My rape

Break the stigma

Speaking out is a form of empowerment. The more we break the stigma rape victims face, the better out chances of eradication rape!

Speaking out about my rape is part of my journey and I cannot ask other survivors to speak up and break their silence, without first freeing myself by speaking out.

Every time I’d visit my GP he would ask me:

“Why do you choose to hold the weight of the world and the shame of your rapist on your shoulders? Every time I see you, you walk and behave as though you committed the crime against him; but he is the one who should be ashamed of what he did to you.

My response was always the same:

“I walked and behaved as though I am guilty because I feel guilty. I carry my rapist shame on my shoulders because I think I must have done something to deserve this. In addition, I know everyone knows and blames me for this.”

My rapist was known and loved by so many people at UCT. In the East African Society (EASOC) he was known as and called the godfather. So for many years I was too scared to speak out about what he did to me because I was sure no one would believe me.

I also need you to understand. South Africa was not my motherland. It was a country that looked very different from Kenya, the people spoke different languages than my people, and most importantly, it was a place that I had not fully embraced as my home yet. Thus when I felt homesick, I latched onto my fellow countrymen and women for support. Even though, my closest friends were actually from South Africa and other nation-states. I sometimes needed physical anchors to my heritage to make me feel whole again. Unfortunately when I finally got the courage to speak up about my rape and against my rapist, some of my countrymen and women were the first to call me a liar, disown and shame me.

However, when I finally found the courage to speak to God about my rape, he did not disown nor did he blame me. Instead, he said:

“BE STILL MY CHILD! BE STILL! I’ve loved you from before you were born and I will continue to love even after you die.”

And thanks to his mercy and grace I survived.

This entry is going to be very graphic; I’m not going to sugar coat anything because I need you to understand the pain and destruction that rape leaves in its wake.

I met my rapist at the beginning of 2006 when I started my studies in Cape Town, South Africa. When we first met, he seemed like a normal and decent individual.  He was a short, petite and all in all a typical 20 something-year-old Kenyan guy. His demeanour and attire mirrored American Hip Hop culture, in fact, the only thing that embodied his nationality was his accent; yet even his accent wasn’t a definitive reflection of most Kenyans. It mostly reflected the type of schools he had attended, private schools and the fact that he came from an affluent family.

I did not find him attractive; neither did I see him as boyfriend material. He just seemed like a polite person that would maybe make a great friend. I, therefore, classified him as an acquaintance/ big brother. I hang out with him and his friends once in awhile, and sometimes sort his assistance when I felt I required it. Unfortunately like many male and female relationships things got messy and complicated quickly, so I followed the counsel of my friends and kept my distance. I officially cut all ties with him and his friends at the beginning of 2007. The main reason for this was he continued to act like a sleaze ball. He wouldn’t respect my boundaries or my new friends, so I cut him out of my life. Now when I say I severed ties with this person, I mean I refused to acknowledge his presence. For a certain amount of time, he did not exist to me. Then, one day a friend of mine convinced me to stop being so callous and at least be civil with him. So when he spoke to me, I responded and tried to remain civil. However, before I knew it, I had started hanging out with him and we became friends again. Actually, in my naive brain, I believed he viewed me as one of his male friends. Boy was I wrong. By letting him back into my life, I would soon realise I had opened a proverbial gateway into my own, personal version of hell.

In May 2009, I was really struggling with my academics and life in general. Third year was really stressful. The workload was heavier, the reading material was more complex and the fear of failure had almost become debilitating. In addition, the disappointment of not getting my hip replacement was really starting to frustrate me.

At the end of 2008 I was scheduled to undergo a hip replacement but due to unforeseeable complications, I had to postpone my surgery again. This left a bitter taste in my mouth, as I thought 2009 was the year I could realise my full physical potential. For years I had imagined trying different things like surfing or some crazy physical sport that I couldn’t do before. I saw myself letting out my sunny disposition and just acting like a child again. No inhibitions or concerns that I wouldn’t be able to join in the fun or worst yet, I would hurt myself. All you need to understand about my hip is, it sometimes prohibits me from doing certain ‘normal’ things; however it doesn’t define me, and neither does it rule my life.

Anyway, on that day in mid-May 2009, I was having a really horrific day. I failed a test that I had spent a great deal of time studying for and had written 2 weeks before,  I hadn’t slept for a couple of days due to assignment deadlines and for some reason, I was feeling overly emotional all day. Luckily, I had attended all my lectures for the day, so I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off to relax and consolidate my thoughts and feelings.

