Skeem Saam Star Pebetsi Matlaila Opens Up About Abusive Marriage and Near-Death Experience
Renowned Skeem Saam actress Pebetsi Matlaila, recognized for her portrayal of Mokgadi in the SABC 1 educational drama, has bravely shared her harrowing experiences of being in an abusive marriage and facing a near-death encounter.
In a recent interview on the Gamechangers podcast, Matlaila shed light on the tumultuous chapter of her life, delving into the challenges she confronted during her marriage and the profound impact it had on her mental health.
Matlaila disclosed that her union with her former husband lasted less than a year, and even before tying the knot, she noticed troubling signs. She revealed, “We were officially married for nine months, but our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend only lasted about three months.
Unfortunately, I recognized the red flags before the marriage. He struggled with addiction, and when he was under the influence of alcohol, he became abusive. Contrary to what people may think, my marriage wasn’t a fairytale gone wrong; it was dark from the very beginning.”
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The Skeem Saam star went on to share the challenging period when she decided to walk away from the marriage while still pregnant with her lastborn child. Financial difficulties, coupled with the absence of employment, led to depression. Matlaila expressed gratitude for her mother’s support but admitted to grappling with suicidal thoughts.
“My life was such a mess that I remember thinking if I could find a painless way to end my children’s lives and then take my own, they wouldn’t have to endure this. I felt like a failure as a mom, like I had ruined my life to the point of having nothing left to live for. I spoke to my therapist, expressing my fear of myself and the potential harm I might cause to my kids because I had made such a mess of my life.”
Matlaila also recounted a critical moment during childbirth when she “died” for three minutes due to blood pressure complications. Reflecting on the incident, she shared, “I couldn’t breathe, and I pulled the scrubs of the nurse next to me. It was lights out for me. I wasn’t even aware that I was dead until my mom narrated the story of what happened.”
Through her candid revelations, Pebetsi Matlaila aims to raise awareness about the harsh realities of abusive relationships and the profound impact they can have on mental health, encouraging others to seek help and support.