I have been wondering what I should talk about. I have too many topics all needing a hearing from me. I am still writing about the violence issues. I mean domestic and sexual violence. I got quite a lot of responses and was surprised that the responses were across the sexual divide. A couple of issues came up along those lines. What would be the best vehicle to show these issues? A friend said the medium does not really matter if we keep talking. I watched a television programme in which a popular actress appeared to be interested in promoting the fight against rape and it saddened me. She appeared to have trivialized the issue of rape. I finally understood what Bobby Uttaro meant when he said he was leery of the magic of television.
You can not imagine the horror of being raped, you cannot put yourself in the mindset of someone who has been raped. The first thing is the sense of shame and thereafter is the fear. It has to be handled in such a way as to make you feel able to talk about it. We don’t seem to understand and there lies my own personal frustration with the supposed care providers of rape victims.
Incidentally, rape victims can be male or female, child, adult, and for crying out loud, an old woman being raped by her own son! Don’t gawk, it has happened.I am not going to mention real names here as I have not the slightest intention to embarrass the poor woman
Madam Angelique used to be a lively woman, in her late sixties. She looked after her herself and would be seen in quite fashionable clothes as she went to town. She lived alone except for the occasional visit by her last son who worked outside the town in Lagos. Mama Gelly as neighbors called her would chatter nonstop about this son John and you could tell she was besotted with him.
Suddenly, after one of such visits, it was noticed that Mama Gelly did not go round the neighbors to regale her friends with the last exploits of John. Strangely too, John left abruptly. Mama Gelly’s room was always darkened unlike the bright lights we were all used to. We assumed that she was not home and that was why we saw only the security light on most nights. I had misgivings though as that was not in the nature and style of this lively woman. I decided to be a real nosey parker and went to her front door, knocked but got no answer. I was walking away assuming that the old lady was maybe not in the house but something made me look back, and I was rooted to the spot in complete shock
Mama Gelly was holding, a dirty, bloodied sheets to her chest, her eyes were swollen both from beatings and tears. She swayed on her feet in a strange dance with the horror she was living through. I ran back to her just in time as she folded over like a rag doll in a faint. I led her back to her room and burst into tears. Her room looked like a hurricane just hit it
Three hours later, the story came out in bursts of a tired woman. John had come to visit as usual, but there was something unusual this time about him and his mother sensed it. She asked him if he was having money troubles, but he simply shook his head and would stare at her strangely. Mama was nervous suddenly and kept to her herself thinking if she gave John time he would eventually say what was on his mind
John refused his dinner but kept drinking and she told him she was going to bed. She also asked after Angela his girlfriend and got a snarl in response. Not prepared to put up with such rudeness mama headed for her room.
She must have slept off because she said she woke up to find John’s wandering hands on her person. She talked sharply to him but he was too drunk to reason and a struggle ensued. Mama was quiet and I looked around the room. It was clear, my heart sank and a horror of what she must be feeling shuddered through me.
‘Mama, tell me the worst’ I asked softly, my heart was breaking
‘Can’t you tell? The abomination is complete, you cannot rape your own mother and survive seven days’
We stared at each other, then, she whispered;
‘How do I go on living, after he dies, who will I share my grave with, they can’t bury me next to his father because I am a soiled tainted corpse’