By Gen Terblanche6 September 2023
“I lost my mind” – Tol A$$ Mo speaks out on Unfollowed
What happens to a celeb who’s been cancelled? Each episode of the Showmax Original Unfollowed takes us to meet South African stars who are wrestling with life after social media death.
In June 2020, actress and model Lerato Moloi claimed on Twitter (X) that Mongezi “Tol A$$ Mo” Mahlangu had raped her in 2014. The case was dismissed without trial in August 2022.
In this emotional episode of Unfollowed, Tol A$$ Mo opens up to Thembekile Mrototo about the impact that the accusation had on his mental health, his family and his career, as he confronted trial by social media.
Watch trailer for Unfollowed
“My whole world changed in less than 72 hours.”
In Unfollowed, Mo reveals what it was like to have people believe the allegations against him.
“When this tweet happened, my whole world changed in less than 72 hours… My whole life was in front of the camera…They know me for who I am. Never have I been in the tabloids like, ‘Mo’s cheating on his wife.’ Never! But now the first thing that compromises my integrity, I’m that! I’m a rapist!…That’s the example that I’ve been living but it’s not good enough. What do you guys want? Do you want a divorce special?”
“I lost my mind.”
Thembekile’s questions reveal Mo’s struggle to forgive the allegations that endangered his life, and had a lasting effect on both his mental health and his perception of women.
“I was admitted into a mental asylum in Glenwood. I lost my mind. I was given shots of morphine and strapped with a body strap to calm me down, because I had my world ended. I didn’t know what the hell was going on…”
“I was attacked by feminists left, right and centre. Feminists who still can’t apologise to me today…I’ve got post traumatic stress from being in a room with too many women. I get nervous. I sweat. I feel like I’m gonna be attacked…”
Mo also says the accusation cost him “millions” and that he “wanted to commit suicide multiple times.”
“I’ve forgiven Lerato. I can never be inyanga or a prophet with a hardened heart.”
As Thembekile probes Mo on his anger, he admits that forgiveness is not simple.
“Do you know what I pray to God for? To make me understand what the true notion of forgiveness really is.”
“How do you stand up? How do you fight for your life? How do you prove your innocence? And how do you stay sane?”
In Unfollowed, Mo highlights his new partnership with private investigator Mike Bolhuis, in an NGO that’s championing men who claim to have been falsely accused of rape. And he speaks up about what he sees as the unfairness of rape statistics.
“I’m here to teach the next man who was falsely accused of such a thing: how do you stand up? How do you fight for your life? How do you prove your innocence? And how do you stay sane?”
Along with addressing the fallout from being cancelled, Tol A$$ Mo reveals how he started his career. He talks about how he and his wife Mome Mahlangu fell in love, how she has supported him over the past three years, and why he sees the accusation as part of a concerted attack on their marriage. He mentions losing his own virginity to rape by an older woman. And he discusses his new calling as a sangoma, along with his career comeback.
Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice’s general entertainment division, describes Unfollowed as an opportunity for us to reflect on cancel culture and its place in pop culture – a chance to interrogate whether it’s the best way to deal with people who have been deemed problematic. The show interviews public figures who were cancelled on social media and lets the viewer decide if the treatment in each case was deserved.
Watch Unfollowed S1 on Showmax, with new episodes on Wednesdays.
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