At the belly of Thaba Putsoa lies a tiny village which was poverty stricken and plagued by the HIV pandemic. The health facilities were not just a stone throw away, the villagers had to walk ten kilometres before they could reach one. Since the pandemic is not yet curable, they exhausted all avenues to their founders.

The Modantsane residents still displayed their cultural identity because they believed that they had crossed the line, hence the founder of the Basotho nation King Moshoeshoe was chastising them.

Despite the pandemic and poverty, there was girl who held herself with decency. Her huge almond-shaped eyes were the colour of rich soil and her caramel skin was flawless and as smooth as silk. Her eyes sparkled like raids on the petal of a lily. Her hair shone like sunshine reflecting on a waterfall as it cascaded down to the delicate curve of her lower back. Her smile held the power to open the heavens.

Yes! She was indeed gorgeous.

Immediately after graduating from the University of Basotholand, she began her journey of job seeking as a magazine editor. She was a perfectionist, ambitious and eager to reach the peak of excellence in life. As a result, she applied for an editorial rank in one of the leading publishing houses, Molaletsi.

After a week she received a phone call from Molaletsi requesting her to come for an interview the following day.

“I’m overcome with excitement mummy. I have just received a telephone call from Managing Director of Molaletsi asking me to come for an interview tomorrow,” she shouted so much that their neighbours heard everything.

Malitaba, a cheeky and ill-mannered neighbour barged into their home, asking which sangoma Palesa’s mother consulted to get her daughter an interview, since she had only graduated a fortnight ago.

“Palesa will get a job the day pigs fly,” Malitaba insisted as she slammed the door behind her, disappearing into the dark night.

The silence was defining after the drama Malitaba had just caused. Mapalesa was drugged to immobility. She was transformed from the angel of acute discomfort to a harpy of deadly danger. Something seemed to swirl around in her brain on the tongue while Palesa stood there terror stricken, her eyes wide open as though popping out of their sockets. Her mouth went completely dry and her heart thumped at irregular intervals.

The long awaited day finally arrived; the day of Palesa’s interview through Lena (Lesotho News Agency), a name given to Malitaba by the villagers because of her lies. The villagers woke up at the crack of dawn just so they could watch Palesa as she passed by.

It was a bright and sunny morning, white fluffy clouds drifted across the sky. Some gazed through the windows, others stood compassionately in front of their houses. She could not escape the eyes of judgement staring down upon her as she made her way to the interview.

No sooner had she gotten into the office was she was being interviewed by the manager, Mr Pasco. He could not hide the feeling that he was smitten by Palesa. His eyes were glued to her with lustful intentions. It seemed as if they were romantically entangled in love. Palesa was as innocent as she was beautiful but she could be overly sexy and flirtatiously naughty too. She was young but had an insatiable appetite for success in life. She was every man’s heartthrob.

She immediately noticed that the manager liked her personality but turned a blind eye to his signals. He made flirtatious comments after the interview. She had passed it. The next day she was introduced to the staff and shown the ropes so she could learn to walk on her own. After that he told them to go to their different posts but Palesa was told to remain.

He asked her to close the door.

He stood up slowly and approached her. With his manly strength he overpowered her, covering her mouth and silencing her. He raped her.

Once the ordeal was over, she took her handbag and went home. All she could do was cry. Distraught, she took a whole handful of sleeping pills and indeed everything around her became gloomy.

Her final words were, “Beauty, the silent killer.”

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