Most of the time as women we are misunderstood and unheard. I say it stops today and right now, I am taking back my power! Not everyone who has gone through such misery would have the courage to speak out about the hurt, hole and burden we carry on our backs everyday as women who have been victims of such a staggering deed. To me men lost their respect and trust the day one felt that beating up a woman into a pulp would make him feel like he is a warrior of some sort, the day a man thought by speaking anyway to a woman will make him feel better than who he is ,the day a man practiced his manhood by forcing himself onto a lady just because of a few minutes of pleasure for him , not knowing that he is damaging that young lady’s mind and confidence….I say it stops now , for I am a woman who is affected and is witnessing all of these mischievous behaviors on a daily basis. Listen, as I lay down my pain, how I fell and how I am realizing nothing can ever take away the fact that I am a woman and I deserve nothing but the best in life.
So let us take it back to the poem by Maya Angelou “still I rise”, for many this poem was just some part of the literature section in English back in High School, I won’t lie , I also read it just to pass with good grades. If you read this poem with understanding you would see why I relate to it and why I love it so much. Not only do I love the poem itself, but the poet herself is my icon, may her beautiful soul rest in peaceful peace (Maya Angelou) mother of poetry.
It was December 2011, a year after I passed my matric. A young fitness fanatic, you can draw up a picture of how my body was built and how “Hot” I was shame. It was my cousin’s 21st birthday celebration and being the most talkative of the bunch meant that I was given the honor of delivering the speech and singing a song, I can boldly say that I have the best voice ever ( I’ve got pipes for Africa child ), so I delivered my speech perfectly in my ever so short blue dress and red high heels . The ceremony went by quick and it was time for the “youngsters” to have some bit of fun without our parents watching our moves, I’m sure a lot of you relate to such neh… lol!
Yes we drank alcohol, the after party was so lit and I didn’t notice any mischievous looks from any guy, I was not keeping an eye out for that, I was celebrating my cousins day and having fun. The party went from a club to the hotel that was booked by my cousin’s boyfriend , you can imagine the excitement “kwi’girls” it was fun fun fun . So here I was, drunk and so happy , I went to the room to safely put away my handbag and as I walked in I had a slamming sound of the room’s door closing and a male’s voice at the back….I started panicking and I suddenly felt unsafe , I knew this wasn’t how I imagined the night would go…..I felt a man’s cold hand aggressively pulling up my dress and him heavily breathing behind me , telling me this is what I wanted all night….for a moment I froze, I was speechless, he raped me and I just laid there ashamed and feeling like death. After everything that happened the bastard still had the nerve to tell me that “we need” to buy morning after pills, at that age I didn’t even know what that was for…Did he know that I was only 18? I just kept quiet, confused and angry at the world and everyone around me. I never told anybody about what happened, I kept my dirty laundry to myself for years. Alcohol became my best friend, just to numb my pain away and forget about my sorrows, I couldn’t maintain a relationship after that night, they all seemed to fail.
In 2015 DEPRESSION arrived, I was missing classes, not adhering to the conducts of my profession, misbehaving, very ignorant and carefree. I knew I was heading for destruction and a tiny voice inside me said “it’s enough no more suffering, let it go”. I decided to go home, I told my mom and it broke her heart, Lord knows I hated that look I saw on my mother’s face. She took me to a psychologist, Dr Swana, oh I love that man, he changed my mindset and made me see why I’m faced with so many challenges. He asked me “do you realize that you are rare?” I smiled and thanked God for opening my eyes and making me see the greener pastures in my life.
After the therapy healing phase, I finally graduated and I became my own testimony. I’m a Christian and I strongly believe in the Almighty, NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER. Now I’m headed for my second graduation with all of the pain behind me and I won’t lie there are moments of doubt and confusion , but I always remember what Dr Swana told me 2 years ago “do you realize that you are rare?” those words are powerful and have a great impact in my life. RAPE DONT YOU DARE….YOU DONT DEFINE ME. I AM LINDISIPHO ZIDE, A YOUNG LADY FROM LIBODE .