Of all the teachers or professors you will ever have in life, hindsight will always be the best over the rest.
Hindsight is when you look back is the best teacher you will ever have. You get to tell yourself that I could have done this another way and not this way. A lot of people unfortunately usually approach hindsight with regret because we only remember past mistakes when things go wrong in future.
“You cannot leave until we take statements otherwise these men will walk free.”
One of the Dubai officers told us when we got to the hospital. They had already caught Ahmed as much as Ahmed may have thought the island was a trap for us, preventing our escape, it was trap for him too. He was caught in the stables that he had used to threaten us with.
“What’s going to happen to him?”
I asked about Ahmed as we were taken to the boat.
“He will be punished accordingly and I think he will get a death sentence!”
The lady officer escorting us said. She said it in such a casual manner but I could also sense disgust in her voice. In South Africa we don’t have the death sentence. A lot of people want it back but killing a man is not an easy thing. As far as I was concerned however it must be brought back. There is evil that has to be taken away from society permanently as opposed to such people kidnapping and raping us then we the victims paying for their upkeep in prison. I know a death sentence is final and mistakes can and will be made but imagine me, 21 years of age living for the rest of time knowing my rapist might one day walk out a free man.
Two days later.
“What have they done you? What have they done to my poor child?”
Those were the first words my mother ever said to me when we landed at the airport. I will never forget that. I will never ever forget the look of horror in her face when she hugged me and the other girls. We had versatile tickets so we just changed dates and the embassy helped with that. However, as with all things government the media was there when we landed. Our story was a big story. I remember a journalist asking me,
“Do you have regrets about what happened? Would you do anything differently?””
It was the day after we arrived that she asked this. I was in hospital and social media it trended with most of the Twitter bullies doing what they do best, laugh at us. Someone found our names even though the police had said we will remain anonymous. They made memes of us and starting writing jokes about us.
“Don’t mind them, it will blow over!”
Boitumelo encouraged me every time I picked up my phone. I kept reading the texts because I wanted the pain to come back so that I could punish myself over and over again for what I had led myself into. It’s like when you have a scar and you deliberately remove the scab so that you can feel the pain.
“I am so sorry!”
Was the first thing I said to him? I was dreading this phone call and now that it was here, the betrayal I had done to him felt even more profound. He really was the sweetest man I know and how do we girls repay sweet guys, we cheat on them. Life is funny I tell you.
“I am not going to shout at you. I am not going to call you names. I am sorry for what happened to you.”
He started the conversation ignoring my apology.
“But I will never forgive you. When I hang up I will block you from everything. You hurt me and yes it’s not about me but when you look in the mirror you must see Satan in you!”
He said and with that, that was the last time I ever spoke to him again.
7 days later from when we got home from Dubai I got a text from Thandeka Mkhize.
“Nicole died last night. She had a blood clot that went to her heart inducing a seizure.”
There was no further information. The pain I felt is something I can never describe to another human being. I had caused all this because well, I wanted to go to buy so that people could see I was living the high life. I tried by all means to call Thandeka to ask for more details but she ignored my calls and did not respond to my texts. Thandeka had always been a bit neutral towards me during our ordeal but losing her friend meant that she blamed me.
“You can’t go for that funeral my child people will kill you!”
My mother warned me exasperated by all the begging she had to do to try and convince me.
“Mum, I have to, we faced this ordeal together. Let them kill me because it’s what I deserve.”
I told my mother with tears running down my eyes.
“You are my child and nothing can ever justify anyone killing you.”
She told me as she hugged. My father, Boitumelo and I with my mother driving all drove out to Polokwane the Saturday of the funeral. We left at 4 am in the morning. It was dark and gloomy but 2 and a half hours later, 4 toll gates and in what was the quietest drive of my life I am sure we got there. We had gotten the address, or rather my mother had and we had come. I was scared. I won’t lie. There were so many people including their mayor. Everyone knew what had happened to her so there were a lot of opinions. Social media had made me famous enough for people to recognize me. I was like those girls that went to eat shit in Dubai. Everyone knew their real names meaning everyone knew mine. I did not care though because I had come for the quiet girl who had been raped because she wanted to party.
