Each person has a story worth sharing. When I posted about a worthy story, I didn’t think I would get more than I had bargained. She inboxed me: “Hi Bobo I think I have an inspiring story”
For the readers, buckle up:
“I don’t really remember my family being together, all I know is mum left when I was about four or five years. She left me and a brother who comes after me with dad, she left with our youngest, life continued because dad took care of us and we lacked nothing. I was his favorite child, I think it’s either because I was an only girl or I was named after his mum, my grandma, he even carried me on his drinking sprees at times.
Then one night dad didn’t come home, I was 7 years and my aunt took me to school that morning instead of dad, I tried asking, but I got no answers, two days later I came home from school and found our neighbors and relatives crying, no one told me anything, but I gathered dad had passed on from an accident, I didn’t cry or maybe I didn’t know how to react nobody explained.
Life changed because now we had to live with relatives- my grandparents, uncles and aunts from my dad’s side, grandma was a born again Christian and at times I think she was so detached from reality or the only way she knew how to solve problems was through prayers, grandpa was abusive and still is, an alcoholic who would hurl insults at us every night. Then my dad’s cousins who used to live with us, and they would touch me they started slowly with my flat chest I was barely 8, then when they gathered enough courage they started inserting their fingers in me, it was so painful and I had no one to tell, they threatened me, I learned to keep things to myself.
My back bears scars of the beatings I got from my uncles each time I did something. For instance, I would be sent to the shop and they would time me, if I came back after the set time they wound descend on me with sticks and blows. I had a very traumatic childhood that I stopped bed wetting in high school, each day I longed for love, to be embraced, I became stubborn and my self-esteem was very down. I had to steal panties from my cousins since no one bought me, and this earned me beatings and when my menses started I had to use pieces of clothes and at times a piece of my mattresses, I envied other children, our family was not poor and so I can’t say they acted this way because of poverty.
High school was such a relief because I could now get away from the harsh environment, I went to a boarding school and things changed. I was happy that now I would be away for a few months, but each time I went home for holiday it was the same story except now the molestation had stopped my dad’s cousins had moved away from home, but the beatings and daily insults continued.
I was 15, and in form two when I met him, my prince charming or so I thought, the only man who said he loved me, and I fell, hook, line and sinker, that word touched the inner core of my heart and within no time I was pregnant and at 16 I was a married woman with a baby. I sat for my KCSE while married since I had already registered for my exams. Life was not easy, he was 21 and I was 16 and basically we were children and knew nothing about marriage, we were just a couple stuck together by our circumstances. So I closed my eyes to his infidelities simply because I didn’t have an option, he slept with anything in a skirt, from friends to enemies this one was a special case.
After one year I found out I was pregnant again. I didn’t know about family planning or I was ignorant. This shocked me, and at this time he was having an affair with my then best friend, they even have a son a few months younger than my second born) this hurt me and so I left him and went back home. By this time grandma had passed on, so no one really cared, I would do casual jobs for us to survive. I also had a CS wound that had not healed properly, but God saw us through.
Labor pains began in the evening of June 30th I locked myself together with my baby in the house (my grandma old house since grandpa had moved to a new house) and for 3 days I labored alone with my son by my side, he only had a piece of ugali to munch on for those days. I was in so much pain, I begged God to let us die- both of us because I couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving my son to face life alone.
On the third day-July 3rd with the little strength I had left I pushed out my son and blacked out, when I came to a neighbor who heard me screaming before I blacked out had already cut the cord and cleaned my baby, I remember she brought me a piece of ugali too and black sugarless tea. I was grateful because that’s what she could afford and even today I thank God for her. The bed I slept on was full of bedbugs and oh how they feasted on us, my baby too. I had no diapers and napkins and so I used my old t-shirts and nylon papers. My boy wore socks at 6 months, after a week I went back to casual jobs so as to feed my children. I used to clean clothes for people and many other jobs, till my son was 8 months and I decided to go back to my husband.
