Johannesburg – Driving home on a busy Johannesburg road late last year, actress Manaka Ranaka’s life would change forever.
On the fourth of December 2015, Manaka was involved in a fatal accident that took the life of 18-year-old schoolgirl, Millicent Mbonani.
Reflecting on the events of that traumatic day, Manaka says it has left a deep and lasting effect on her life.
“That accident affected me really badly,” she revealed in an interview with True Love recently.
“It was so painful watching another woman crying because her child was lying on the ground dead. I wanted to comfort her, but I knew I couldn’t,” she remembers.
Manaka says she remembers making eye contact with Millicent before knocking her over, and that she stayed with the girl until her mother had arrived and paramedics had declared her dead.
Manaka says she wanted to apologise to Millicent’s mother, but knew she could not. Now whenever she drives past the site of the accident, she sees the little cross erected to Millicent and is reminded of the family’s grief.
“Millicent and her mother will never leave my mind” she says.
Manaka says it “tore her apart” when she heard that Millicent had pictures of her on her phone and saw her as an idol. “I couldn’t help but think that I accidentally killed somebody who loved me,” she says.
Manaka says that she has been in contact with Millicent’s family, but has not spoken to her mother in a while. She hopes that one day she will be able to comfort them like she so wanted to on the night of the accident.
“I need to allow them space. I can’t be a constant reminder. I just want to be there for them. I can’t perform miracles. I don’t know how to make it easy for them to accept what’s happened. That time will come, and when it does, I’m praying that it’s done with warmth, acceptance and understanding. Dealing with this is painful,” she says.