Home MAKING THE STATEMENT

MAKING THE STATEMENT

She ties her kanga tighter around her waist.It is old.Ends frayed.A big tear in front where a twig had dug it’s claws. The kanga could tell a story… no, stories. The tear from a twig as she fetched water from the stream, nearly dry in the January heat.The smudges, stains from the banana plantation. Sap. when she toiled the whole day in it. The dust on the hem from the path on here way here. Some blackjacks hanging precariously, from the desolate piece of land she got a twig from in the morning, to brush her teeth.The semi legible slogan hanging upside down read ‘uchungu wa mwana aujuaye mzazi’ … pain of child birth, at sixteen.

They paid her 20 shillings for every mtungi she carried from the stream.
150 shillings for weeding and cleaning up the bananas. Too little for supper and breakfast.

She knows the pain of childbirth, the strength that goes into loving a living reminder of a gang rape… and the agony of watching him die of dysentery. Just as she was coming to terms with her father’s demise.


***

Her turn comes and she moves wearily, aware of the deep rooted ache in her lower back… too much strain. She is lead into the makeshift social hall and urged to tell her part of the truth which might bring justice and maybe trigger reconciliation. ‘reconciliation? Bring my father back first… and my innocence… and my mother’s laughter…’ her thoughts are almost loud.

she narrates as much as she can remember. The bored, well fed commissioners listening halfheartedly, wishing she would wrap it up fast.

The story comes to a hurried almost teary end, nothing is left to cry… no more tears. the guard leads her out, her stomach rambling. She shuffles her cracked bare feet, dazed by the sun. Nausea hits her from the pits of her belly, reminding her that this is her second day without a real meal.The frail legs buckle and she leans on one of the government cars, triggering the alarm which almost scares her wits out. The guard comes out running, “wewe unaiba nini? toka hapo unaeza haribu kitu!” She obeys and walks away slowly, back to the shell of a life she has been living in for the last four year. Back to the tattered tents. Back to her ill mother.

 

“wewe unaiba nini? toka hapo unaeza haribu kitu!” – swahili for “hey you! whaat are you stealing? Get away from there, you might spoil something”

mtungi – a water vessel.

‘uchungu wa mwana aujuaye mzazi’- Swahili proverb -only one who has borne a child knows how painful it is

Kanga- (also known as shuka or leso) a colorful popular garment worn by women and occasionally by men. It is a piece of printed cotton fabric, often with a border along all four sides.

6 Responses

  1. Frankkenyan says:

    Very deep..very touching..evokes emotional…tells a story..our story.

    1. storyzetu says:

      Thank you for reading Frank.

  2. Frankkenyan says:

    Very deep..very touching..evokes emotional…tells a story..our story.

    1. storyzetu says:

      Thank you for reading Frank.

  3. masido says:

    this a really great one! i’d love to read more of these!

  4. masido says:

    this a really great one! i’d love to read more of these!

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