I thought it was better there, he had not changed one bit, but as long as he was not physically abusing me I thought it was the best place to be, after a few years God opened a door and he left for the USA, we were happy because now life would change for us, and they surely did, he would send us money and I invested in a plot whereby I reared animals, and I thrived.
After two years he came back home to see us and we decided to have our last baby, as soon as I got pregnant he changed, he started emotionally abusing me, he sold the plot without my knowledge since it was under his name and he also started bringing women to our house in my presence, he would ask me to sleep on the couch as they slept on our bed, I had no option because I had a difficult pregnancy, he stopped providing too, at times he would ask me to make breakfast for them and I would also clean the soiled beddings.
Then one day he came home in the wee hours of the morning with two women by his side, by then I was used to sleeping on the couch. They locked themselves in the bedroom and slept they work up in the afternoon and started moaning, the kids were home. So, I knocked on the door to hush them, he came out slapped me I rolled down the stairs, he threw some money at me, asked me to go have an abortion since my job is popping out babies now and then, I was 5 months pregnant, I took the money, my kids and left.
The first place I went was church instead of hospital. I was bleeding and I asked God to stop the bleeding. He heard my prayer, the money was 20K and I looked for a house and for Ksh 500 I found a one room timber house, and with the rest of the money I started a charcoal selling business. I would buy in wholesale at Narok and sell to retailers, the business did well and I was able to take my kids to school and move to a one bedroom house.
I did this till I gave birth to my daughter, it was another CS. After 3 months, the money I had saved was depleting and I needed to start another business quickly. I thought about it and I started a business of buying clothes from Eastleigh and started taking them to Southern Sudan. I left my daughter at four months with a nanny, someone I knew since childhood, life changed tremendously for us and I was able to afford some of the best things in life, took my kids to good schools and even moved to a bigger house, but whoever said misfortunes never come singly was right.
Two years into business I bought a second hand phone, which unfortunately was stolen. I was tracked and from Thursday I was at central police station, taken to court on Monday I took a plea of not guilty and I was slapped with a cash bail of ksh 150, 000. I was not worried, I had that money in my account and so I called my then best friend gave her my ATM and asked her to withdraw so as she can pay my bail. That’s how she disappeared, and that’s how I stayed in Langata women prison remand section for one year 8 months. No one came to see me for all that time and I didn’t even know how my kids survived, my case was withdrawn for lack of evidence.
When I left prison I was very sick- typhoid and amoeba-, but the only thing on my mind was my children. So I went looking for them at my former house, and there I found a new tenant, the landlord had confiscated all my belongings (even now I don’t have some of my certificates). He said he had no idea where my kids were since he was not their father. What was happening is, my kids were hoping from friend to friend, and when I finally located them, the friend who was staying with them asked me to leave immediately (stigma). I asked her to let us spend the night and she would hear none of it.
I took my children and went to the only other safe place I knew, the Church I used to fellowship, the pastor listened to me quietly and after narrating my whole ordeal he said he couldn’t help us, he gave me a Ksh 100 note and asked me not to get pregnant again.
That’s how we started sleeping on the streets. At times I would do casual jobs, and we would sleep in a lodging, and this is how I was gang raped for the very first time by about 15 men. I get they chanced on us from a drinking /stealing spree, how my children slept throughout the ordeal is a miracle for me.
I was admitted at Kenyatta Hospital and had two operations, at this time a friend of mine I met in prison, told some few people about me and I got help from a certain church. They paid my rent, food and my children went through counseling, generally they made sure I was comfortable as I continued healing. I started counseling sessions at Kenyatta, but they didn’t help I was carrying so much baggage in me since my childhood, I was always smiling but deep inside I was wounded and empty, also my self-esteem was very low and I did things to please others.
On 2017 the same friend started an organization that deals with reintegrating ex-inmates back into the society, also giving dignity to women in prison and she asked me to come work with her. I was put in the children department, children who accompany their mothers to prison and I thrived, I loved this and gave it my all. Then on Dec 22 2017, I had spent my day sending Christmas gifts to children in prison all over the country and I was drained. As I went home all I could think of was a hot shower and bed, but just a few meters from my gate, I met 6 men. They said hi and I said hi, they asked me to stop. I asked them why and one of them stood and said if you dare take another step I will kill you. He has a gun slung by his side.
