Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The beginnings - fragile

Mama Salma hadn't always been a madam. Well it's obvious she couldn't have been born one. At one time she was a semi famous model. To understand her you have to understand her story. Salma Mrembo as she used to be called, was born in Lamu. She was the product of a liaison between a teenage Giriama girl and aBritish soldier who was stationed at one of the barracks there. The father, a Mr. Micheal refused to take responsibility for the pregnancy. Well he was already married in Britain and so he was just having some fun. Its not like it was anything serious.

Well it was serious. The Giriama girl was chased away from home by her parents. Those days unlike now, if you got pregnant it was a big shame on you and a bigger one on your family. She moved to mainland mombasa town where she used to plait hair. After giving birth to Salma, she was introduced to the night life by a couple of friends and since it was easy money she became a lady of the night. In those days, the sixties money was flowing. The country had gotten independence and there was lots of money to be made in development projects and industries so times were good.

In short order, Salma had two brothers and one sister of mixed heritage. But among the swans she was the most beautiful. She had inherited her dad's hazel eyes, she had long, straight brown hair, light complexion, and she had a beautiful face. As soon as she reached teenage she developed a nice coke cola shape. She was beautiful and the men wanted her. Salma however, had a brain. She did not plan to be a man's play thing or be a baby factory like her mother. She wanted to go to school and she did. She went to Old Mombasa primary and then went to a high school called Princess of York High school which was later renamed.

She went up to form four. She wanted to go up to form six but her mother was of the opinion girls should not read too much. “it will make you proud and then you will not make a good wife,” her mother would say.

“i wish she knew. I am going to marry a rich man and I will entertain his guests and be his companion.” thought Salma.

She got a job working in reception for one of the hotels. Many male guests would flatter, flirt with her and ask her out on dates which she politely declined. She was specific in the type of man she wanted to get. That is until she met Roger who fed her a dream for another life and she abandoned her plans for snagging a rich man to marry.

Roger came in one hot July day at around 3 o'clock for the first time. Salma was at the reception and she was wearing a white blouse which she had unbuttoned to her bra line to get some air. She had propped up her legs on a chair and she was taking a siesta. Business had been slow that day and she had drifted off to sleep in boredom.

Roger stood there and stared at her for a while then he rang the bell that was situated on the corner of the desk. Salma woke up to see this handsome guy staring at her. He had green eyes, sandy blond hair, broken nose and he had terrible sunburn, he was red like a lobster.

“can i get a room angel, if its not too much trouble. This blooming heat, it's as hot as hell!” the man said in a British accent. “sorry to wake ya, doll. You looked so pretty sleeping there. Nice view from here i can tell you that.”the man said.

Salma booked him a room then the man asked where he could get something for his sunburn. “a couple of doors down there's a pharmacy. You can get something there.”

“I hate to impose, darling but can you go get me some. I feel like am about to faint and i promise you it will not be pretty!” the man smiled and Salma felt like she could literally melt. She had never gotten a reaction like this before.

Salma agreed quickly wanting to get out of his presence and get her balance back. “my name's Tony but i guess you already know that. Seeing as to how you registered me. Thanks love for going to get me the cream. Could you also get me some painkillers while your there” tony gave her some money and sat in a chair to wait for her. Salma called someone to stand in for her at the reception and went out.

Tony admired the view as Salma went out. “I sure would like to get to know that lady better. My my what a pretty butterfly.” he thought to himself.

to be continued.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

fragile part 4 - story of sexual exploitation of a young gal

“My name is Bubbles. Your name is Carol, isn’t it? At least that’s what I heard,” the lady said.

I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to get over with eating because Mama Salma had forced me. I wanted to go back to bed. I didn’t want to have some small talk with this lady.

“Am so sorry. I’m bubbling that’s why I’m called Bubbles. I heard what happened to you? There are some sick men out there.”

Just then Natalie came back with some soup and small rolls of bread. I wondered is that all they were going to give me. I ate the food before me with gusto. I was really hungry. When I was done I thought Natalie would take me back to my room. She told me to wait for the second course. I didn’t know what that meant but I soon found out.

Natalie went off with my bowl and the plate. In the meantime bubbles who had gone to get a glass of wine took the opportunity to get back to where I was sitting. Frankly I did not want to talk to anyone but my parents had taught me not to be rude to grown-ups so I didn’t tell her I wanted to be alone.