Then I saw her mother. I had taken her daughter from her.
“Palesa ngwana ka, e tla o dule le nna!”
Palesa my child come and sit next to me!
Her mother said. I looked at her and burst out crying.
“Ke kopa tshwarelo mme! Ke ya go rapela! Ke fault yaka!”
I am asking for your forgiveness mum. I am begging you. It is all my fault.
I said to her as I fell on my knees in front of her and I cried. As a woman you don’t run out of tears. We have a fountain of them that have built from all the years of abuse and torture at the hands of men. It’s true, not all women are raped but in reality every woman has suffered some kind of abuse from the opposite sex.
“It’s not your fault my child. God wanted her. Mistakes were made yes but it’s not your fault!”
She told me consoling me when I was the one supposed to be consoling her. Thandeka was there too but she did not talk to me. I did not see Khanyi. We buried her at 11 O clock that morning at Silicon grave yard. I copied down the grave number because I needed to come back and tell her this story some day.
From that drive home from the funeral things were never the same between us. We actually got closer. Imagine trauma can bring people together. My mother and father got back together. Personally I was not for the idea but the first three months or so they did not have a single fight. They joined the church at my mother’s insistence and she really changed. My mother had always had pride and that was her biggest sin. Pride is one of those sins that also advise you in your head that be selfish, think only of yourself and you are better than everyone else. Pride is that sin that makes you not listen to advice from anyone you think is inferior to you no matter how much that advice will benefit you. That is what pride does and my mother had that in abundance when she was married to my father. She used to call him a loser to his face, sleep out and be dropped off by other men when they were married. That is why I hated my mother. That was the reason. However, after she joined the church my mother went all out to change that aspect of her life. She put my father first and I am sure he got his first blowjob from her in his second coming so to speak because Boitumelo caught them. Ok fine over share. My father on the other hand was just grateful to be home with his girls but it was obvious that once bitten twice shy. He was not the push over he used to be. My mum did not really like being bossed around but she took it.
I saved her for last for a special reason. When I found myself a blesser Khanyi had been my biggest cheerleader and with good reason, she was my best friend. As girls we tell each other that your best friends must support you no matter what. I used to think that too but today, looking back I know I am wrong. A true friend will never ever allow you to do something that is universally wrong. No matter what or how bad a relationship you are in, your true friend will never allow to go date a man who is married or in a relationship with another person. I must emphasize this. Having your back does not come with hurting someone else in the process just because you can. My friendship with Khanyi taught me that. We all lie to each other that we must die together to prove our friendship, go to jail together and get beat up in a fight together. How does that work? Khanyi told me what a nice guy Neo was and how lucky I was to have him. Instead of saying I must respect Neo she used that same mouth to tell me how lucky I was to have a man like Sam taking care of me. Is that called having your best interests at heart? I don’t think so at all but at the time because we want to be told what we want to hear, it was perfect advice. Hindsight you little devil!
“Please don’t call me again. We have nothing to discuss.”
She told me when I put my phone on private just so she could pick up. I had called her wanting to meet up with her so we could talk. Somehow I had hurt her the most. There is a reason why girl friendships usually don’t last forever. When we wrong each other its amazing how even if you have ten years of friendship it feels like it was the greatest betrayal ever. We can forgive a boyfriend who will beat us, cheat on us, divide us after just a year of dating but a friend of ten years can be dumped and blocked simply for saying that guy is not good for you. That is the reality of us women. Loyalty to female friends comes at a prize. I say this because Khanyi was my friend.