I froze and my instincts told me to give them my handbag, one of them said “We didn’t come here for your bag,” and they asked me to follow them. I was between two of them and if you would have met us, you would have probably thought we were together. They wore heavy hoods and caps hiding their eyes so I couldn’t tell who they were. The men took me to a very deserted place, near a river which was dry at that time since it had not rained for a while. They tore my clothes off, put on some masks and raped me in turns, they turned me to the other side and sodomised me as they cut my hands with a razor, my breasts also. The pain was too much that I blacked out, and when I came to, I was alone I couldn’t move since they had put sticks in me. They had laid my head on my handbag and I reached for it, took my phone and called my sister in law. I told her what had happened and I was not able to walk since I had sticks in me.
I told her where I was, since I knew the place’ well I managed to pull the sticks and crawled but I wasn’t making progress, my sister came with a friend I had also called, we first reported the matter at the police station but we couldn’t write a statement at that time because I was bleeding heavily. I was admitted at Nairobi women put on medication had a few surgeries to repair my rectum and after 3 weeks I was discharged.
I went for counseling, but still I was not able to deal with my wounds I carried a lot in me, then after one month I started vomiting and thought I was reacting to medication. By this time I had gone back to work and was trained for coaching and put in a coaching department whereby we coached life skills to women in prison and I loved this I gave it my all, but then most of the time I was sickly. I went to hospital for my clinic told the doctor how I felt and believe it or not I was pregnant. How I got pregnant, I don’t know. It’s either the nurse forgot to give me an E-pill because I don’t remember till now or it didn’t work on me.
I was shocked, no words can explain how I felt. I had two options and I told the doctor they either remove the baby or I will go back to prison for murder because there was no way I was bringing this baby into this world. I opted to remove the baby, but we had to take time since I had bled a lot and didn’t have enough blood on me. This was February and we settled for April. I was still working and this time we were coaching for one month at Langata and so the whole of April 2018 I was engaged. It ended on 20th and they graduated on 22nd, in 3 days’ time the pregnancy would be removed and I had mixed emotions though I didn’t have an option. After 22nd, I took a break from work to prepare myself mentally, but something happened on the night of 27th April 2018. I was alone in the house, my children had gone for a sleepover at my aunt’s and I slept early. It was raining heavily, but in the middle of the night I saw torches shining brightly in the house. Someone was also trying to drag me from my bed. I thought I was dreaming only for me to realize this is real, to say I was shocked is an understatement.
I thought to myself if they take me to that river they will kill me since it’s raining so heavily, but they dragged me to my sitting room tore my night dress and for two hours they took turns on me, strangled me, sodomised me, cut my hands with a piece of glass and finally they put a rolling pin in me.
I’ve never felt so much pain the way I felt this day and they left, they didn’t steal anything from me, and this time I was angry with God. I asked Him to let me die, I didn’t want to live, but then the pain was unbeatable I called people and no one picked. Only one friend who took an Uber from town to Lower Kabete with all the rain, and took me to the police station again, then to hospital. I was taken to theatre immediately since I was badly damaged, I can’t tell at what juncture the baby was removed and I didn’t care but it was, this time it was too much for me to bear and it’s like I shut down, I didn’t know how to carry the pain anymore and I needed help before I did something stupid.”
As she wrote down the story, it is during this moment that I asked a question:
“Wait, you were gang-raped three times?”
“Yes, I have been gang raped three times” She continued.
“While in hospital, my pastor with a close friend organized for me to move from that area. I had joined a new church half-heartedly two months before, and I can tell you that this is the first place I experienced love for the first time. Together with his wife they paid my rent and organized for my things to be moved, and they continued paying my rent for one year and no it wasn’t a cheap house. They paid for my daughter’s school fees in a good school too, and made sure I never lacked. It is not one of the mega churches, it’s a small church full of love, but I still wanted nothing to do with God.