“You know you are the first young girl under the age of eighteen to be brought here. The gals here,” she swept the room with her hand, well they usually come here when Mama Salma makes them a proposition they can’t refuse.” I didn’t know that word “proposition” and I didn’t want to talk so I just listened. “Many of the gals here came on their own. Mama Salma is pretty good at getting what she wants. She offers money, a good life and a life of luxury, now which gal would refuse a deal like that.” She laughed, yet when I looked at her she looked sad. I don’t know what was going on in her mind.

Bubbles said, “anyway Mama Salma decided that since there was demand she would start a new sideline of supplying young girls to willing buyers. It seems there are quite abit of men who wouldn’t mind paying a lot for under age girls. I guess you can say you were the experiment. She seems very happy with how it has gone.”

At that moment Natalie came back. She didn’t seem too happy with Bubbles talking to me. “Bubbles take your gossip somewhere else. And if you need to get drunk don’t do it in my presence.” She clicked her tongue at Bubbles. Bubbles stood up and left.

“Don’t associate with that one. She is a gossip and a drunk. Don’t listen to anything she says. She is just a bitter girl. Now eat. Mama Salma is coming in soon and I want her to find you haven’t eaten. What did I do to be rated a babysitter?”

I sat there and stared at the plate. It had some kind of pilau, some chicken, vegetables and some kind of coated brown food that I couldn’t tell what it was. I took a bite and realized it was fish. Now there was something I loved. I dug into the food and ate everything.

Natalie had by then gone to drink wine with some of the other ladies I had seen. They kept looking at me and then they would sneer or say something in hushed tones. I felt so alone. I wanted to go back to my room actually I wanted to get out of this place. I can’t believe when I came here I thought I would be safe. That someone would take care of me. To realise that I was just a pawn to be used was to me even at that tender age very painful.

After about half an hour Mama Salma came into the room with a tall, dark, handsome man. All the ladies hurried to chairs around the table and sat down. Mama Salma was dressed in a red satin dress that clung to her breasts, hips and thighs. It had a slit at the side that ran up to mid thigh. She was wearing red shoes and had a red big handbag to match. She had on some red lipstick and some blue eye shadow that made her look, in my opinion, very scary.

“I would like to thank you all for being available tonight. I will release you in a couple of minutes. As you can see am on my way out. I just wanted to have a formal welcome to our new housemate, Mama Salma said. “Stand up Carol.” I stood up, holding on to the table so as to balance.

“I want you all to treat carol nicely. Don’t bully her or play those tricks you usually play on each other. I will be very unhappy if I hear that you have done anything to her. Treat her like your beloved sister. Carol here will be making me a lot of money and I want her taken care of. From tomorrow carol you will start your lessons. I pride myself on having the most beautiful girls but they must also be intelligent and behave like ladies. I don’t want any of my girls to embarrass me. Tomorrow Carlos here will start teaching you how to speak proper English. He will also teach you some French, Spanish, Italian and German. Those are the languages our customers speak and so you need to learn some of that. That is all. Girls behave yourselves. Some of you are getting drunk on the job and I promise there will be some disciplinary action if you don’t stop.”

Mama Salma and Carlos went out. After a few minutes the atmosphere changed. The girls broke out dancing and laughing. Natalie came for me and escorted me to my room. She explained to me that the girls needed to get ready. Their clients were coming to pick them up. It seemed Mama Salma did not like the men to sleep inside her house so they came picked up their choice for the night and then left with them. Later on I heard this is what she did so that if by unfortunate chance the police raided her house they would not find any men there. The house was apparently called, “ladies of distinction modelling agency.” She had listed her house as a business which trained and acted as agents for models but that was just a front.

In my room I felt like I was in a jail with no bars. I hate this place but I couldn’t leave. Well at least on my own volition. I sat on my bed and wept. I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring but whatever it was I was scared to face it. And in the dark this is the poem I composed.

