Annie was a girl with potential. She tried and was bold enough to challenge the crooked prerequisites in this wicked world. She was determined to prove wrong the norms, to rise against all odds but life is just not the best we hope for sometimes. It drags us into deep, dense and dark places where we cannot even know where to start. Going where?
She had a tough upbringing. Her mother had not managed to go to school because that is what their primitive society approved. They said women are for house chores and that does not require any education. It just needs a sound lesson from your mother and aunts, and with that you are warm and dry in preparing life. Drawing from her mother’s testimonies of maltreatment due to her inability to write, she started off with enthusiasm.
She made her way through the grades getting good grades. She soared. Annie paved her way from primary level until she finished high school. Her mother was full of glee Annie had managed to stand and be a woman most men in their small community denied they exist. But then the worst thing happened.
Annie’s father was not happy with the developments. He never paid for the school fees up until his daughter finished high school. It was Annie’s who toiled to make her go to school. Annie’s success had made the villagers start whispering about the capability of the girl child. The whispers were now getting loud and about to explode to a point of revolution. Sensing the “danger” Annie’s father locked her with his friend’s son –Joe, while her mother was away. Joe was far older than Annie and a father of two. Having been given the father’s approval like that, he forcefully had his way with Annie.
Annie was threatened not to say a word to anyone. So she would silently break into tears when she was in her room. Her mother was quick to notice Annie’s reduced morale. She tried to persuade her into confiding but Annie was afraid of the death threat she had been given. Shortly after she started showing signs that made her mother know that she was pregnant. Her mother was deeply shocked to the point of a heart attack. Annie’s father pretended to not know what transpired with his daughter and sent Annie away right after the story erupted.
The unfolding of the events made the health condition of Annie’s mother deteriorate. She finally gave her soul and left two weeks after her heart attack. Annie never had a chance to visit her mother and tell her what had happened. She never even had a chance to attend her mother’s funeral because her father barred her. Her father never allowed her home saying his son in law should first pay something to him.
Things sped fast in the wrong direction for Annie. She started as Joe’s second wife. She was living in a small one roomed hut. The hut was a distant away from other villagers and the closest neighbours were a kilometre away. Joe was an alcoholic who never had secondary education. He barely bought food for Annie but did expect a decent meal every time he visited her. This he did infrequently as he was being nourished at his other wife’s house. He only came when she felt like using Annie for sex.
Joe was abusive and he never needed a reason for beating Annie. He did it almost every time he was at Annie’s home accusing her of pretending to know too much. This left Annie’s pretty face full of scars. She had no one to talk to. Some days she had to endure hunger for a day or two. Her husband didn’t care and no one apparently seemed to. Hunger combined with worry ate her up until she was feeble.
One day Annie’s friend paid her a visit. She had left the village just after writing their high school examinations. When she returned, she learned that Annie had lost her mother so she decided to pay a visit and condole to her friend. When she arrived Annie was nowhere to be found. Annie’s father didn’t say where she was. He even chased her accusing her of teaching Annie some bad habits. The incidence pushed Annie’s friend to ask around until she finally got to where Annie was.
They cried uncontrollably into the each other’s arms. Annie finally had someone to confide to. Her friend after hearing that reported the matter to the police. This led to the arrest of Annie’s father together with Joe. They were given a good jail sentence which they are still serving up to now.
After giving birth and weaning her child, Annie applied for a scholarship which she was successfully granted. She then pursued university education in electronics engineering which she successfully completed last year.
*I hope the reflection of Annie’s gruesome fight and final triumph sends a message to all abusing men out there that women need to be treated with respect. Yes we are different but all equally important. Let us appreciate those differences to make the future better for us, our children and the following generations.*
Today as the According to Stewie Le Savage family we are celebrating 16 days of activism alongside Timothy Karonga @TimKar. Thank you