When I finished washing the dishes I went to the rondavel. I had questions racing in my mind. It felt like the Almighty had turned His back on me. How could He explain what was happening to me?

In this time I thought of Angel and my friends again. What would they think of me when they heard of this? What would they think of my family? I wished I could die.

Dubula came into the rondavel. I did not have a say in whether we would have sex or not. He got on top of me as and when he felt like it. Today he was in a celebratory mood. He had been celebrating from the day I was brought here. This day I saw him smile for the first time.

I felt sick to the stomach when Dubula told me that my family had been reasonable when they named the lobola. I asked him to repeat what he had just said. I wished I had heard him wrong.

“Our lobola was successfully negotiated with your family. Your father accepted one horse and four cows,” he said again. I knew my father would not do that.

“How can you do this?” I cried.

“Don’t cry like a baby. You are older than fifteen. You are a woman.”

“No, I am a child.”

“I don’t ever want to hear you say that.”

“But I am in a relationship in Cape Town.”

“Forget that.”

“I am in a love relationship. Did you not have one before I got delivered to you?”

“You were wasting your time. I don’t care what you did with your boy. You are here now and you are mine.”

“I hate you! Kill me, kill me now! I hate you and I don’t have feelings for you!” I shouted.

I could not believe that my parents had done this. Then I thought of my mother and father arguing. She must have been behind this. That is the reason she brought me to the Eastern Cape – to sell me for a ‘reasonable price’ to people I did not know.

Dubula told me I must not even think about escaping. My family would send me right back. This made things even harder for me. Not only did I need to escape, I needed also to have a place to run to if home was not going to be safe for me.

I was Dubula’s slave. Every morning I fetched water from the river. His nephew, who was about my age, accompanied me. After that I would wake the whole family up with a cup of tea. This would be followed with breakfast. Some of them had it in bed.

I cooked midday lunch. Many of his family said rude things about my cooking. I did not care.

Dubula imprisoned me. I was not allowed to talk to anyone else from the village. He was even angrier when he saw me talking to girls or young men my age or slightly older.

Dubula repeatedly raped me. Every morning walking was painful. He rushed, making no attempt what so ever to arouse me. He just did it.

Where was the heartfelt pity of the women Mama told me about when she saw boys going to the initiation school? Did Mama not care about me being away from home at such a young age? Why would she just give me away like this?

Umama had tricked me.

Everything had been successfully planned around me. Father did not want it to happen, I knew. Zukile also did not know. He would have warned me.

Every day I walked around thinking of how I would hate to carry a child for this man. This would be an unwanted child. I would not keep it.

In Cape Town, a day did not pass without me seeing a police van. But I had only seen five cars here, at the most, in the past three weeks. Chances of escaping had become slimmer and slimmer for me.

New to my list of chores was going to fetch wood. The family was comfortable to let me do this because they had paid for me. Father would not allow this treatment. But, Mama spoke a lot – that is how she overpowers Tata. I just had to do it. I had no option. As Dubula had said with his deep voice, “Your family would send you right back. Don’t even think about escaping.”

One morning, on my way to fetch wood I took the path that led to the local clinic.

“May I please have your ID?” asked the lady at the reception desk. I realised again how I had nothing. I had no access to my ID now. I begged her and she scribbled my name on a piece of paper and told me to wait.

“You will need to come back for the Nur-Isterate injection. We don’t have any at the clinic now,” said the nurse, in a hurry.

When I explained my situation to her she was unsympathetic and wanted to know why I did it. She told me she needed to see other patients and that I needed to leave. I did not have time to wait and desperately begged again for help from the nurse. Still grumpy, she relented. She found a last dose of the injection.

I went to fetch the wood and headed back to the homestead.

I returned to find Dubula on his horse. He was on his way out to look for me.


Tell us what you think: What is your opinion of what Bukiwe’s parents did? Was Bukiwe right to go to the clinic for contraception?