Original Research

Siphefumula Ngenxeba in our own homes: Gender-based violence during COVID-19 pandemic

Hundzukani P. Khosa-Nkatini, Jacob T. Mofokeng
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a178 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.178 | © 2023 Hundzukani P. Khosa-Nkatini, Jacob T. Mofokeng | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 November 2022 | Published: 05 May 2023

About the author(s)

Hundzukani P. Khosa-Nkatini, Department of Safety and Security Management, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, and National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), South Africa, South Africa
Jacob T. Mofokeng, Department of Safety and Security Management, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Gender-based violence (GBV) has become a major problem in South Africa, making headlines on a regular basis. When the president of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, declared the lockdown in reaction to the worldwide pandemic: COVID-19 one of the expectations was that families would spend more time together in harmony. However, the number of recorded domestic violence instances increased as a result of the lockdown. Women have historically been subjected to GBV in their communities, businesses, streets, marketplaces and even churches; recently, their homes have proven to be unsafe as well. There have been a number of marches of women around the country to call for justice for women who are victims of GBV. The lives of women were endangered, what was supposed to be a place of solace became a dungeon to them. They were essentially breathing through the wound in their own homes: Baphefumula ngenxiba. This article, through a literature review, will highlight how the lives of women were endangered during the lockdown in response to the global pandemic in South Africa. This article aims to call missionary churches to practice the theology of missio Dei within this context.

Contribution: In the light of the above challenges of GBV, the missionary churches are called to practice the theology of missio Del within the context of gender-based violence that took place in private homes during COVID-19. ‘Siphefumula Ngenxeba’ is a Zulu phrase that means [we are breathing through the wound]. The church is therefore called to play a significant role in response to GBV in South Africa.


women; gender; Violence; COVID-19; mission; church; theology; lockdown


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Crossref Citations

1. ‘Hard-pressed on every side’: Christian women’s experiences of intimate partner violence in two provinces of South Africa
Tshilidzi R. Nevhutanda, Mahlasela A. Rakhudu, Lufuno Makhado
Health SA Gesondheid  vol: 28  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2333