Big plastic smile on my face.
Inside am crying for my innocence.
Used to be happy but now happiness is just a word I hear.
I have everything material but nothing emotional.
Am dead inside.
I was a fragile flower.
But then I was cut and crushed by cruel hands.
I am broken inside yet outside I function.
I don’t believe in God because a loving God wouldn’t let this happen to me.
I hate men.
They are all pretenders.
They pretend that they are nice, loving and caring.
They are not, they are beasts that crush innocence,
and wear blood like it’s a trophy for sport.
One crushed my delicate flower.
Others waited in the wings to stomp out the good in me.
I hate, I hate with a passion what I have become but I am a prisoner.
I can’t escape my capturers they have conquered my mind.
Told me am nothing that they have made me sum thing of value.
Put a price tag on my flesh.
Invisible chains hold me to this place.
I am fragile, broken, and old in knowledge yet still a child.
Am a woman in experience but a child in mind.
Am fragile yet I haven’t broken.
Scattered yet held together by will
And a plastic smile.

rock of ages

You cant seem to remember the last time you were happy. Your life is shattered, fragments in time that mock you and the dreams you had. Your heart is bleeding yet your mouth is plastered in a plastic smile that doesn't reach your eyes. At night you cry in bed, because you don't know how you will get through the next day, week, month or year. Your bills are pilling up, your always borrowing never lending. Then you have that job you hate, that doesn't fuel your dreams nor adequately pay your bills. Sometimes you fear it will all come crashing down.

Give it all to Jesus, those doubts, those broken shattered dreams, that broken heart. Lay it at the cross. No Jesus is not a magician. He wont make your trouble go away. But he can change things around for you if it's in his will for you. He can part the seas for you like he did the Egyptians. He can provide sustainance for you. He is the mender of broken hearts, the creator of romance. All silver and gold are his.

So don't give up, trade up to the love that never fails and a hope that never dies. He stands his arms open wide, a symbol of the cross, ready to receive you and love you. Jesus doesn't promise to take your problems away but he promises to be there through the storms. God will never give you more then you can endure and he will always provide a way. Put your trust in him because he is the rock that cant be shaken, the love that keeps giving eternally and the master planner that has a plan for your life.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dollhouse blues

He loves the plastic me,
The one who is always smiling and never criticizes.
The one he loves is sort of like Echo in dollhouse,
She can be molded to what he wants.
He loves the sexy me,
The one that used to dress in lingerie for him.
To tease and entice him, to seduce him.
Little does he know the seductive wrappings hides emotional scars,
Like stretch marks that are hid in the light of day.
He loves my mind
But didn't know I battled with insecurities about me and him.
He doesn't know I had to try and keep positive about us,
When everyone was talking down on us.
He sees only me encouraging him not to give up,
Yet doesn't see me trying to encourage myself not to give up on us.
I showed him my angel side
But slept with my demons under the pillow.
I was all he wanted in a woman,
But I, I wonder if it was a farce?
Was I true to me or just pretending?
Because under these masks,
These clothes lies a woman unsure of who she is.
She used to know but ain't sure no more.
She searches beyond the plastic smiles,
She wants to search herself deeper,
Then just for sexual desire or pleasure.
This woman wants to make sense of who, what and where she is.
She needs to evolve, to know self.

Friday, December 17, 2010

fragile part 3 (a story of a young gal being sexually exploited)

The first thing I saw as Mama Salma and Natalie standing near my bed. They were talking and laughing. When Mama Salma saw I was awake she came towards the bed.

“Child you did such a great job. Jeffrey was very impressed with you. Now you belong here. You get some rest we will talk later.” Mama Salma said. She leaned over and gave me a kiss on my cheek.

In that moment I felt something I had never felt before in my life. Intense hatred. It burned in me I cant explain it but I hated this woman with everything in my being. I turned in bed and looked the other way. I hurt everywhere; I felt I hurt even deep into my soul. My body felt like it had met a battering ram. I forgot it had.

Mama Salma and Natalie left the room. I saw at the door a female guard. This time she stayed inside. Mama Salma wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything harsh. Maybe she thought I would jump out of the window. Believe me that day and many other times after that I thought about it but I guess am a coward I couldn’t go through with it.

I stayed in bed for a week. I cried and prayed. I thought finally that God didn’t care about me. He abandoned me in that house. In that house the gods that were worshiped were money and sex. I stopped praying. I didn’t pray for the next 6 years. I refused to eat anything. I wish I could say I didn’t drink anything but I was overwhelmingly thirsty. I thought, “If I don’t eat I will waste away and die.”

