What you need to know:
- She has fond memories of her late mum and very ill thoughts of men in their blanket legion.
- She conceded once, twice, thrice and the shame and guilt tore into her conscience.
When her mother died in 2016, Shanice (not her real name), then aged 15, was left under the care of her grandmother. Her uncle, however, took advantage of the void left in her life to turn her into a sex toy.
Such was the strangeness of life that Shanice came face-to-face with, where a man who should have assumed the role of responsible care for his late sister’s daughter, turned into a monster to devour her chastity.
She says if her mother was still alive, she would have pursued her education to actualise her dream of becoming a clinical nurse and eventually venture into politics to gain a platform to defend the poor.
“But it was not designed to be so…I do not know whether it was God’s wish that it be so… But as a believer whose faith is hinged on the principle that everything happens with a purpose, I have learnt to appreciate my situation today as I hustle for livelihood in casual employments to bring up my three-year-old baby girl,” she tells Nation at her home village in Kabati, Murang’a County.
She has fond memories of her late mum and very ill thoughts of men in their blanket legion.
“Though poor, my mother used to struggle for me and would pay my school fees. We stood together in all our tribulations...going to bed hungry in the belief that I would one day get employed and support her...” she reminisces. “When we buried my mother, a week after her death, life took some very strange turns for me...One of the people who wanted to turn me into his sex toy was my mother’s elder brother who was, and still is a pastor!” she says.
She conceded once, twice, thrice and the shame and guilt tore into her conscience.
“I dropped out of school since I was no longer the bubbling Shanice with hope for a better tomorrow. A girl who had forcibly surrendered her chastity to her dead mom’s brother only deserved to die and die I must,” she tells of how she attempted to commit suicide, but her grandmother rescued her.
To escape the shame, in December 2016, Shanice decided to leave the village for Thika town. “With no place to call home and with my hunger pangs to satiate, I became a sex worker. A naïve one at that who conceived in January 2017, and again the guts I had to keep on living left me,” she says.
This time round, she unsuccessfully attempted suicide for a second time.
“I attempted to throw myself on the way of a speeding lorry along Thika Road but the driver veered off the road, crashing on the guardrails. He lost his life,” she recalls.
On her way to take a jump into Chania River a week later, she was arrested for being a vagabond, arraigned and placed under the children’s department for care owing to her condition.
It is the department that solicited for her care at the Shallom Coventry where on October 12, 2017, she delivered her baby. “Seeing my small angel gave me hope...I felt the urge to raise my child and give her the best,” she says.
Today, Shanice is employed at a supermarket in Thika and is grateful that she has an opportunity to raise her daughter and bring meaning to her life.
“I choose to forgive, but not forget, what my uncle did to me,” she concludes.