Bound by chains 1

By Khulekani

Bound by chains


If wishes were horses, maybe eventually she was going to ride one.To her, the word opportunity meant nothing other than a constituent of the dictionary. Her power of imagination was shattered or should I say it had not even been existent in the first place. Was she born to die in the same place? Was the “better days are coming” statement really going to manifest in her life? All answers lie in the opaqueness of her destiny.


Patricia had been born in a family from a humble background which included her father, Daniel, a fisherman by profession and her mother, who happened to be his fourth wife after three divorces when he was working on the shores of lake Kariba. It was not the typical love at first sight which led into the marriage, but just a one night encounter which led to the conception of Patricia prompting the two to get married as according to custom. Love and familyhood was a far-fetched concept in her life as her father was never present and mother left the very moment she prematurely weaned her off breastfeeding. She was left into the care of her grandfather, a polygamist, whose wives only considered her as an unnecessary additional share to the meal pot.


Like any other girl child , she had dreams. Dreams of getting an education, working as a nurse for the least and also getting to marry the love of her life when the right time came. Was this going to be a possibility for her ? Who was to prepare the springboard to achieving her dreams when everyone only saw a liability in her. Each day, her step grandmothers always scorned her about how her parents had dumped her expecting that they were to perform miracles to feed her and sent her to school.


After only managing to complete two grades with little money that her father had sent back from Kariba, a greater portion of it used for the household upkeep, Patricia now had to fend for herself . She started herding cattle and ploughing fields for people to hardly raise the little cash to buy second hand uniforms, pay her fees which she was occasionally sent back for arrears and then manage to walk to school each morning barefooted on an empty stomach. She had been told by her school teacher that education was going to be the key to her success. To her, it was proving to be more of a struggle than a key.


With little help from her teachers, to whom she had explained her situation, she managed to finish her primary education and the big task of secondary school presented itself. It was at this time that the chains of bondage really became evident in her life. Her grandfather insisted that no resources were to be channeled towards a girl child but that the thirteen year old would get married immediately to a man they had already accepted dowry from. This broke her heart. She cried until her lacrimating glands had dried but knew that this would be to no avail. At this point Patricia wished for supernatural forces to come to her rescue but however it went on as the elders had planned.


It had not occurred to her that after all the effort to attain her dreams, she was going to be married off for money to a man twenty years older than her. Her wish to be one day treating patients was reduced to kneeling, cooking and giving birth to children for a man she did not even love. If he had not been abusive, it would be better. Was she going to survive this prison? The answer lies in the opaqueness of her destiny.


18 February, 2023