At age 12 she won a national singing competition in South- Africa that landed her a recording deal. She was excited by the birth of her career and the prospects thereof, but her music manager had something different in mind. Shortly after her first album release that same year, her manager brutally raped her and threatened to kill her and her family if she spoke a word. For the next 5 years he held her in a sexual slavery bondage while selling her likeness and performances to big casino CEO’s and conglomerates. He financially made a killing while victimizing her. He continued the threat of her and her family’s life and by the time she was 15 years old he attempted to commit an international crime of selling ilonka to a big wig entertainment CEO in Dubai.
Fortunately the deal fell through, but the grip of his hand kept her in slavery until she was 17 years old. She was finally rescued after an undercover police officer saw her manager physically attacking her before a performance in a casino in Johannesburg. Fleeing from the scene he went on the run and was finally found and arrested in 2012.
After her ordeal ilonka suffered emotionally. Silenced by the secrets she was forced to keep for years, she fled to the United State to pursue a fresh start in the music industry. Bound by the nightmares of her past, ilonka suffered debilitating bouts of depression and attempted suicide. This landing her in a psychiatric hospital. Three short months after her attempt she was invited with her now husband and music producer Bill Deaton to attend a church. Faced with the realization that she needed healing, ilonka cried out to God for help.
She is now rescued, redeemed and set free, and is a healthy, full of life, complete women in Jesus Christ. Ilonka now travels with her husband all across the U.S. while singing and speaking to audiences. She encourages individuals that no matter how hard your story is, you can have victory over it and have a full and hopeful life. She advocates the healing process of counseling for individuals who have been sexually abused in any way and speaks words of life into their lives. Her inspiring message is one of victorious life, freedom, tears, laughter, and hope for any wounded heart. Her appearances fund her own organization, ilonka ministries clinic, based in Nashville TN, which provides free counseling for hurting women. ilonka joined film maker Jaco Booyens, of After Eden Pictures, in an heroic film called “8Days” about human trafficking and wrote and performed one of the title theme songs called “8Days”. Her husband, Bill Deaton, wrote and produced the music score for the film. She uses her voice to give other victims a voice and a chance of seeing hope again. ilonka’s book and compelling life story will be available online and in bookstores by mid 2016.