A DURBAN rape victim who won a bodybuilding competition in 2016 has opened a beachfront gym to inspire rape victims to regain inner strength and zest for life.
Thirty-nine-year-old Nazareen Ally said she was raped by a policeman when she was only 13.
Ally was born in Cape Town, but was abandoned as a baby and adopted by a Durban couple from Phoenix.
She was on her way to a local library when the rape incident occurred.
“This man pulled up in a car, pointed his gun at me and told me to get in the car. He took me to his house where he forced himself on me. His friend showed up and was told to help himself. He also then raped me.”
Ally did not lay charges at the time or even tell her adopted parents about the incident because she was scared of the policeman.
Sixteen years later Ally, then a young mother herself, opened a rape case, but then received death threats.
She then moved to Hibberdene where she founded the Haven of Hope rape crisis centre.
Ally said she subsequently dropped the rape case.
“The rapist was a corrupt policeman. The docket had gone missing at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court and I feared for my daughter’s safety,” said Ally.
During her time at Hibberdene Ally conducted motivational talks in schools in the rural areas, providing counselling to young rape victims.
“This helped me build my character and assisted in my own healing process,” said Ally.
“Dr Kobus Schutte from Hibberdene worked closely with me with regards to psychological services for victims,” said Ally
After a few years she returned to Durban where she assisted NGOs with fund-raisers.
She also took up bodybuilding at a Westville gym and went on to win the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness championship which was hosted in Durban in March 2016.
Today Ally holds a diploma in exercise science and has opened her gym on North Beach catering mostly for abused women.
“I am helping women step out, motivate themselves and help them discover their true strengths within. I have decided to incorporate fitness and emotional motivation to help victims,” said Ally.
“My passion brings me back to women who have been through the same traumatic ordeal that I have survived. I believe, as a (rape) survivor, every victim once had hopes, dreams and goals they wanted to achieve.
“Those dreams will always be there. But they need to know and be shown that they have the power to break the silence imposed by what happened to them,” said Ally.
“I am now picking up my goals, I have overcome my pain and hurt. I’ve claimed back what I thought was taken from me. I’m stronger today, I’ve gained my dignity, inner strength and zest for life to achieve all my goals,” said Ally.
“All the weights I lift in the gym are for abused women and children out there. It is not about muscles,” said Ally.
Her gym, Naz Fitness and Health, is open seven days a week.
“Every Wednesday afternoon we have sessions where we speak about the nightmares that haunt our sleep. Men are welcome to join our sessions,” said Ally.