Mama Salma wisely stayed away. Natalie came to check in on me periodically. She would talk to me like nothing had happened. It’s only once that I saw a crack in her mask. She told me, “You have to be strong. Don’t let them break you. The biggest revenge you can have on them is not to break. They want to break you. That’s their purpose and plan” she didn’t say who “them” were but I understood.

The doctor would come every day. He would ask me to part my legs and then he would check my privates to see how they were healing. He used to put some kind of medicine to help me heal up, at least that’s what he said. The first day he had come, the time when he drugged me to take me back to Mama Salma’s he had stitched me up. I had gotten torn up pretty bad because I was small, not old enough to have sex.

I used to play the memories of my childhood in my head like a tape. To try and forget what had happened. I would focus on the happy times I had with my parents. My parents had wanted many children but unfortunately when I was born the doctors at Pumwani botched up the c-section and so my mum couldn’t have other kids. I would play pretend in my mind that they were still around and that we were having fun the way we used to. Sometimes I could pretend for up to an hour but when I moved around the bed and the pain started again I couldn’t hold on to the fantasies.

After one week Mama Salma came into the room with Natalie. She said, “No more sleeping girl. Its time you came back to the land of the living. I hear you are refusing to eat. You will eat or you will discover that crossing me will be the most painful decision you will ever make. Natalie give her a bath and then bring her downstairs.”

Natalie sponge bathed me and dressed me up. She took me downstairs taking the lift. It was painful to walk but I had to. The tone Mama Salma had used told me I would be in very big trouble if I didn’t obey her.

We went to the first floor dining room. I had never been there before. It looked like something I had seen in a movie about how a dining room should look like. There were serving dishes on the side of the room and there were some women in uniform standing there dishing out food.

In the room were about twelve beautiful women. They were different. Some were short, others tall. Their complexion range was from dark black to a lady who was white or something close to it. They stood in groups talking and laughing. They all got quiet though when I entered. They looked at me from top to bottom. I felt shy because I had never felt such hostile eyes on me before or maybe I had never noticed. Then just as suddenly they started talking again. I got the feeling that they were discussing me.

Natalie led me to a chair somewhere in the middle of the huge table that had been set up with dishes, folks and spoons. Later on I was told that the cultured word for this was cutlery. Natalie asked, “What will you eat?”

I didn’t know what they had on offer so I just told her to get me whatever was there. She went off to get me food. I was left there at the big table hoping that the ground would come and swallow me.

“Hi.” I heard a cheerful voice saying to me. I had to turn and look at this person addressing me. The lady addressing me was a short, plump but very beautiful woman with a chocolate brown complexion. She smiled and then sat down.

“They are all jealous of you, she said. Nodding her head towards the other ladies in the groups. No client has ever paid the amount that was paid for you.”

I didn’t know what to say so I just shut up.

End of part 3

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fragile - a story of sexual exploitation of a young gal.(sexual slavery)

My house is at the top of the hill. You can’t miss it; it’s the white three story mansion that is bordered almost all around by the slums. Except for the side that faces Muthaiga and which has a private driveway. It’s a beautiful house it actually looks like a castle. The kind a gal dreams about to live in and live happily ever after. I wish it was. Appearances are deceiving because that is a castle of nightmares.

My name is carol. I started living here two years ago when I was ten. My parents died in an accident and there was no one to claim me. Mama Salma said that she would take me in. No one argued, well no one would dare too. Mama Salma supports half of the slum I used to live in, in one way of another.

“Carol you are going to be very happy with me. All my gals are happy. And you are so pretty, in a couple of years you will be beautiful. Yes, you will do. Yes, you will do very nicely.” Mama Salma told me. It’s a good thing I didn’t know what she meant else I would have refused to go with her.

We walked to the edge of the slum with Mama Salma. Her with her beautiful fashionable clothes and me with my hand me down second hand clothes. A Mercedes picked us up from the edge of the slum and drove towards a gated compound just next to the slum. The gates opened themselves as if by magic and I only discovered later that they were called electric gates.

