Nomfula Ruzere’s story is a confession of fear – a fear that robbed her of her voice. In confessing, Nomfulo has finally regained her voice.
One day I woke up and realised that I, like most Zimbabweans have been slowly molded into a scaredy cat. I used to have a voice, I used to want to speak out and act against injustice, against wrong doing; but now I just let it slide. These days I don’t mind who is doing what as long as they do it far away from me.
Fear – a Zimbabwean thing?
Is this a Zimbabwean thing only, or is the rest of the world on this tip too? Does the whole world also get their strength only for social media? Does the facelessness of social media and this article make us braver to talk about xenophobia, gay rights and the bombings? Do we find shelter in hashtags and we forget that there is real life out there were we have to take even greater actions? Wait! Does hashtagging qualify as taking action?
All talk no action
This must be a worldwide phenomenon, it cannot be confined to our Teapot shaped country! Especially when the internet activists can be seen to be coming from all four corners of the world. Online activism has taken over the internet so much that Mark Zuckerburg and crew saw it fit to give the activists louder voices with the cause related profile picture integration. First it was the rainbow colours for LGBTI, then it was the French flag for the Paris bombings. Yes, the whole world is quick to speak and not act.
The seed of fear
Apart from the above observations I am unable to write much about the world’s or anyone else’s cowardliness, so I will write of my own. I have always been very confident in person, usually the loudest in any gathering and quick to voice my thoughts. This and more I did without much thought to consequence or to how other people felt. Well up until the seed of fear was planted in me, and watered by the futility of any of my or other people’s actions. I guess this article is about not only my cowardliness, but my hopelessness too.
Taken advantage of
I have an aunt, Mamncane, who is intellectually challenged. Her condition is the result of birth asphyxia. One day quite many years ago, Mamncane had a boyfriend. I was happy for her until the idiot made her pregnant. Even though I was only in my early teens at the time I was mighty unhappy about this because he disappeared after the child was a couple of months old. He had taken advantage of her and we (the whole family) had let it slide for some reason.
Soon enough the other guys realised that they could sleep with her quite easily and even though we warned her, we did not protect her from them enough. She became pregnant again by another guy who was working at a nearby farm. He left the area as soon as she started to show because he had heard rumours about how we wanted to get him arrested. Funny thing is we all had words for her and how she should keep her legs closed. I guess we had forgotten that she had a condition that made her need our protection more than the constant ranting.
Raped and pregnant
The last guy who made her pregnant had to rape her because I am sure for some reason she now knew that sex is not love. When my grandmother told us the story of how she was raped my heart just broke into pieces, it is still broken because I feel helpless. Apparently the guy worked at a farm close by and he would get his female colleagues to let him know when she was walking past then he would go after her. One of Gogo’s friends told us that she heard someone deep in the forest bellowing like an animal one day. She only realised it was Mamncane when she saw her walking behind her in tears. Sad thing is she thought the rape was her fault and she did not talk about it to anyone – until she got pregnant and he had left the place. Gogo did not talk about it too, I guess she had no clue how.
Angry and powerless
When I heard about it I just wanted to get on a bus and beat the guy up. I wanted to find him and deal with him personally. I wanted to beat up the useless women who got pleasure from being the ones to enable this to happen to my darling aunt. I was really very angry – so were my siblings. But then the elders assured us that they had everything under control. A few years later, we are still waiting for them to show what they meant because nothing has been done. We send clothes, food, uniforms, school fees, toys and books for the kids, but we have not gotten my aunt any form of justice.
The story continues…
Nomfula Ruzere is a young woman ho has been shaped by many life experiences. At 27 years of age, she has benefited a lot from the experiences of others around her. She is passionate about life and she loves observing everything around her.