Escape from cruel intention
I had never actually met Uncle Gody before he suddenly showed up that day. Ma had left us alone in the house; me and Talema, my friend from next door. I do not remember where she had gone, but she had said she would be back by noon the following day. Although she did not approve of it, Talema’s mother had been kind enough to allow her daughter to sleepover, just this once. We grudgingly shared our supper with Uncle Gody and later showed him where he could sleep so that we could continue playing with our dollies.
We laughed and giggled into the night, Talema and I. We did not even realise how late it was until there was a knock at the door and a voice shouted for us to keep it down. We were silent momentarily. Later, Talema loudly whispered funny ghost stories. I laughed so hard my eyes watered. Then there was the knock again and Uncle Gody called me to his room.
As soon as I walked in, he pulled me and squashed me into his big naked chest. Between heavy breaths he asked me why we were still making noise. His rough beard grazed my cheek, and as he moaned softly, his foul breath hit me squarely on the face. He painfully pinched my small breasts, which looked and felt like pebbles. Then his hand slithered between my legs. I felt his rough, calloused fingers in my underwear and my ten-year old mind went into turmoil.
Like a lightning bolt I jumped from his arms, screaming madly I dashed out the door. A startled Uncle Gody stood there clutching the belt of my nightgown.
Thinking it was an intruder, the neighbours came quickly with knobkerries and all sorts of weaponry. They kicked uncle Gody out and Talema’s mother came to sleep with us that night.
For 27 years I never discussed this with my mother. I cradled my 3-year-old daughter and watched the old lady cry and cry as I explained to her and my visibly shocked family elders that this man was the reason why I never let my daughters out of my sight in the presence of male relatives. Why my daughters never go kumusha*. Why I hate Uncle Gody and why he will never set foot near my children or my homestead as long as I live.
*kumusha - rural areas
*This is the experience of Stash's elder sister. Just had to share it...