As the white mansion neared I was caught up in amazement at the lawn and the compound the likes of which I had only seen on TV. The mansion was big, a massive three floors. The inside was even more impressive. It was painted in shades of red and cream and the floors were marble. It was beautiful. I almost pinched myself to see if I was dreaming.

I was taken to the second floor. The pretty lady who took me there smiled and opened for me a room. “This will be your room,” she said. I was stunned. I asked, “I will be sharing this room with others children?”

“No! it’s just you. We need to get you out of those awful clothes. You need to get clean and then we will de-lice you. We can’t have you not looking beautiful. Come let me show you the bathroom.”

I wondered what it is about beauty that attracted these people. I had noticed that all the people I had met had been either handsome or beautiful. People told me I was pretty. My daddy actually used to tell me I was beautiful and when I would grow up I would turn heads.

I was short; I had pretty brown eyes, a light brown complexion and long natural hair. I hadn’t started blooming yet. My breasts had not come out and neither had my hips. I was a rose about to bloom. Looking back to then when I was na├»ve and innocent I was a rose ripe to be picked and bloom in someone’s garden.

After I had been washed, (I found this strange as I had not been washed since I was 4) the pretty lady who had introduced herself as Natalie, went out and when she returned she had some beautiful dresses and sandals. “Pick one and wear it,” Natalie said.

I was unsure of what to choose. I had never had new, new clothes. All my clothes had been bought second hand from the market or handed down to me by my cousins. I choose a yellow sundress and some pretty red sandals.

Natalie sat me down after that and told me there were rules to be followed in the house. The first rule is that I was never to go anyone unaccompanied by someone from the house. The second was that what happened in the house was private it was not for telling to strangers. The third was that I should never try to run away or break any of the above rules otherwise I would be punished. The fourth rule was that I was not to leave my room without permission. Natalie asked me whether I understand and I said I did.

Natalie said with a sad smile, “you don’t have to stay here. Do you have any relatives that you can go stay with? You have one chance to leave and that’s right now.”

“I don’t have anywhere to go,” said I.

Natalie sighed and then said, “Well now that you’re here to stay I’ll be taking care of you.” She reached for the telephone, dialled some numbers and said, “Please bring some food for Carol. Some chips, chicken, and a soda will do. And ice-cream for desert.”

Natalie looked at me and told me, “If you need me press three. That’s my number. Enjoy your food.”

I was left in this room that was big enough to fit our old house plus another two. There was a big bed in the middle of the room. It had a pink bedspread, pink frills and even a mosquito net. I thanked God for these wonderful strangers who had taken me in and had given me luxury that I had never imagined. At home I used to sleep on a mattress on the floor because there was only one bed, my parent’s 3 by 4.

For the next two weeks I never left my room. I watched TV on a big screen TV that was brought to my room. I ate, showered and relaxed that’s all I did. In fact I started adding abit of weight on my bones.

One day when I was watching TV Natalie came and ordered me to bath. “We are having special guests tonight. They all want to see you. They have heard how pretty you are and they want to see you for themselves,” she said.

Natalie took me to the bathroom and this time again she washed me then she braided my hair into cornrows. She oiled me with some fragrantly smelling oil and sprayed some perfume on me. When we returned to my room there was a lacy dress that did not seem to have any lining. Wear that, I was ordered. I was puzzled but I was too frightened to speak. Natalie had this expression on her face I cant describe it but I felt scared. There was no underwear and when I asked for some I was told it doesn’t matter. She gave me a glass with some juice and told me to drink it. It tasted funny but since I didn’t want to argue I drank it up.

We went downstairs through a lift that was at the end of the corridor. I was taken to a large room where there were many chairs and a sort of stage with one seat. I was told to seat there. There were men in the room, no women except Mama Salma and Natalie. Natalie came and stood by me. The men were drinking. I was young but I knew the smell of alcohol.

I sat there feeling so uncomfortable. I was wondering who these men were and what they were doing there. And all these men were looking at me. They were around 20 of them. Some old and some young. They all had one thing in common. They all looked rich. Having lived in the slum you can tell when someone had money. You can look at their face, nails and hands and clothes and you can tell.

