Mzansi Celebs

Pebetsi Matlaila (Mokgadi) from Skeem Saam opens up on her failed abusive marriage & near-death experience

Popular Skeem Saam actress Pebetsi Matlaila, better known for her role as Mokgadi on the SABC 1 educational drama, has opened up about being in an abusive marriage.

During her recent sit-down interview on the Gamechangers podcast, the actress and radio host also spoke candidly about her near-death experience and contemplating suicide.

Matlaila revealed that she and her former husband were married for less than a year and before tying the knot she had already seen some red flags.

“We were married officially for nine months, but my relationship with him as boyfriend and girlfriend was about three months.

Pebetsi Matlaila

“Unfortunately for me, I knew the red flags before I even got married to him. He had an addiction problem.

“Not only that, when he was under the influence of alcohol, he got really abusive. People think my marriage was a fairytale that turned dark, it’s been dark from day one,” she said.

The Skeem Saam star revealed that she was still pregnant with her lastborn baby when she walked away from her marriage.

At the time, the mother-of-two said she suffered depression because she was financially strained as she was not working. Although her mother came to her rescue and supported her, she was still visited by suicidal thoughts.

“My life was so much of a mess that I remember thinking If I can manage to kill these children painlessly and then kill myself, then they wouldn’t be dealing with this.

Pebetsi Matlaila

“I felt like I failed as a mom. I felt like I had messed up my life so badly that I had nothing else to live for, and I remember talking to my therapist and saying I was scared of myself and that I might hurt my kids because I had made such a mess of my life.”

Matlaila also recalled “dying” for three minutes when she gave birth to her lastborn daughter due to blood pressure complications.

“I remember not being able to breathe and I pulled the scrubs of the nurse that was next to me and… and it was lights out for me. I didn’t even know that I was dead, only for my mom to come narrate a story to me about what happened…”


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Unathi Nkayi and DJ Zinhle

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