By: Mwila Mwila
I was a very happy, charismatic, intelligent, ambitious, beautiful young girl with a bright future, taking life by its horns and educationally competing on a National level, and beating boys in higher Grades. I was growing up in an extended religious home that suddenly fell apart after the death of an uncle that kept the family knitted together and provided for it.
Although I was only about three years of age, I can vividly recount in details, the violent events leading to my parent’s divorce, and the quick remarrying of my father, when I was almost four years of age. Though both parents were still alive, I never really had a stable home or a permanent family to live with after that, going from one home to the other, with my grandmother’s home to always fall back on, and she was a vicious, fierce task master that didn’t take nonsense and beat me badly almost every day.
Despite all this, I was a very happy, loud and hard-working skinny girl, in every family home I ended up with, playing a leading role in house chores, so as to feel accepted and loved, and it worked out perfectly.
When I was twelve years old, I went to live with my Mom for almost 6 months in another beautiful serene city, where she got a beautiful apartment, after finding a job and meeting a man who was to marry her, although he was already married. Now, those were the happier months of my teenage years, but they were unfortunately short lived. When my Mother lost her job and had relationship problems with her married man, she had what only now in my grown up years, could diagnose as an emotional breakdown, which made her take off, leaving me alone in the house without informing anyone, until my Granny got the reports and came for me. I again had to move cities back to my Grandmother and another new school.
When I arrived in the new school, I had the attention of every famous boy in the school and vicinity I lived. I was the favourite of teachers of the entire School, most, of whom would take me to classes and grades higher than I was in, to give me questions to answer on the board in front of an entire classroom and I would get them right. This action would be used to shame every pupil in those classes. As a result, girls envied me and boys’ egos wanted to be associated with me.
I was the best debater, dancer, and everything you could think of, except Sports.
The envy from girls and admiration from boys, became even worse when I participated in a School Beauty Contest, which Ieft me crowned the reigning Queen of the School, I was only 12 years old.
Weeks after that Contest, which had made me very famous, not only in school, but in the city, my Married Male Class Teacher, whom I loved and respected, because I thought he loved and favoured me, asked me to take books he needed to remain with for marking after school, to his tiny dark school office. Well, I did not see anything wrong with that since I was usually the favourite with every teacher in every School I went to. When I opened the office door, putting the books on the table, my teacher whom I assumed to have remained in class, was unexpectedly behind me. He quickly closed the door behind him violently grabbed me and kissed me disgustingly deeply. After he finished, he looked at me and said he had been trying hard to stop himself from what just happened, to no avail. He said he fell for me from the moment I arrived at the school and that he finally had to tell me that he was in love with me.
I remember how shattered I felt, the fear that gripped me and the confusion and disappointment I felt, with that being my first kiss, and it was not from the person I had ever dreamed of being with, or even the way I had imagined my first kiss would be.
Now, you have to bear in mind that, the school was my refuge and escape from all the physical abuse I was suffering at home, so after the kissing incident, I was left defenseless and I just hated school from that day onwards. I remember I would leave the house in the morning and pretended to be going to school, but never arriving there. I would sometimes go and read in the nearby bushes, as we had no libraries in my vicinity or closer and I would wait for school time to pass, so I could go back home, which made my grades, social life and confidence drop drastically.
I didn’t trust my teacher after that, I hated him and I was suddenly afraid of him. I couldn’t bear being around him.
When National exam time came, qualifying pupils to leave Primary School to High School, I went through and wrote the National Exams and I passed with flying colors, into a Girls High School that only took up very intelligent girls, something my Granny and family expected.
Arriving at the New school about 4 months late, due to lack of funds and school provisions, a Geography teacher tried taking advantage of me. I escaped, insulted and hated and in disappointment, I further grew disinterested in men and school, growing more and more interest in the Library and self-education.
The biggest pain of my teenage years, was not having anyone to trust who could take me seriously and fight for me should I had reported such incidences, as I was once beaten for trying to report an attempted rape in a naïve manner to my Granny, by a close relative, being only a kid then, who told me I should never ever be heard to repeat such things ever again.
Anyway, shortly, after arriving in high School, and the Geography teacher incident, I stumbled upon a group of Girls who were radical christians, and there, I recommitted my life to God and from thereafter, I grew a sudden boldness and a courage that had me fearlessly confronting anybody else who ever tried such advances on me, and I was nowhere close to being taken advantage of ever again.
I had learned to fight against Old Senseless men, and my life regained control again.