As soon as I got back to my dorm room, I had some lunch and took some espiride. Espiride is an anti-anxiety pill that my GP had prescribed for me about a month or two ago. Once I was done with lunch I decided to lie down and take a quick nap. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was overwhelmed by a flood of emotions, so I began to weep. I wept because I felt disappointed in myself, I felt like a failure and honestly I was just scared of the future. I had barely been crying for 20 minutes in when my phone began vibrating.  I tried to ignore it but it was such an unsettling and loud noise that I had no choice but to attend to it. I picked the phone off the bed stand and took a look at it. His name appeared on the screen and this immediately caused a sharp pain at the centre of my abdomen. I then had a small voice whisper; don’t pick it up, DON’T PICK IT UP! Of course like a complete moron, I decided to ignore that small voice and answer my phone. We exchanged pleasantries and then he told me he was near my resident and asked if he could pay me a short visit. At first, I was very hesitant because I really just wanted to be alone but for some reason, I decided to let him come over. I lived in Woolsack on middle campus, so it was normal for me to entertain my room. Honestly, it had never occurred to me, that entertaining individuals of the opposite sex could pose a security risk to me, especially in this case. I like I said above, I had know my rapist for years and he had visited me before and, he had never done anything to harm me.

Before I continue, it is important for me to point out rapists that do not look a particular way, neither are they of a particular race or class. Most rapists are people we know, trust and have some sort of relationship with. Sometimes rapists are complete strangers, however, this is usually not the cases.

Therefore telling a rape victim they should have dressed more appropriately, or acted differently, doesn’t help them, neither does it solve this epidemic. What it does do is place blame on the victim instead of a perpetrator.

In addition, for those of you that told me I should have never let my rapist into my dorm room, or I should have yelled or that it was my fault and that I wanted to have intercourse with him. Go fuck yourselves, as you’re arguments are not only fallacious they are ridiculously stupid!

My rapist arrived a couple of minutes after the call. He didn’t call me to swipe in, as someone else let him into the residence. I heard a knock at my door, I moved to the mirror and made sure my eyes weren’t too puffy. Back in those days, I didn’t like crying in public, I was firm believer that people who cried in public were attention seekers and feeble. Little did I know this would become my MO for many, many years. After I put some eye drops on, I moved to the door and let him in. We exchanged pleasantries. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, it was very rather obvious I had been crying. So he asked me what had gotten me so upset and if I wanted to talk about it. I replied with a vague answer and tried to change the topic, but he kept pushing and before I knew it, I was spilling my guts out. His response was I should cheer up and take comfort in the fact that other people out there had much bigger problems than I did. This really pissed me off, so I asked him to leave, as I really would rather have been alone rather be patronised. He insisted on staying and cheering me up. For some stupid reason, unknown to me, I let it go and let him stay. He asked me if I had ever watched a movie called Amelie and I said no, and he began to download it.

As the film was downloading he began to make moves on me. He run his hands up and down my chest while trying to kiss me. This made me very uncomfortable and angry. I mean who makes advances on an individual whose clearly upset and preoccupied?

I mean, seriously, who?

Once again, I asked him to leave. He declined and I didn’t insist, I just reasoned that I would throw him out once his downloads were complete. Within a few minutes, Amelie was saved on my laptop. He copied the file onto my VLC player and we started watching the movie. I felt very uncomfortable, because within the first five minutes, there was already a hectic, steamy sex scene. I didn’t like it as I was a huge prude and quiet honestly I thought it was an inappropriate film choice.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t an angel. I had seen films with sex scenes before but all I’m saying is I was very conservative and naive at the time.

In addition, I had little to no level of interest in the content of this movie or his company. Honestly, I just wanted to be left alone to cry and console myself. I asked him to leave but he insisted on staying and cheering me up. He asked me again what was wrong and I repeated my story about my hip and how disappointed I was that I didn’t get my hip replacement. The more I spoke about it, the more upset I got, before I knew it; tears started rolling down my cheeks. I tried to hold them back, I tried to breathe and shout at myself internally, but like many of you know sometimes you just have to let your sorrows flow like the river Nile.

It was at this moment that he saw his opening. It was at that very moment he decided to steal my power and declare it as his own.

Sexual assault is not about sex but rather it is a way for a rapist to exercise their power over their victim.

“Rape is a crime that is committed through a sexual act without the consent or agreement of the people involved. Rape is traumatic, humiliating and can have life changing consequences. Rape is never the victim’s fault. Rapists make the choice to rape and they are to blame.

You can be raped by a stranger or by someone you know or are going out with (date rape). A woman can also be raped by her husband. If you are raped by two or more people at the same time, it is called gang rape. Statutory rape is when someone age 18 or older has sex with someone under the age of consent (16 years) whether or not she gave consent.” (Rape crisis centre SA:



my body is not a democracy

Assuming control over another individuals body without their consent, doesn’t make you powerful. It makes you a bully and a rapist. My body is not a democracy


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