She was sitting at home browsing through the internet when she came across a picture that changed her mood.
It was of a mom-to-be being cyber bullied after pictures of her pregnancy photoshoot were shared on Facebook.
“I opened Tik Tok, I saw her photos, I went to Facebook, I still came across the photos and then Instagram, and they were there too. I felt very down and low when I saw the comments, I couldn’t stop asking myself why they are doing this. She is a mother who is carrying a baby, why would people troll a pregnant women like that,” a heartbroken Sandra Bello says.
It felt so wrong so much that Sandra dug into her own pockets to rewrite the story of Precious Ndlovu from Hillbrow in Johannesburg.
She gave her a dreamy photo-shoot.
“The thing that caught me the most was how they captioned the photos, like ‘the poor version of Rihanna’ that really broke my heart. And seeing other women taking part in trolling her was worse. It broke my heart.”
“They were trolling the way she was dressed like ‘okay this is ugly’ so many other different things were said and remember this is a pregnant woman so you can imagine how she was feeling when she saw those comments or how she is taking it all over. It was so bad that each time I opened social media apps her photos would come up and people were laughing at her.”
Sandra could no longer sit back and watch the trolls win.
“I thought why not make a dream come true, like give her a photo shoot that she wants, l wanted to make her pregnancy journey to be memorable, like put a smile on her face.
“I wanted people to also see the beauty that they were not able to see from Precious, I wanted them to see her from other side and not only the one that they were busy trolling. Every woman is beautiful in their own way.”
She loves babies, and always believed in making a women’s pregnant journey to be one for the books. That’s why she owns a baby shop.
“We sell baby stuff, and inside Bello Fab Baby Her [the shop] that’s where we have Royal Preggie Mamas.”
Precious, who was excited about the glam up, had her nails done and a new hairstyle. “We also gave her a gift card because most of the times people focus on pampering the child or giving the child gifts and forgetting the mother,” says Sandra.
Precious shares the pain of being cyber-bullied.
“I was so afraid of going out because wherever I go, people were pointing fingers at me or whispering about me. I had to make peace with that and be strong for my baby,” Precious says.
She tells us that the pictures were not from a planned photoshoot. “I am a customer of a particular shop so I went there [to the shop] to do something else, not for a photo-shoot because they do not offer photoshoot.
“But I was told they have it now and they requested that I do a photoshoot with them, I told them that ‘no I don’t have money’ and they said I shouldn’t worry, it will be for free. It was a new photographer, and from the bottom of my heart I was not there for a photo-shoot,” she says.
“So she took the pictures for free and then she sent them to me via WhatsApp, and what happened was she used my pictures on her page. I think she was doing it for advertising; looking for customers on Facebook I don’t know but without my approval.”
And that is how it went viral, but the 32-year-old mom who is expecting her second born says she is grateful that Sandra came to her rescue as she was losing her confidence.
“I was so excited, she gave me gifts and asked me to pick whatever I wanted in her baba shop. I am so happy because I was able to get my image back because of those photos she took; she took me to a photoshoot.
“I can see that people are now sharing those photos now in a nice way and that really makes me happy, although to some it may still be a joke but I am no longer afraid, I keep my head high because I have to be strong for my baby.”
Sandra advices people to be kind on social media. “Please stop cyber bullying. As women let’s fix each other’s crown and let us be our sister’s keepers always. We are women, let us be kind and help each other. Let us help each other no matter how small it may be.”