Familiar African Tales - Child Bride


I remember when mama told me I was going to have a Husband. Sena, my best friend was just telling me of how her uncle was going to take her to the city in a few days time to enroll her in a school. That was the moment mama came in and spilled the news. Sena gasped. I could see the horror in her eyes,  so she excused herself saying that her mama needed her. I cried my eyes out that night. Papa told me to prepare because in the next few days I would be leaving home.
Sena and her sister, Kitana came to wish me goodbye the next day. We spoke in hushed tones, said little to one another, they gave me a goodluck bracelet and then, they left.

True to papa's words, I was handed over to a strange woman few days later who took me away from home. We took a bus and traveled all the way to a small town near the outskirts of Zambia. I didn't know where I was going to.  I thought I was going to my husband's house.
We passed through a lot of Bush tracks before we finally came to a small house with a gate.
After she knocked on it, an even stranger man opened the gates and took me in. I never saw the lady again.
In that house, I saw many little girls,  12 year olds like myself. Many of them had tears in their eyes but were unable to cry.
I was very afraid, I didn't know where I was. It didn't look like my supposed husband's house.
When I asked one of the young girls where we were,  she wiped her eyes and said to me in bemba 'This is where we're turned into women.'

I'm too afraid to recount what was done to us in there. I have nightmares every night.

After a week of misery and unspeakable torture, madam Geraldine said to me that I was 'now ready for sex.'

Now in my husband's house nursing my 2nd baby.
I wish my parents gave me a chance to go to school just like Sena. I wish I never encountered the horrors of that sex camp. 


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