Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
22 Oct 2021
4:26 pm

‘Arendsvlei’ actress Melanie du Bois stands up against bullies in kykNET campaign

Renate Engelbrecht

Du Bois spoke to 'The Citizen' about bullies in light of kykNET’s recent #JyDinkJyKenMy ad campaign, asking 'why are my own people breaking me down?'

Melanie du Bois. Picture: Facebook

kykNET’s recently launched #JyDinkJyKenMy ad campaign, urging the public to think before they speak, features various actors who have decided to stand up against bullies, opening up and telling their stories about strangers breaking them down.

The kykNET campaign is all about speaking to the different forms of bullying and asking the question: “If you knew me, would you really say these things?”

One of the people in the ad, Arendsvlei actress Melanie du Bois says she didn’t need convincing to get involved as she has seen the devastating effect words can have. She says she has felt the effect of bullying not only in media, but also in other areas of her life.

It’s personal

Du Bois says that most of the haters speak their minds on social media. She doesn’t even go onto Twitter anymore, describing it as a toxic environment and says people who comment on her person on social media are cowards, “because they wouldn’t say it to my face”.

She has received comments saying she is fat and that her hair is ugly. People have commented on her teeth and how her face irritates them and her legs have been compared to wine bottles.

“We can do what we like because we are the reason you guys are on TV,” Du Bois recalls a comment. “The viewers feel that they own us.”

“Maybe I am taking things too personally. I am a very sensitive soul,” she continues saying that she loves hard and she gets hurt hard. “I just need to be stronger.”

Du Bois also suffers from bipolar disorder and says her intense feelings might also be because of that.

“We’re all just human,” she says.

She says mental illness is real and it takes one silly little comment to just push you over the edge.

“When your mind isn’t well, anything can push you over. Just be kind. Really.”

Du Bois believes that even though this kind of bullying has always been around, the various avenues to do it from have increased, inevitably intensifying its effects. People have become comfortable in degrading others, thinking it’s funny to call someone a “B with an itch”.

SEE PICS: ‘Arendsvlei’ airs its first gay wedding

Du Bois’ pleads with the public

Negative, bullying comments have been placed on South African actors’ social media feeds for years, yet Su Bois says she just can’t seem to grow a thick skin. She would like to see South Africans building up instead of breaking down for a change.

The actress is pleading with the public to be happy for people who have been able to make a success of their lives.

“Let’s make this nation stronger by building.”

“Why, I ask with tears in my eyes, are my own people breaking me down? It really saddens me. It saddens me that we don’t stand together as a community.”

“The only protection you have is to block”

Du Bois says it has been a very lonely road, considering the fact that there is not much protection against bullies for South African artists (or people in public for that matter), which is why she is very thankful for kykNET’s support in this matter. She says she finally feels like she is being heard.

The Arendsvlei actress says even though people say it should get better with time, learning to cope with these negative comments is still hard.

Isn’t it concerning that the public has created the impression that bullying is something one should get used to?