After a while mama Salma stood and clapped. She smiled and said, “welcome gentlemen. It is our honour to host you again at our lovely abode. Today we have a tasty morsel for you. We have managed to acquire into our family a young untouched gal. She is a virgin and she is up for sale. We will start bidding at 120,000 thousand. Gentlemen come look at the merchandise. Isn’t she beautiful?”

At this point I was shaking. I looked around; I thought they were talking about someone else. But when the men started walking towards me with leery grins I realised I was in trouble. I was in deep deep trouble. I couldn’t believe that this could be happening to me. I started feeling dizzy and my heart was racing. I tried to stand and run away. Natalie held me down to the chair. For some reason I was feeling tired and my muscles were not obeying my commands.

When the first man came and started touching my face and caressing it, I fainted!

When I awoke I felt groggy. I was shaking and I couldn’t understand why. Then I looked down and saw that I was naked, just covered with a sheet on my bed. Then I remembered what had happened in that room. I started crying.

Natalie came to me and told me to hush. “Why are you crying? Crying will not change anything. You are very valuable. Do you know how much your virginity is worth? She paused and chuckled. There’s a man who will pay 100,000 dollars to be your first. And you had better make it worth his while.”

I trembled. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Who were this people? Why did this man want to take my virginity? Growing up in the slum and having to sleep in the same one room with my parents I knew what sex was. Sex was something grownups did together. So why did this man want to sleep with me? I understood that losing my virginity was sleeping with a man.

I was puzzled by this. I asked Natalie, “Why are you doing this?” Natalie smiled and said, "My darling one day you will learn that sex makes the world go round. It is a currency. It is power. Whoever controls it is powerful. Always remember that. There are many men who want sex and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.”

For the next two weeks I was a prisoner. I was not allowed to leave my room. There was a security guard posted outside my door so that I could not escape. Every day twice a day there was a woman who came, scrubbed me down with some portions and massaged my skin with fragrant oils. My skin was glowing and became so soft.

I cried and pleaded with Natalie to stop what was going to take place. She didn’t listen. I spend my time crying and praying for salvation. None came. It seemed that there was no hope for me.

One morning a hairdresser came to my room. My hair was natural. She put chemicals on it and straightened it. Then she put curls in it. She cleaned, painted my toenails and nails with clear nail polish. She tweezed my eyebrows and did a facial for my skin.

I was then washed in the tub and massaged with fragrant oils and lotions. I was made to wear a white dress and white sandals. There were flowers put in my hair. I was so frightened because I guessed that the dreaded day had come. I tried to plea for salvation to those who were attending me but no one was moved.

Later a man I was told was a doctor came to examine me. He checked me all over and then gave me an injection. I found out later it was drugs to make me relax and not be tense.

A car came for me. Natalie came with me. I was taken to the other side of town. We passed through the slum on the way out and I looked at my former neighbourhood. I wished I could go back there to play and stay. I couldn’t believe that a couple of weeks ago I was there. It seemed like a lifetime ago.

After about an hour we reached our destination. We had been stuck in jam for about 30 minutes. I had tried to plead again with Natalie but she wouldn’t listen. At some point she got annoyed and told me in a harsh tone to shut up. I shrunk into my seat and kept quiet.

When we arrived at the destination I was surprised. The biggest, grandest house I had ever seen was Mama Salma’s house but this was bigger and grander. From outside it was coloured in orange and cream paint. The driveway was long, with gardens and green lawns stretching beside it.

When we reached the house a man dressed in uniform came and opened the door. He ushered us into the house. I later found out that this man was a butler, apparently rich people have people who open and close for them their front door. They also welcome their guests. It seemed that there were no other servants; I found out later too that they had been sent away.

We walked through and a large corridor filled with paintings and sculptures. I was taken upstairs to a room with a huge bed. The ceiling was something I had never seen. It had a mirror that reflected back the images in the room.

A man came to greet us. He was not young or old. I couldn’t estimate his age. He was tall, white, had grey eyes and slim. When he reached us he smiled. I remember at that time I thought he had a kind smile. He kissed Natalie on the cheek and then looked me over. He put his hand on my face, cupping it and looked into my eyes. He said, “My name is Anthony. We will have a great time together so relax. We are going to have some fun together.” I must have looked so scared, because he chuckled. Then as if satisfied he let go of me.

