The story of a girl, a woman out there

I opened my blog a while ago but have not been feeling inspired to write of late. There has been a lot of drama in my life lately… I must say. I am writing today not because I am seeking for sympathypitying. Oh no I just want to share my story with the world especially women and girls because one thing I know is that this will help others and oh yeah I feel at this point that is what I want to do. The story of the Nigerian girls who were abducted reminded me that indeed this is a cruel world especially for women and girls. It reminded of the story of my life that has made me commit my entire life to working for women and girls’ rights. I had not gathered courage to talk about my story but now I feel the time is right because I have started myself on a healing path and I believe without getting this out I will have taken shortcuts to the healing journey. I must say thank you to Tendai Garwe who gave me the courage to open up and lay bare as a way of healing.

My story began 26 years ago when whilst I was staying with my uncle and his wife and children I was physically assaulted at 3 by my ‘ambuya’-my uncle’s wife who I stayed with when my father passed on. Ok when I say physically assaulted people would say what the hack.. but I am talking about a hosepipe being used to whip a 3yr old. I have physical, visible scars all over my body from her beatings. I must say every day I wake up and look in the mirror i see how at a tender age i was so not loved and wanted. I have been asked a million times about what happened to me when people see the scars that even make up can’t hide…some have asked if it was an accident whilst others have assumed I was pretty naughty during my childhood and I just give any response that comes to mind without explaining a thing. How can I ever take myself through those horrific memories and explain to everyone?. As if that was not enough her children who at that point were all boys molested me and I always say I can’t blame them if the mother almost killed me what would have made her sons look at me as a human being.

Oh ok enough of all that battering but I always wish she was around but unfortunately she passed on…probably I would have gotten closure and dealt with it. After my horrific experience with‘ambuya’ I started staying with my mum who by then had completed her teacher’s training. Although life was tough as we were three children with only my mother to fend for us.. we were shown love. My mother had been disinherited by my late father’s relatives who owned a farm and was a business men. She walked away with nothing save for her clothes and those of her three children whilst my father’s relatives literally took over everything.

My mother would subsidies her salary by going to buy things from South Africa for resale during school holidays. This went on throughout my childhood. On one August holiday when I was eight years old and in grade three my mother went to South Africa and left me at home with my seven year old sister…we could now cook for ourselves so what was the big deal. We lived at a mission school so we were left in the custody of all the teachers, the nuns and the priests. Oh and one night one of the priests trainee we called them ‘Brothers’ came to our house. We were fast asleep, he knocked on our bedroom window, I asked who it was and he asked us to open the door, which I innocently did. When I opened the door he then pushed me onto a sofa, a 3 seater, removed my clothes and he raped me twice with my mouth forced shut. I could not scream. When he was done he threatened me that I should never tell anyone because no one would believe me and me and my family would die for blaspheming against a man of God. I was so terrified I never did tell, it was my secret for life, my body hurt for the next 3 days and I still remember this day vividly as if it happened today.

Enough of these sad stories but at times I am glad because they have made me the strong and resilient person I am today. I reflect on a lot more of the ordeals I went through as I was growing and I say what is women and girls’ place in our world. I will not explain all the other experiences I went through here but check out in a book I am writing to be published probably beginning of next year. I am blogging about this and I will repeat not for sympathy but I just thought I should share some of the real experiences of women that are minimized on a daily basis but which haunt the survivors for life.

Women and children have a great stake in this world and their rights should be respected and promoted. If this world will be a better world women and children especially girls should stop being regarded as second class citizens because we are only hurting the future generations. I commit that I will till I die work for the betterment of children and women’s rights because when I talk about their experiences and the different forms of abuse they face I am speaking from the heart and from a place that says, ‘I know and I appreciate what it means because at one point in my life I did walk in those shoes’, so they will call me a man hater but I am simply proudly a FEMINIST and an ACTIVIST.

To all the children and women who have experienced any form of abuse there is life after such horrendous experiences and we just have to be strong. I hope my short story can help many others to realize that it is not the end of the world and for many to commit to support survivors of abuse.

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