Life and its ironies. Sam had indeed owed money to those guys but guess what, he had not sold us either. No one will ever believe me now when I say this but Sam had gone to the police to the embassy everywhere to make noise but they had not acted. It was my mother who had walked in straight into the International Relations office looked for that Clayson guy and said that she will bring every radio and TV station to their office if they did not help. She even wrote a letter to that blogger guy, what’s his name, Mike Maphoto so that he could post and raise awareness. Imagine, Mike of all people! Sam therefore walked free but he lost his wife in the process. She had been humiliated but remember if your blesser is married what do you care? His wife is not your business right but his. That’s what we tell ourselves. We don’t care who we hurt because we can’t put a face to her. So what it’s another woman being cheated on as long as I am enjoying the benefits of her husband.
6 months later.
I was starting to heal slowly but surely. I had dropped out of school because social media had made me the butt of every blesser joke. People would call me names when I walked and that Namibian girl actually spat at me.
“A Khandeshi is a whore by the way!”
She said to me. Remember she used to call us that and I thought it meant Kardashian but then again what’s the difference? Oh by the way, she is dating Neo now.
“Mom what’s wrong?”
I asked my mother one morning when I found her crying in the living room. My father had not been home for days so I figured very quickly that they were fighting.
“Your father has been having for the last three months. This afternoon he told me that we are over, the girl he is having an affair with is pregnant and he went to court today and married her!”
She told me.
My parents were divorced and when they got back together they never formalized it so they were both technically single. They were hence within their rights. Karma had come to bitch slap my mother in the face. Now that she had changed and repented karma had really dealt her blow. All her years of cheating on him had been returned in kind.
“But dad how can you do this to mum!”
I said shouting at my father on the phone. They had been doing so well together. Had he taken her back so he could revenge.
“I am so sorry but I was not happy and I am sorry I betrayed you!”
My father said to me with remorse in his voice.
“Baby who are you talking to on the phone?”
A voice said from behind him I think.
He answered but his voice changed.
“Let me talk to my new daughter!”
The voice asked,
“No, not now!”
He said but the voice insisted and grabbed the phone from him. No no no, this can’t be right! I knew that voice, I knew it so well when she said,
“Hey friend, I mean daughter!”
I almost had a heart attack!
I said totally confused. Its like I was losing my mind.
“In the flesh. Guess I am you now.”
She said casually and dropped the phone. How would I ever look at my mother again because to her, I was the one brought Khanyi home?
The joke was on me!
Why was I so hurt though that my father had betrayed my family to be with a girl practically his daughter’s age? Was I not that girl once? Did I even have a right to judge him? There are girls who hate their father for cheating on their mothers with younger women yet are readily getting down on their knees to suck another girls father dick in the same breathe! We cry victim when we do the same. You can’t say its revenge because that girl did nothing to you.
“I warned you about this now look at our family. Look at Khanyi!”
My little sister said to me, arms across her chest and red with anger.
She had been standing at the door when I called dad.
“Khanyi is now our step mom!”
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Herein comes the end of our sad but very true story. The girl who shared her story with me wished to stay anonymous. Some of the facts have been changed to suit the storyline but, and this is important, lessons have to be learnt from this. We love money so much that we lose ourselves. Instagram is what we now call the standard and of all the APPs it has to be the worst. It has shown all girls the life they wish they could live and short cuts to getting that. There was a girl in Pretoria a few months ago, I will never forget, 15 years old who was lured to a squatter camp under false pretence by a ‘rich man’. They found her lifeless body raped and obviously dead. Do the maths? Do you blame the parents who bought their daughter a phone that can instagram then fail to monitor her activities on it? Or wait; do you blame the government that is so liberal you cannot reprimand your own child? Or even so, Do you blame the men on social media who lurk and pick up girls because it’s the easiest pastime to blame them right? I am not done, How about we blame the girl who liked things so much, she would not listen to anyone because its her right to do what she wants but when trouble comes we must all help? These are the questions I leave you with today. I will not lie; I judge stupid people who act stupidly yet think they are so clever. I judge girls who think that money is worthy of you putting yourself at risk for extra inches. I judge men who take advantage of their wealth but at the end of the day, it’s every woman’s choice to sleep with whoever she wants, when she wants and for whatever reason. Never forget though, no one will ever tell you in a taxi that you are smelling but make no mistake about it, everyone will talk about it!