- As a first-year student was oriented to all the clubs and joints in town
- Back in the village sex topic was a taboo and I didn't know how to respond to such situations
- I was pregnant and couldn't even tell who my baby’s daddy was
I remember that day, it was filled with excitement. Finally, I was going to be free! No more "kukaliwa" by my parents. I was now a citizen, daughter of the soil, government's property. It took us the whole day to clear from the University of Nairobi (UoN) vice-chancellors court. We then headed to Hall 4, where I had been allocated a room. All the rooms were occupied.
By God’s grace, the then students Leader managed to forcefully get us the "reserved" rooms. My mum ensured that I had somewhere to lay my head before I saw her off, parting ways at the anniversary towers. As I walked back to the hostel, with 500pocket money, not knowing where the next meal will come from, it hit me that I was on my own.
I cried as the loneliness crept in. That evening, I took refuge in the church. There I met new friends. Some became just more than friends. I remember the first weekend, I was oriented to all the clubs and joints in town, I don't remember much apart from a huge bouncer throwing me out of the club because I was too drunk and sleeping on the table.
I also remember throwing up on his clothes. I remember waking up in hall 9, a men's hall, at around 4 am and walking in the darkness to my room. I remember pleading with the night guard to open the gate for me. Being new in this game of the grown-ups, and coming from the village where sex topic was a taboo, I never knew how to respond to such situations.
Three weeks later, I started getting sick. I thought it was typhoid, so I rushed to the dispensary. After several blood tests, I found out I was pregnant! I felt paralyzed since I couldn't even tell who my baby’s daddy was. I had scored a clean A in secondary school and was a virgin until campus, all this just went down the drain! I cried, wondering how I was going to defer my studies with all the poverty at home. I resolved to abortion.
I contacted all my nurse friends. I was to pick abortion pills from a student of KMTC near Kenyatta National Hospital. On the planned day, I walked as my pocket money was almost over. I met him in a small, stuffy and dirty room. He said he could sort me out if I slept with him which I refused. He called his friends and they raped me before chasing me out.
Two months later, I received the HELB money and resorted to trying out the manual abortion. I had heard horror stories of girls dying in the act, so as I waited my turn, my conscience won over my ignorance. I left and kept the pregnancy a secret until six months when I got really ill and decided to tell my mother. She was calm, she paid my hospital fee as well as the delivery. She took the baby and still does take care of her.
Life was hard as I had to balance between studies and motherhood. I could hardly concentrate or afford major notes and books since there was no support from home. I survived with 200/- for a whole week by foregoing meals. I could hardly afford clothes or other grooming items. I failed my exams and graduated with a second lower degree. Life after the campus was so hard that I contemplated suicide. What was more painful was seeing my classmates making it. I sold life insurance policies for companies that would not pay even a bit of salary.
Being kicked out of the house because I could not afford 2,000 monthly rent was my story. I faced hatred from family because I couldn't take care of myself let alone my daughter. I was also once chased away from home for being too much of a liability. My daughter and I spent the night on the streets. With nothing but a 10bob with which I bought mandazi.
Today I write this from the comfort of my apartment, on my Samsung tablet, wrapped in the warm arms of my loving husband, who has adopted my child, letting you know that nothing lasts forever. I worked hard. Started as a sales person and now am a manager. My kid goes to the best of schools. I wouldn't wish what I went through even to my worst enemy. It is always good to set priorities right. Though life is not a grocery list, or a prescription, please do the right thing at the right time.
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