Thursday, December 10, 2009

battlefield



My life in this part of the world isn't what most of you dream of. I don't know running water or the convenience of a personal refrigerator . Of these, we only hear . Everyday at dawn begins my walk for school. Mr Bishikwa always says: Knowledge is the beginning of freedom, and the foundation bricks to a brighter future.
I am very fortunate, mr Bishikwa is one of the last to resist the death wish of this atrocious war. My father abandoned us around the time the hostilities started. Needless to say I don't know him. My twelve years of earth pilgrimage has only known violence and men in spotty clothes carrying annihilation sticks. My quick legs always went for a run if I ever caught sight of these soldiers.

I helped my mother, I have two younger brothers and it was my responsibility to gather our daily bread. Every now and then, on our way back from school , Esta, Florence and I would stop by the wild field and harvest the best cassava leaves it had to offer.
That afternoon in the field was no different than any others we had spent there before. Little did we know, hidden under the tall grass, a destiny breaker was hunting us down . We had become the preys. Watching at first, silently the soldier came out of hiding and yelled for us to stand still. Ignoring his words and without a second thought I ran. Florence and Esta got away , but in my crazy race I couldn't avoid the books I had left on the floor, the knowledge made to brighten my future and I fell. I yelled, yelled my lungs out. Nesta, mama eh Florence.....

They would not come back
How could I blame them? They ran for their lives. A giant had come for us. I hadn't been able to escape.

I was on the floor head down. I felt his muggy hands on my left leg, I kicked it off, I fought backbut he was stronger. Like I was a feather he easily turned me around so I could be facing him laying on my back .My head banging the ground, while he did. I begged him to let me go. I won't tell. Do not to kill me.I won't tell. I didn't know that my body was about to become a battlefield. A means to scatter fear and destruction, break spirits, trampling the symbol of progeny. The future.

He pulled my skirt down so hard, he tore it. I cried, this felt so wrong. Was it the way it felt to die? He let his heavy, nauseating body fall on mine and press down on my lungs. I could barely breath. Oh God make it fast, take me with you, take me away from this.

I was being torn apart. The pain in between my legs, as if a heated knife was used inside me. I screamed. Punching on his head, on his chest, and when he put his hand over my mouth, I bit him as I hard as I could. I was expecting death and felt I was going through every stages of it. Time seemed suspended. And when what I thought to be my last breath came out of my traumatized body, he got up, pulled back his pants and without a word spat on me and went the other way. Just like that.

I didn't get up right away. I tried to fix my skirt the best I could. My underwear was completely destroyed. I left it there. When I finally managed to get up, my knees were shaky, they could flinch at any moment, my body suddenly too heavy for them. I felt the blood running down the inside of my thighs and cleaned it up with a cassava leaf.

I went back home.....
My mother scolded at me because I didn't bring any vegetables back and because my cloths were ripped... I looked at her and tears rolled down my cheeks. I tried to tell her and she sensed it. You are not like other girls your age anymore.

I live in a part of the world where nothing is like what you dream of. I accustomed myself to the harshness of my life and had many moments of laughter and pure joy with my friends and family. I lived in the hope of a better tomorrow.
Today I am alive, but I am also dead. I tell you my story but I want to forget. I want to return to the times when I still felt hope. Where has my innocence gone to? My damnation now carries a face. My body became a battlefield.


As we speak there is a despicable war going on in the Eastern Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Women, children, and even men are being abused and raped every day as a form of combat, it has been going on for the past 10 years. Over 6 millions have died and this under global indifference . I want to raise awareness as HUMAN RIGHTS are being violated as we speak. History is repeating itself for the worse, let's not become jaded. We can all make a change. Let's talk about it, give a voice to those that have been reduced to silence. Let's bring our leaders to react to these barbarities that have reduced thousands, millions to battlefields.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

exploit

My heart happened to take a stroll, looking for another project of love to sow. The promenade seemed harmless and innocent, until the leech began to show. Effortlessly and silently, it clung upon my heart and sucked me dry of my emotions. Dazed and confused, amazed and disgusted, I watched helplessly as it fed and violated my feelings , unable to touch it and remove it from my now wounded soul.

