Life is just one’s journey to explore fun, laughter, pain and all that it’s got to offer. Sometimes it is fair but sometimes it’s not. Growing up at an informal settlement, as a 15-year-old girl, I did not care much. I was an orphan and my pure-hearted Aunt Rose took me into her lovely shack and took care of me since I was young. She was not just a tuckshop owner but a donor too.

People loved Aunt Rose so much as they would often gather at our house on holidays. She would cook for everyone and donate what she could afford. She never wanted to see anyone suffering, more especially children. She was just an exquisite host to everyone, and my pillar of strength. I never thought about any hardships when I was with her.

But then one night a gang of thugs pulled out knives and pointed guns at her as she was about to close her shop. They demanded money from her and I was hiding under the table. The cruel perpetrators brutally stabbed her several times to death and vanished into thin air.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I screamed my lungs out, all the community members were shocked at the scene. Police and ambulances came and it all seemed like a nightmare.

Well, my aunt was buried after a week but still no one had been arrested. I was still grieving. How was I supposed to take care of myself at such a tender age? Who was going to be my shoulder to cry on? I had no one to talk to anymore and no one to embrace me at such a difficult time. I was nursing a broken heart.

My aunt’s death made me discover a bad side of me which I had never wanted to know. I was just a naïve young girl but I changed for the worse when life started to throw lemons at me. My heart was burning with anger. The only thing I wanted was vengeance, she was killed in cold blood!

I looked around my aunt’s shack and my tears filled it with coldness. My tears were floating as if it was raining cats and dogs. While the perpetrators were living large and enjoying my aunt’s hard earned money I was enduring pain, I was left to pick up the pieces of this incident and stand up for myself and my aunt, be independent and woman up.

I was forced to live in an orphanage but I refused to leave our home. It may have been a shack but it was my one and only home. Eventually, after thinking about it thoroughly, I decided to follow the social worker’s advice to stay at the orphanage.

Life is really not fair sometimes. I decided to grow up and move on. Yes I was young but because of my hardship experiences, my mind was that of an adult. At times I would try to commit suicide but then I would think of about my aunt’s words: “My lovely daughter, never give up no matter what life throws at you. Fight and you shall prosper. Remember these words, ‘difficult destinations often lead to beautiful destinations’.”

“But aunt, what do I do to succeed?” I asked profusely.

“Education is the key. Never let violence but success define you. Do not believe in vengeance,” my aunt would say.

These words kept on ringing in my ears and I realised that I had a lot to live for. I had to study and work hard to build myself the life that my aunt always wished me to live. I had to make her happy.

Now I am pursuing my dreams, telling my story to the world and speaking out against the killing of women. Even though no one has been arrested for my aunt’s murder, I know that God will never forsake me. The truth always wins in the end, we just need to have faith.


Tell us: How do you feel about Aunt Rose’s senseless killing?