Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mateso - The Prelude : R.E.S. Pia C. Maboy Tumekosa

The following is a prelude to an exposé that appeared in 2010 on a previous blog I administered, The exposé details the very slow cogs of access to justice in Kenya. This post, however, is very subjective: the facts are presented in the next post. 


By Maina Fred Wambugu (aka Yule Mbois Mndialala, aka french_freddy): 

Student Journalist, friend, and fellow human. Nairobi, April 5th 2010.


As a Journalism Undergrad, I have been taught to crave objectivity. Tonight however, my bravery in the face of the adversity Media Studies would have you take subjectivity for is decidedly waned. For I have told many a tale, sung many a song; spun many a web, and posted even more experiences; odes to days I was wasted, and toads of many a love wasted. Urban legends and local myths intertwined in art...

This, however, is the hardest story I have ever had to tell. A story so dear to me, for the pure reason that it happened to someone I have since come to know so well, if only in a span too short. A story so simple, yet so intricately complicated; so near while being so flung afar. And as much as I love them, this one has happy endings trampling over each other; running away, barely turning to look over their shoulders. However you look at it, no matter how much you may rationalize it, so much has been taken away that can never, never will, be replaced.

I urge that whoever has the time, whosoever has the heart; whoever has at some time been hurt, one as all and all with one take heed to my impending disclaimer, and give it all its due respect; for the events I intend to describe in my next post occurred not in a directed script in the alleys of Paris, but in our own very real back yard; happened to someone some of you know, and have happened to countless others you may or may never recognize; happened decades ago, and as recently and fatefully as the morn of Good Friday. All in the backdrop of April Fools' day....hardly a prank and certainly no laughing matter.

A case of consent denied, consciousness stolen and conscience withdrawn, but like a bad check, bounced. A case of joy sought in a strange place, disregarding the look of distress on her face. A case of robbery; the theft of will, and a universal language of pain. Violence or no violence, she was duped by an illusion of trust; blinded somehow by a shadow of friendship and care; comforted by a lethargy so beguiling, yet with an alter ego so loathsome.

But worst of all, the cold stiffness of fact. The fact that she thought she knew them. The fact that she tried to guard her innocence with a friend's hand - in vain. The fact that she evaded that end in all possible ways and means availed to her feeble defenses. That all things considered it could have been you; could have been your sister: your aunt; cousin; your mother. Yey it could. And that despite all this, few will take the time to care, and of those who will, even fewer - the cogs of our own Legal, Justice and Health Systems in some cases involved - will be willing to do something about it; sitting on their laurels, some will go as far as to caw that they could never let it happen to them or theirs.

I put it to them that it could, and they could possibly have no way of stopping it even were it to happen right under their very nose hairs. I put it to you that it is an act so vile that I speak, nay, cry of. My recall bleeds profuse gushes of sorrow, a sorrow so peculiar; so personal yet so detached; so wild, yet without being too untamed. My intellect churns words like a mill, if only to push away the inevitable image of her beaten frame from my mind; that tortured expression...

Yet with every conscious effort to suppress it, ever harder does it spring back to the fore, pounding on my temples like a mallet on a frayed chisel-head, digging right through my scalp to the boil of my gray and the steaming larva of hell her story probes in my mind.

She intends that I name names. I intend to take names and clear hers. And now that the ball is set and rolling, I intend to see heads follow suit. For as their pleasures with her were earthly bound, so should their helpings of Justice and the chef's bill be hefty. Penalty and duty hand in hand; a duty so humane to ensure this does not happen to many more of ours, for sadly, even Batman could never fully throttle the bottlenecks of simplistic egotistical sense in our very own Gotham.

Every time I look up and see her - and I mean really see her - see how she sees a ray from of hope in my commitment to her cause, the giant dragon burning my innards softens. Such is her demeanour, yet I cannot expect her to keep it up too long. So I tell her story to save another, to fight for her demons' redemption before they strangle her, sail her beyond the seas of asphyxiation. You may have gathered what my long hike to never never land has been about; but my soul cannot rest, not even if I dropped still this very instant, if I do not spell it out - so here goes: Mary - I will call her Ciiku - was raped. Not incidental, but tragic; a victim of her own golden heart; fooled to believing that no friend of hers would spring a trap so deceptive and watch unabashed as she fell in, rolling and seething in agony.

Is it enough that she was not brutally wounded? Is it enough that she walked away in one piece? Is it not enough that she went through an ordeal bound to tie her beside trauma for a large chunk of the rest of her existence? And for heaven's sake, does rape only become a serious offence with visible signs of torture?

At this point I need not tell you how many times the words what the hell was I thinking have replayed themselves in her mind. What I do need to say is this. Hold back your judgement. Provide reasoned insight if you will. For while we can erase our preconceived notions, she can never erase an unwarranted feeling of guilt and fault, in the suite of the regret and helplessness now tagged to her being since the wee hours of Friday April 2nd 2010. So respect her situation...consider her ache and hurt as you put your fingers to your keys, boards and pads alike to comment on her predicament; every comment is a commitment, so balance your subjectivity with rationale, for I shall not ask you to be objective. Not in this class. We are after all human. Only human; and as to err is human, even in judgement, let her not have to couple her bravery in the face of torture with a burden of sustained social stigma in future. 

There may be three or four big choices that shape any life and every person needs to personally make every single one for themselves. These predators thought they had preyed on her ability to choose, thought they had scattered her pieces into a raging storm to forever be lost. Let's be the ones to back her up as she turns the tables; the prey becomes the predator today, for choice is still hers, and she has chosen to make her first: to ensure that they are not afforded the chance to put any other woman in her shoes.

Take into account that many victims - male and female alike - hide behind this sort of trauma; for reasons that we, in our diminished capacities as outsiders to the workings of their minds and the mechanics of their social gears, cannot really claim to comprehend without deceiving ourselves. Not unless we evaluate case specifics. But even if strength fail, boldness at least will deserve praise; in great endeavours, even to have had the will is enough. This is definitely her greatest endeavour yet; let it not, at a young 22, be the greatest her life will ever know. 

Her wrinkled brow betraying the engraved craving to be heard, my duty to her world I hereby honour. The link that is to follow is the story of Ciiku, an Actuarial Sciences student at one of our Public Universities.

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