He whispered something to Natalie and she left. I was left alone in the room with this stranger. He went to a sideboard where there was food. He offered me some but I refused. He took out a cigarette from his pocket and lit it. It smelled funny and I knew it was bhangi. In the slum many young men smoked this kind of cigarette.

Natalie came back into the room. She carried a tray with drinks on them. She poured some into a glass, came to me and said, “Drink this. It will help you.”

I took a sip. It was bitter. Natalie forced me to drink it all up. She then took me to the bed, untucked the covers and made me sit on the sheets which were white. She said, “I know this will be hard but you have to go through with it. Anthony is a good man. He will not hurt you like some of the others would have. If he tells you to do something do it. Mama Salma will not be happy if you don’t make him happy.”

Natalie left. Anthony came to the bed. I don’t want to talk about those next few hours. All I can say is that I have never felt so much pain in my life. Anthony hurt me. He stole away my innocence and broke something in me. I think he broke my spirit. He used me over and over. I cried and screamed, I fought but to no avail. Anthony was stronger then me. He did what he wanted with me.

I stayed at Anthony’s house for two days. On the second day the doctor from mama Salma’s came to examine me. He cleaned me up inside and gave me another injection. Apparently this was to make me sleep.

When I awoke I was at Mama Salma’s house again.

To be continued.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eat life with a big spoon.

Let's eat Life with a big spoon,
Enjoy the flavour of it.
Let’s savour the texture of Life,
The meat of it, lets bite in
And chew it tasting its juices,
The juices that makes Life so sweet.


Let's taste Life like chocolate,
Let it melt in our mouths.
Let's drink Life like Milo,
Let it make champions of us.
Let us drink up Life like milk,
Let it build us up to have strong foundations.
Let’s sip Life like soup,
Inhale the aromas and let it warm us from inside.
Let's savour Life like ice cream,
Taste its flavours and textures,
Let it go down smoothly.

Life has spice, sample some.
Life can be chilly,
So turn it into a sweet and sour curry.
Love Life; take it with a pinch of salt.
Make it sweet with some sugar.
Life's a dish,
You’ll never know how good it is until you taste it,
So get out your big spoon and dig in.

Raylitpoems 2010

Scared to love

I'm scared of falling in love again,
Because love has scorched me.
My love burned brighter then the sun.
I put myself out there,
Bared my heart, mind and body to you.
I put on hold my dreams to nurture yours.
I gave all I had until I was running on empty.
Now it’s going to be the first Christmas without you
I can’t help and think about the last few years.
Of the joys and pains, of the laughter and tears.
There's no love like real first love.
It breaks me that we had to part.
That’s life I guess.
The ones we love are the ones, who break us,
Leave us with scars.
Hearts break, torn apart and too sensitive to the touch.
Scared of giving away the pieces of my heart,
To someone else because I don’t know,
If they will be put back together only to be shattered again.
My broken heart is crippled,
With invisible scars.
I don’t know if I will ever walk again.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How does broken love taste like?

How do broken hearts taste? If love is sweet, sweeter then chocolate and smells like roses in bloom, then what does broken love taste like? If love makes you want to sing, makes you want to dance together forever, makes you want to doodle the other person's name on paper, what does a broken heart do? Do broken hearts only taste bitter lemon and not the sugar in lemonade, do they smell flowers as manure and not perfume, do they put up their dancing shoes never to dance again. How do they get the sweetness back when their heart has turned as black as turkish coffee and twice as bitter. Tell me how broken love tastes like, when the heart is cold as ice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chains

These chains they go click, click, click,
In my mind.
I am bound to you unexplainably,
Somewhere along the way I gave you access
To the open mental cage that holds my mind.
Somehow when I wasn’t aware,
(Or was I so memorized by your beautiful smile I didn’t notice)
You shut that mental door and went away with the keys.
I try so desperately to get you out,
Tried to drown you out with alcohol,
Tried to suffocate you in food,
Tried to bind you out with prayer,
Tried to wash you away with tears.
But still these chains you got on me,
On my heart, on my mind, on my body
They remain unbreakable.
Is it unthinkable that one day,
I may break these chains,
Because a life like this is unbearable?
The chains go click, click, click in my head.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The "buy a brick, build a house" campaign for IDP's

It's three o’clock in the morning and its raining heavily. It should be a time of dreaming and rest. A time to get refreshed and make people ready for the next day. Sadly in the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP’s) camps this is not the case. The IDP’s are housed in tattered, torn tents which leak every time it rains. The people inside are not even asleep. They are standing as the tents flood. All over the country in IDP camps this is the situation.

