister advised that we sit down and resolve things.
“Afterwards he locked everybody in the house, including the gate, and he came back with his hands hidden behind his back. In that moment I knew that he had a knife, and I started screaming for help.”
Mpho was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend for several times until she passed out.
“He told me that ‘you said you loved me’ and then stabbed me. I tried to block it. His mother was staring but unable to help because she was locked inside, his sister was screaming
“He stabbed me to a point that I was no longer feeling anything, the community was there trying to help me out but they couldn’t get in. They could clearly see what was going on. As he was busy stabbing me, I blacked out. I could see someone getting stabbed but that person wasn’t me, I could see a women locked inside being stabbed, I was able to see the scene as it unfolded.”
Mpho didn’t think she was going to survive, she sustained deep stab wounds just underneath her ear by the neck, some on the shoulders, her face.
“They actually called two ambulances, one from public the other from private hospital. When the first ambulance arrived, they certified me dead but when the second one arrived, I don’t know what they did, but they managed to help me. Apparently, I had a very deep wound underneath my ear which was sensitive and said if the knife was an inch more and touched a nerve, I was dead. I was in ICU.”
She says this had an adverse effect on her mother, Nthabiseng, who had depression as a result.
“I went back to being her little girl, she would get worried about little things and did not want me to be far from her, I just became a baby. She is still taking the tablets and overprotective, going out gives her anxiety. She doesn’t want my phone to be off. For me it got too much because I received the child treatment, but I understand.”
Mpho went to see a psychologist and was able to accept that her life changed forever. Her ex-boyfriend was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
She says for her it should have been more because he changed the rest of her life.
“I used to be a promoter and we had a certain dress code, so I had to stop working because of my scars. Now [where I had] the operation, it can become painful when it gets cloudy or cold. I have accepted that things are like this now.”
In the Mpho, The Woman Who Lives documentary, she relives her story and embarks on a journey of healing.