Mary*(not her real name) was innocently resting in her room unawares of what the evening had in store for her on that fateful day.
As is normal in Soweto hostels, her room was experiencing electrical problem which consequently affected the lighting. Their nights were unusually dark. In fact, she says, “we used to cook at our friends’ room and only come back to sleep”
Since her room-mates were out, she felt bored being alone and decided to get some sleep. At least that would make her mind relax and avoid imagining weird things that could happen in the dark.
No sooner had she started to dozz off than she heard a knock at the door. From her sleeping position, she stretched her hand and opened the door. It was Jonny*(not his real name), a student with whom she comes from the same faculty. A coursemate to be precise.
After exchanging pleasantries, she asked Jonny what brought him to her room at such ungodly time in the night. A question, she says, motivated by fear since it was dark. “I….mmmh….was actually looking for you.” He said. With a lot of hesitation. Mary Immediately became terrified. “Here is a person i have never talked to telling me that he is looking for me. How could it be? As a matter of fact, the closest we’ve ever been to each other is when we sat together during a lecture. Something was definitely wrong.” She concluded. Her instincts have never misled her.
She recalled a time when, after attending a lecture, Jonny followed her at a distance to her hostel only to pass by her door. “He was definitely stalking me.” She adds. The memory of that past incidence raised her fears more.
Since her phone’s charge was down, she decided to try to connect it to a socket. As a new student who never before came into contact with the exposed live wires of the vasity hostels, she obviously experienced difficulties connecting the phone. At this point, Jonny decided to be a ‘gentleman’ and offered to help her. She agreed after a slight protest. An action she would live to regret
Jonny* saw that as an opportunity. Very much cognisant that it comes once, he decided to grab it. He immediately went for the kill, grabbed Mary* by her hands and pulled her towards him even-though she protested.
“Let me go!” She shouted, managing to release her hands from him. “Get out of my room!” She ordered him. At that point, Jonny* decided to be a little polite. A well calculated move to ensure that Mary didn’t shout again. “Why are you doing this to me?” He posed. ” I have for long admired you. “Si tufanye tu hata mara moja” (let’s just do it once), he added. Hoping to convince her
“Please leave me alone!” Mary shouted again. This time raising her voice even higher. Sensing that she was not going to lower her voice, Jonny quickly pounced on her and this time, more aggressively. What ensued was a fierce struggle which can only be likened to that between an Antelope and a Lion. One committed to devour the other, while another, hopelessly trying to survive.
At this point, Jonny* grabbed her by her neck and tried to strangle her in order to silence her. As they struggled, he was saying,”you know i can rape you?” She recounts. “I have never been more scared in my life” says Mary. He had managed to lock the door and put the key in his pocket. Mary’s hope of survival remained on the balance.
Suddenly, and out of the blues, someone knocked at the door. God heard her cries and responded. Help finally arrived. Jonny* quickly let her go and pretended that nothing was going on in the room.He gave her the key to the door and voila-her room mates at last came back.
Scared of the unknown and being a naive young fresh-woman in campus, she decided to keep quite. She was not willing to open up to her friends about what happened while they were away.
That’s how she escaped from the cruel hands of a devil-possessed rapist.
Her nightmares were far from over as Jonny* insisted on staying and refused to go back to his room. He attempted to climb onto Mary’s bed but she refused. Fearing her friends, he obeyed.
“I didn’t sleep a wink that night.” She says, gazing at the horizon. Asked how she would feel had Jonny* gone ahead and raped her, she becomes silent and takes a deep breath. “I would have hated myself forever.” She says, in a rather low tone seemingly overwhelmed by emotions. “I think it’s God who saved me. He is a strong man and i don’t know how i managed to wrestle him without running out of power.” She concludes.
Mary’s situation is not an isolated case. There are many others out there. Some ladies have most certainly undergone what Mary experienced, and maybe some of them ended in a bad way-being raped. Because of being naive and scared, they are not willing to report the matter to the relevant authorities for actions to be taken against those social misfits.
The university rules are very clear on aggression of any manner. No one is above the law as we are all equal under the same law and by extension, the constitution the country.
It is advised therefore, that if you are a victim of any form of violence, don’t hesitate to report it to the security office situated at the administration block, room 31. Afterall, they say, “where there is society, there is law, and where there is law, there is remedy”