I was insensitive to the bite. I didn't feel a thing. I accustomed myself to the lump the leech created as it swelled up on my love. The ugly became beautiful and the insanity became a fantasy.
I could live with the lump. I could make that leech a part of me. I could cater to it and make sure it never ran out of my affection. And so I bestowed....... until I felt empty. I desperately hoped it would realize how much I cared for it and would eventually express gratitude towards me, devotion perhaps. But it was a leech. They absorb and never give back.

The leech exploded, I had too much love to give and its gluttony ruined it. After I gave body and soul, you'd think my pain considerable. To no avail, I heaved a sigh of relief. I learned.

Never make someone your priority if you are only an option in their lives.




Monday, December 7, 2009

kalanga

i,with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman. -Anais Nin

I had put on makeup, maybe too much makeup. The only way for me to cover my insecurities. I loved the way I felt pushed to get better as a person, as a human being. He was the first man to make feel this way. And he did that simply with his words, with his voice. His exotic singing, barely perceptible African accent turned my name into a lullaby each time he would pronounce it over the telephone. I loved that. He gave me so little, but it was enough to make my heart race and beat.
We would finally have a moment to ourselves. Or so I thought. We sat at the McDonald's terrace, his brothers and friends sitting a few tables away. It made me so self-conscious. Why had I put on so much makeup? I hope I don't look like a whore. He took my hand and put it over his. You have such big hands, he said. I smiled. Yeah I know. It felt good to finally touch him. I barely looked as his face. I couldn't bear to look at him. But furtively sometimes I'd scrutinize him. I don't remember what I said and what we talked about. I remember thinking I wished he took me on a real date. Without over lookers. That would have made the difference. I didn't feel special. And I really wanted him to think and make me feel I was. The minutes flew. It was time to go.
He took me back to the metro station, and sat with me as I waited for my train. That's when he put his lips on mine. Cold, soft, thinner lips. When he talked they would curl in. I imagined him as a child. And those freckles..... When he kissed me, I didn't budge nor did I return his kiss. I wanted to, but I loved him too much to risk letting him disappoint me. I knew he would break my heart. The train came and I said goodbye.



thanks Nana, for this beautiful excerpt by Anais Nin. It accurately describes what made me choose the man I am with today.

Friday, December 4, 2009

heaven


Can heaven be on earth?

I see it there, by the banks of Kongo River, somewhere on entering the district of Maluku when you come from Kinshasa. Sitting on the terrace of my stately Eco-friendly wooden mansion, my eyes glazing on the valleys standing on the other side of Pool Malebo.

My sons and daughters laugh and play and jump in the swimming pool. My mother, busy with broiling the Threadfin caught earlier in the day. I get up and pick mangoes from my orchard, they are just ripe. I don't forget the tomatoes, which it seems I have only right now discovered the real taste of. In the kitchen overlooking the esplanade , I delicately mince my fruits. My rougail will be perfect with the fish.

The night comes quickly and all the little lights in the courtyard set the mood for enticement. Soki yo te nde l'amour na ngai ekoma, neti phrase etonda ba fautes ébélé. Under the lattice, I lay in the hammock. The locusts sing in chorus the rumba notes emanating from the radio. A warm breeze coming from the river brush on my gleaming skin. Steven takes my hand and pulls me on my feet. We share a very slow, very tight moment dancing to the songs that speak the words we feel for eachother.

I close my eyes and smile. Heaven is on Earth.


...my home, my Kongo.

A Kongo built on freedom, democracy and innovation. A Kongo who doesn't hesitate to learn from the mistakes of the Northern Nations. Her Sons have traveled the world, have seen and acquired knowledge that would enable the country to take a leap into the future.
Solar panel on the roofs of our home. Those homes designed on distinct architecture, the result of extensive research of our history. A celebration of our know-how currently neglected in the benefit of imported conceptions not suitable to our country.

Kongo you're soil is rich. Yes you do carry many treasures coveted by the Great Powers, and they may be the reason of our misfortune. Yes, too many die of an empty stomach. Where are the organised crop productions? I cannot think of a seed that would reject your fertile soil. I see last generation railroads routing products through the whole country. The agitated marketplace offering our very own harvest. Children enjoying the fruits of our Nation. .....

Wake leaders of audacity, servants who will seek their countryman's welfare before their own. Deliver us from extreme capitalism conspiracies that hinders our capacity to deal peer-to-peer.

Oh, I think I hear my name....could it be Kongo calling?