African Pot

My name is  Akuma

I was born in Kenya in 1953. I was seven years old when my parents were killed by certain people who were staying in the same village. I was then taken by my uncle, Johannes, to stay with him until I was 16 years old. When my uncle died, I was left alone. It was so painful for me during  that time. I had no one else to take care of me. Until one of the village girls came to me and she said: “I can see that you are struggling with food and clothes. If you don’t mind, I can help you. We need to go to South Africa to make money so that we can have a good life.” Then I said to her: “I don’t have a passport.” She said: “No problem, I will make a plan.”

It was on Friday 20:30 p.m when we went to the station until late around eleven O’clock. We tried to hike until a truck arrived.  The truck stopped. The  truck driver was an old man and he said to us: “Where are your going? Do you have money or not?” “We are asking for a lift”, we said, “ We are going to South Africa.”  He replied: “No problem. Get inside.” He drove the truck day and night. When we approached the border gate, we had to hide and we hid at the back of his truck. We managed to pass the border gate. After the border gate he stopped his truck and he wanted us to pay him some money. We told him that we don’t have money.

He said to my friend: “if you don’t have money, you will use your body to pay me.” We told him that we are not prostitutes. I was so afraid. I didn’t know what to do. He said I must stand outside for 90 minutes. After an hour, he called me inside and he drove the truck to Johannesburg.  When we  have reached our destination, he introduced me to  young ladies.

To my surprise, those ladies said they want to teach me how to make money. I asked them how? They said they will show me at night. They took me to a street corner where there was a lady standing near the road, wearing mini skirt. I saw a car stopping .There was a man inside, talking to a girl. After that she got inside the car and they took off. That was a traumatic experience for me but they said it would be my turn when the car stops near the road. A  few minutes later, a car stopped. The man asked me “ how much?”, I said I don’t know. He   then took me to his place and wanted to sleep with me.  I cried and cried; and he asked me what is wrong I? I said I have never sleep with a man since I was born. He continued asking me where was I coming  from? I honestly told him that I am a Kenyan. He then started interrogating me about my background! I told him my life story; and he  said  “I don’t have  a wife, can you be my wife?” Upon receiving such a heart-warming, unexpected request, my heart skipped a bit. As we were chatting, I asked him about his country of originality, he said  “I am  from Giyani. I did not know that there would be anyone interested in a destitute person like me; let alone thinking that I would worth anything like being somebody else’s wife one day. We then started dating, subsequently I quit prostitution.

A few months later he took me to Giyani to meet his parents. It was so nice to meet my parents in-law. The problem was communication between us. Most of them spoke Xitsonga language. It took me many years to learn Xitsonga and today I’m a proud maker of an African pot for my husband ,thanks to my mother in-law.

I am now happily married. God blessed me with three children. In  Xitsonga tradition, when a woman makes  an African pot for her husband, it demonstrates love because men use it to drink the African beer.

written By Teaman.

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3 thoughts on “African Pot

  1. I really enjoyed reading this story Teaman. Borders are fluid, and so are the stories of so many people on this continent who are often forced to flee or run. I am glad there was a happy outcome for this young lady.

    Liked by 2 people

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