A woman had her eye removed after a catcaller she ignored threw a brick across her face and left it “smashed” and “in pieces” – and she’s furious he hasn’t been arrested.
Nikita Kalubi, 25, was running errands with her boyfriend when she claims a stranger came up to her and started remarking on her looks.
She says she ignored him, and he went away but minutes later she saw him again at the end of a passage and he threw a brick across her face and ran away.
The attack left Nikita’s left eye so damaged she had to have it removed and is now waiting for a prosthetic eye.
The model and influencer says she struggles to look in the mirror and has wants to put a stop to street harassment.
Nikita, from Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa, said: “This man came up to me and starts making remarks about how beautiful I am.
“I ignored it. Strangers told him to stop and eventually, he did. We started walking away.
“My boyfriend was behind me, and I saw the guy again with his hands behind his back. Then he threw a brick across my face and ran away.
“I remember the pain. I felt the brick just smash across my face. I was told the eye is severely damaged and in pieces.
“It wouldn’t ever function again. I loved how I looked – I had big, beautiful eyes. Now I cry every time I look at myself.”
Nikita was attacked in Cape Town on August 26, 2023, while out getting food for a game night with friends.
She said: “He got close to throwing himself on me.”
Strangers told the man to leave Nikita alone, but she and her boyfriend felt unsettled and decided to head back.
They were walking through a passage when she claims the man reappeared and threw a brick across her face.
She said: “I fell and hit my head and fell unconscious.”
Nikita was rushed to Khayelitsha Hospital, Cape Town, before being transferred to Tygerberg Hospital where a specialist looked at her eye.
She said: “I remember asking ‘will I be able to see with my eye?’ I knew something really wrong had happened.”
Nikita was told her eye was so damaged she would need it removed but her mum, Veronica Kalubi, 46, wanted to get a second opinion.
They went to Bosamed Hospital but were told nothing could be done.
Veronica, a former hotel manager, said: “It was damaged beyond repair.
“The gel of the eye was splattered and out of the eye socket. It splattered into small pieces and the white part was smashed.”
Nikita had an operation on August 29, 2023, to drain the blood and pieces of the eye and clean up the socket ready for a prosthetic.
She had a further surgery to fix her broken nose so she could breathe properly.
Nikita is now waiting to be measured for a prosthetic, but the treatment has already cost Veronica her life savings – costing 56,000 rand.
Nikita said: “It’s hard to come to terms with – looking at myself in the mirror. I now have to navigate life differently. This is a disability now.”
Nikita hopes sharing her story can give others strength and help stop street harassment.
She said: “I’m grateful I’m able to share my story.
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“One lady told me – ‘you speaking out is giving me so much strength’. We’re used to it [catcalling]. That’s why that day I ignored it.
“We don’t realise how messed up it is. Women can end up dead or raped. It’s not OK. I don’t feel safe anywhere.”
Veronica added: “All she did was go out with friends. And left with no eye.”
The family are raising money for Nikita’s recovery here – https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/zizipho-nikita-kalubi-5705193209618046482
South African Police Service confirmed an investigation has been opened and no arrests have been made.
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