After the post election violence in 2007 many people fled their homes in fear of their lives. The government and NGO’S established temporary camps in which these IDP’s were to stay. This was supposed to be a temporary situation but three years later many IDP’s are still in camps.

The tents that the IDP’s live in were supposed to be used for a maximum of 6 months but the tents have been used for close to 3 years so they are torn and tattered. Sadly because the government is trying to encourage the IDP’s to leave the camps, and go resettle back in their original homes or in other areas it is not giving replacement tents.

The internally displaced people (IDP’s) in Kenya face challenges in living in the IDP camps. There is not enough food, security, health facilities or housing. The IDP’s have beeen waiting for the government to provide them with money to relocate from the camps. Some of the IDP’s have been given some money to relocate but the money is not enough to build a house when they move to the land.

Most families were given between Ksh 10,000 and Ksh 35,000 as a resettlement allowance by the government. This is not a lot of money in which to rebuild shattered lives. Some IDP’s who go by the philosophy of if life gives you lemons make lemonade decided to make the best of a bad situation. They came together to pull their money together and they bought land in Maai Mahiu. Because of the money involved in putting up permanent structures on the land they have been forced to continue living in the IDP camps while they look for money to build houses.

Habitat for humanity has been building houses for IDP’s in Mai Mahiu. The rotaract clubs of Kenya got interested in the project and decided to form a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Kenya to help in the effort to provide the IDP's with shelter.. Each house costs approximately 200, 000 to build.

In late July 2010, Habitat for Humanity Kenya partnered with Rotaract Clubs of Kenya to help build houses for the remaining 160 internally displaced families in Maai Mahiu IDP camp. The partnership seeks to build awareness among Kenyans about the plight of Maai Mahiu IDP’s who have been living in tattered tents for the last two years and who are in dire need of decent shelter.

As a sign of Rotaract commitment towards supporting the IDP’s of Maai Mahiu, the clubs lead by the president of Rotaract Nairobi Central Mr. Michael Waiyaki from Rotaract Nairobi Central, pledged to mobilize funds from their members and well wishers, while at the same time raise awareness about the housing project.

Rotaract has started a project called “buy a brick, build a house” to raise funds for the project. By end of October 2010, the Rotaract clubs of Kenya have raised Ksh. 50, 000 in 4 months. The Rotaract clubs are raising awareness on the campaign and hope to interest the club members to volunteer for this project. The Rotaract clubs are not just raising money. They have been going to Maai Mahiu to help build the fountains for the houses that they are sponsoring.

The Rotaract clubs have taken up this project because they are a service based organization that empowers the youth to build and serve communities. Rotaract Kenya believes that the youth should help rebuild the nation as the youth are the hope of the future and they need to help rebuild the nation. Also because the youth were used to cause chaos in the 2007 elections.

Rotaract is a service club, its business is mankind, and its product is service. Rotaractors provide community service to both local and international communities. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotaractor: the chance to do something for somebody else and to sense the self-fulfilment that comes in the process and return of that satisfaction to one’s own life. It is richly rewarding.

Rotaract is a nonprofit, nonpolitical, international volunteer service organization of students and young professionals. There are more than 7,000 Rotaract clubs worldwide with some 300,000 members.

Goals of rotaract

To develop professional and leadership skills.
To emphasize respect for the rights of others, based on recognition of the worth of each individual.
To recognize the dignity and value of all useful occupations as opportunites to serve.
To recognize, practice and promote ethical standards as leadership qualities and vocational responsibilities.
To develop knowledge and understanding of the needs, problems and opportunities in the community and worldwide.
To develop opportunities for personal and group activities to serve the community and promote international understanding and goodwill towards all people.

Donations to the IDP “buy a brick, build a house” can be made to M-PESA Business No. 506600, ZAP Business No. 0731 107717 or Account No. 0736125919 Barclays Westland’s Branch. For more details on how you can help go to rcnc.rotaract.org or call 0734669857.