Mother sees me as a disgrace to the family. She says I have sinned and that I am impure. How could uncle Thabo steal my innocence and get away scot-free just like that? How am I supposed to raise a baby conceived out of rape? How do I breastfeed an infant that brings bad memories to me?
Mother says I am trying to tarnish her brother’s name by lying and dragging his name through the mud. My life came to a standstill when uncle Thabo crept into my room on Christmas Eve. He made his way into my room with a knife in his hand and told me to be still. I tried fighting him off but his weight overpowered me and eventually I stopped trying to fight him and gave in. He tore my panties with the knife and raped me. He then ran a shower for me that night and told me that it was to be our secret.

A few months down the line my stomach started to show and mother had noticed how plump and full my curves were. She had asked me to undress in front of her to examine my body and asked if I had started being intimate with boys. That day it was like my mouth didn’t exist, I could barely speak. How could I tell mom that her brother was the one responsible for my pregnancy?

A day passed and I made my way to Mother’s room and told her how I was brutally violated by a man with whom she shared a womb, her twin brother, uncle Thabo. She did not believe me when I told her. She called me a whore and then she packed my bags and told me to leave her house. She told me that she would not allow a loose girl, like me, to tarnish her church reputation. Mother was obsessed with church and was a devout Christian.

I was thrown out of her house and was left to fend for myself. I lived on the streets for three whole months until I made my way to a shelter. I met women who were as young as I was and even made a friend called Mathapelo. Mathapelo is from Maseru, Lesotho and is very smart. She is in South Africa illegally and has no identity documents to go home so she settled in the shelter with us who had no futures.

In the wee hours of the morning, my water broke and I was rushed to a nearby hospital. The contractions were hell and I swore I would never ever have a baby again. I had not had this baby by choice; this one was a product of rape. When the nurses handed her over to me, I did not even want to look at her. How would I bring myself to let a child of rape suck on my breast? I breastfed her but I was disgusted by the mere sight of her and how she was conceived.

I named her Onalenna and she is the most bubbliest baby I’d ever seen. She has Thabo’s resemblance, that bastard. I hope he chokes in his sleep and never wakes up. My heart is in fragments. I had to leave home and school involuntarily because of a man who couldn’t control himself and chose to lust on his niece. Sometimes I miss home. Mostly, I miss Mothers cooking but she’s the one who sent me packing as soon as she found out I was pregnant. My dreams of becoming a doctor are shattered. I had to leave school. This makes me very sad but life goes on. What other choice do I have?


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