At the time of this writing, I have just had my weekly session with the psychologist. Steps towards healing, I can tell you this for sure, this journey has not been easy, it will never be. I know you’re probably here for the end story, wondering how I got here, how I became a survivor. I will stall you for a bit so that you know, if it happened to me it could happen to anyone, Rape has no Face, no one looks the part of a potential survivor, no one looks the part of a potential perpetrator either.
This blog is about how I got to be a survivor, the history of how I got here, the circumstances, and hopefully, the journey thereafter will be a stepping stone, not just for me but for all survivors out there.
Before I bore you all with a long introduction let me get right into it, my parents should have named me Tendekai * ( which is how you will get to know me for the entirety of this blog ). I grew up in a small town in Mashonaland West, where I did both my Primary and Secondary education. If someone were to describe my family, they would say we had enough to manage as a typical Zimbabwean middle-income family, they would also say that my parents were both respected in our community, very popular church leaders of a very popular church, they would also tell you our home was home to everyone else and not just our immediate family and in all this they would be very correct.
Common to most Zimbabwean families, mine was no exception when it came to issues of housing extended family, our home was open to everyone. I am one of 3 children born to my parents but I don’t remember a time there were ever less than 8 children in our house. My parents were not just limited to us alone; they were parents to orphans, the homeless, relatives, and even strangers who were stranded. It was always a full house.
Why so much detail, why did I have to take so much time to describe to you my family setup and my upbringing? I felt it was important for me to tell you this because there is a wide misconception that rape is a poor people’s problem, that it only affects those who do not afford a certain number of meals per day and other issues which I hope my story will later seek to address
You will soon know, that it was not a monster that came from nowhere, you will know how it was one of those people, someone culturally considered my brother, my mother’s older sister’s son ( mwana wamaiguru) someone my parents had welcomed into our home became my perpetrator for two years…and you will also know I was only in Grade 3.
To be continued…. to read part 2 click on the link below
If you are reading this and you have been raped? Rush to your nearest clinic within 72hrs and receive treatment for HIV STIs and Pregnancy. Counselling services are also available even if 72hrs have passed.