ENTERTAINMENT
20/06/2018 16:00 SAST | Updated 20/06/2018 16:00 SAST

Shashi Naidoo On Palestine Trip: 'I'm Not Radicalising Myself. It's A Humanitarian Journey'

The trip comes after her apology for her 'Gaza sh*thole' comments.

Media personality Shashi Naidoo will head to Palestine in the next three weeks with her mother by her side on a fact-finding mission to educate herself.

During her joint press briefing with Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa on Wednesday, Shashi said that by taking the trip, she is not picking a side in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Read: Shashi Naidoo Called Gaza A Sh*thole Country. Here's How It Came Back To Bite Her

"I have made a very public apology and a part of that apology was to educate myself and to re-educate myself. I also want to make it known that in me approaching BDS, I am in no way radicalising myself to one side or the other. I feel that this entire thing has become a political debate. One almost feels caught up in the middle."

"To me, it's a humanitarian issue. My journey to Palestine will be a humanitarian journey. I've been very disappointed in myself for not knowing and being fully aware of what was happening in Gaza," Shashi said.

Read: Shashi Naidoo Apologises For, Explains Gaza Sh*thole Comments – 'It Wasn't Me'

She said that at the moment, her primary motivation was not the fear of losing work and endorsements.

"I think, rightfully so, a lot of brands should distance themselves from all this conflict at the moment. But one thing I realise is I do have a voice, and if that's the only thing I have left, I can [either] use that in a positive way, or I could just cry myself to death. I choose to use the voice that I have to discuss humanitarian issues and to share what I learn. I also hope that other people who've been ignorant before can share in that journey with me to learn more, know more and understand more.

I am in no way radicalising myself to one side or the other.Shashi Naidoo

"My life has changed its course, in a way, and I have probably started a completely new journey. I think sorry can't just be a word; it must be an action, and I think my apology will come in my action," Shashi said.

When asked by HuffPost if she'd forgiven herself, Shashi broke down, and said tearfully: "Not entirely yet. I think that it's a work in progress, and I'm working towards that. As much as you apologise, it is also about forgiveness to myself, which I don't think I've done entirely yet. Through my actions not only will I give myself that forgiveness, but will also earn the forgiveness of those around me," Shashi said.

She will be taking her mother with on the trip ,and paying for it from her own pocket.

BDS South Africa director Muhammed Desai said the organisation has accepted Shashi's apology.

"We commend what we see as a positive outcry to the comments made. We believe that politicians, celebrities and social media influencers should be held accountable for comments made on social media, because of the kind and the amount of reach and influence they have in society," he said.

In apologising for her comments, Shashi said she'd reached out to a friend to help articulate a response to a comment from one of her followers who attacked Black Coffee for his performance in Tel Aviv, Israel.

She copied and pasted that response verbatim "in an attempt to appear smart on social media", without reading it comprehensively.

Shashi has not yet spoken to the friend.