Singer Gabrielle speaks up against bullying for Child Protection Week


In May 1995, Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”



National Child Protection Week is commemorated in South Africa annually to raise awareness of the rights of children. As we enter into Child Protection Week 2021, 14-year-old singer songwriter Gabrielle acts as a voice for the youth and wants to bring attention to the dangers of bullying.

A victim of bullying herself, Gabrielle has been bullied since she was in Grade 4. 

She explains, “I have been verbally bullied by children calling me “ugly” and saying things like I’m talentless. I have been cyber bullied through WhatsApp and have been invited into groups only to be sworn at and called names.”

Bullying is a big problem with big consequences. Though bullying affects everyone, it is a particular problem in adolescents. Sadly, bullies can cause lasting psychological and physical damage to other kids. 

Recently, a 15-year-old pupil in Limpopo, Lufuno Mavhungu, died by suicide after allegedly overdosing on prescription pills. It was revealed through a video that Lufuno was being bullied by her fellow classmates. In the video, which has since gone viral, Lufuno is beaten by another Grade 10 pupil who repeatedly slapped her while other schoolgirls cheered her on.

Bullying is not always physical and can also be verbal, such as with Gabrielle. Though, it is equally dangerous.

When asked why she thinks she was a victim of bullying, Gabrielle elaborates, “I was bullied because of my differences. For example, the first time I got bullied was because my hair was thicker than everyone else.”

In order to overcome her situation, Gabrielle spoke up against the bully and told her parents. She also wrote a song titled ‘Nasty’ about this very issue. 

“I realized the bully is taking out their insecurities on me,” she says. “Normally the bully picks on you because they have certain expectations of who you supposed to be. In my case, if you stand out or you draw the attention of others, that upsets them. When I understood that their words were more a reflection of their insecurities and where they are in their life, it made me more confident to be myself.

As with Lufuno’s case, bystanders are a huge problem. These are children who witness the act and often cheer the bully on. This gives the bully more power. Some experts suggest that changing the attitudes and involvement of bystanders could have the biggest impact on bullies.

According to Stop Bullying, below are the signs that point to bullying:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking sickness
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork and not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Gabrielle concludes, “Speak to someone you trust. It is the best way to get through bullying. Make sure the bully gets reported to a teacher or the principal because once they are reported they will be more hesitant to carry on bullying.”

If you are being bullied and need to talk to someone, call Childline South Africa on 08000 55 555. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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