Kanga motema / Keep Quiet [English version]

October 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Kanga motema / Keep Quiet [English version]
Show Notes

My guest in this 7th episode is Paulette Monteiro.
Paulette has published her first book at the beginning of this year 2020, entitled 'Behind the Smile'. In her book, she recounts her life experiences such as grief, rape, anorexia, depression... The experience that has particularly touched me, is her experience with domestic abuse and violence.

Domestic violence can be defined as "an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer."
It is important to give some figures to realise the impact of domestic abuse and violence :

  • In 2018, 121 women were killed by their partners or ex-partners. 
  • It is estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by another person (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives. 
  • In addition, in Europe, the latest figures confirmed the increase in violence against women during the lockdown.

Why did I choose 'Kanga motema' as the title for this episode 7?

Kanga motema means in French ‘keep quiet’. It is an expression/phrase in Lingala, which is heard quite often in the Congolese community. This phrase is used to encourage women who are victims of domestic violence and/or abuse to endure physical and moral violence without denouncing their partners.

I have heard this phrase many times and have always asked myself these questions: 
Why do some people give such advice? Why is this topic taboo in some families and communities? 

The topic of domestic abuse and violence was so important to me to discuss. To be honest with you, when I decided to create my podcast, this topic was part of my top 3 topics to cover under my podcast.

I had the chance to read Behind the smile by Paulette, met her and she kindly accepted my invitation to participate in this podcast. This episode 7 couldn't have come at a better time because October is the Month for Awareness about Domestic Violence in the UK.

For more information, her book Behind the Smile is available on Amazon, here is the link:


If you want to know more about Paulette, participate in the translation of her book, and support the organisation she is helping this year, please see below her contacts details:

I wish you a good listening in this new episode!