By Noreen Chiororo
Enjoying the mid-morning sun, she sat against the wall of a kitchen hut,
her abdomen akin to a bump. A fetus was growing on the inside. She imagined herself going to school. For a moment, she believed it was true until she realized that she was day dreaming as always. In reality, she was a girl who at a tender age felt impelled to get married to a prosperous, desperate man to fend for herself and her underprivileged family.Chipo, a delicately built girl, wondered why girls in her family were not
Chipo, a delicately built girl, wondered why girls in her family were not
allowed to go to school like the boys. She posed this question to her father often, but it was always avoided. Out of the blue, her husband arrived from work.”Good afternoon, Baba,” she said as she gasped for breath. She was terrified. She
“Good afternoon, Baba,” she said as she gasped for breath. She was terrified. She knew how he would react after finding out that she had not yet made lunch for him.”Afternoon, Chipo. Where is my lunch? It feels as if somebody dug my
“Afternoon, Chipo. Where is my lunch? It feels as if somebody dug my
stomach out with a shovel!” he said, sitting on the inbuilt bench in the
kitchen hut.”I’m sorry, Baba, but I did not expect you until later on this afternoon,”
“I’m sorry, Baba, but I did not expect you until later on this afternoon,”
murmured Chipo as she felt her spine tighten.”After the most
“After the most nerve-wracking day at work, there is no lunch to calm me
down?!” Her husband was a gigantic man with a huge appetite. He always
wanted the lion’s share.After cooking a scrumptious meal with all her heart, Chipo was told to give
After cooking a scrumptious meal with all her heart, Chipo was told to give
the food to the dogs. She began to cry; she could no longer hold her tears in. The dam she had laboriously built collapsed. Tears kept flowing down her cheeks like a river. He slapped her damp cheek and it stung.
With a bleak expression on his face, her husband shouted, “I do not like
lazy girls! Go home to your mother NOW! Don’t just stand there and look as helpless as a baby duck with no feet.” She quickly left the kitchen for the sleeping hut.
Ignoring the throbbing of her cheek, she packed. She knew that she
would have to find another man to marry so as to support her family. This she would do after giving birth to the child she had conceived seven months ago. Chipo was still strikingly beautiful. Fateful as it might prove to be, she felt that she had to repeat history for her family’s well being. Such repetition meant that she was not going to fulfill her dream of going to school. Later on in life, she wished that she had a better childhood to tell her grandchildren about.
This is a competition entry by a writer based in Africa. The competition which was held earlier this year encouraged storytellers aged 12-20 to write about life and culture of their country. The winner has since been announced.