Moving away to a totally new environment felt good, but I was battling depression, withdrawal, severe panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. My boys were in boarding school and so I only had my daughter with me, she would leave for school in the morning and I would sleep the whole day till she came back. Even taking a shower was a big deal, at this time I couldn’t walk, and so I went for physiotherapy sessions. I lost friends and even my job I saw no value in me and the only thing kept me going was my children. I didn’t want to die and leave them and so I always planned how to kill of us, but I guess I was a coward
One day I reached the end and cried out to God in pain. I blamed Him, I asked Him where He was when all this was happening to me. I talked to Him and for the first time in months I felt some kind of relief, then I developed this habit of talking to Him till my anger diminished. One day while I was talking to God in my bedroom I felt this distinct voice asking me to forgive all those who have hurt me so as to heal. There was no way I was going to do that. I felt justified and I negotiated. I thought of all the pain I’ve been through and there was no way I was going to forgive. My body still bore marks I couldn’t go for a long call without inserting some medicine, how was I to forgive?
At this time I had also developed a habit of writing, I wrote everything, how I felt, letters to my offenders and how I felt about them. Also letters to God, I have around five journals I wrote at that time, and the more I wrote the more I felt some relief.
One time, my very close friends said things about me, I was cursed and blah blah. People who knew what I was going through, people who I thought cared, I felt betrayed, and felt now I need to did. I bought poison, and just as I was about to do it, I remembered a stranger who had said hi in my inbox a month before. I felt I might as well talk to him and let him know what I was about to do, in case no one found us. I was intending to poison my daughter too, he had also said to talk to him if I needed a friend, I went to my Inbox and said hi. He answered promptly, we ended up chatting the whole night and he convinced me to throw away the poison. He lived in Nakuru and am in Nairobi. He took the first bus to Nairobi in the morning and came to see me.
We became friends and this is the person God used to turn me around. He was so gentle with me cared too much, transparent that I almost saw through him. At times I would push him away but he never stopped. I started opening up to him slowly about how I felt, he would encourage me. The only person who has ever put my needs before his, he became my best friend and the more I talked to him, the more he prayed for me and with me, the more I embraced forgiveness. One day I just called my dad’s cousins, I told them I still remember what they did and it hurt me but I forgive them. Later, one of them looked for me and apologized, but after calling them I felt so much relief that I wanted to keep forgiving so I can let go of the baggage I carried within me.
I forgave my ex, my relatives, and for the first time in 30 years I met my mum last year November, I had nothing but love for her. I had forgiven her before looking for her. I forgave my friend who stole my money, and as I continued healing I forgave the rapists, this took every strength in me, but I didn’t want to continue carrying the pain anymore.There was so much peace within me and my best friend was there all the way.
I took a pen to write how I felt and realized there was no pain in me. Instead I started praying for all those people. But I also needed to forgive myself, I wrote a very long letter to myself forgave me for the times. I have blamed myself, for the anger, and bitterness I had allowed in me, for not loving myself and so many other things. Imagine I also wrote a letter to God telling Him I’ve forgiven Him, weird right? I also asked my children to forgive me for the times I wasn’t a good mother.
And I can say now that am at a good place. Oh! I recently married my best friend. It has been three months now, this man knows the parts of me I didn’t know I have. He keeps discovering me for me. He has walked with me without judging, held my hands in very difficult times, and loved me when I was unlovable. He is the only man who lets me be me. The little girl in me comes alive when am around him. He is like a light on my path, sometimes I wake up with all my scars bleeding and he takes care of them, at times I wake up healed and he is the only person who knows how to handle me.
I’ve also discovered God in another dimension as a Father and I enjoy our relationship every day. Now I love people without judging, I listen more without criticizing, I love and hug my children and those I care for more. I encourage those who are going through issues. I stopped letting the issues I’ve gone through define me, am not those things I am here for a purpose and I will fulfill it. My story is not for me it’s for others to find strength and know they can rise from any issues. I tell it so others can find healing the way I found mine, you can do it you are a warrior”
Disclaimer: The story has been updated as typed by the narrator. No alterations.