Broken Emotions

By Doreen Nzeyimana

When I was 13 year old, my sixth grade class teacher was Samuel Majok, and he was the best teacher of the entire school. He was like a father to me. He used to buy sugar for my friends and I, and we’d put it in the porridge served during break time by the World Food Program (WFP). He would also give me money to buy pancakes. Mr. Samuel was loved and admired by many pupils at Kakuma Refugee camp.

Mr. Samuel taught mathematics and science. I wasn’t good at mathematics and so he offered me tuition sessions after classes. He would always sacrifice his free time to help me out with my questions. We got along so well. He called my mother in school and told her not to worry about anything related to school. He promised he would ensure I perform well and that I’d be a well disciplined girl.

My mother really believed in him and left me in his care. Day by day, our relationship grew stronger. I’ve never had the chance to experience fatherly love, but I think I quite got it from him. I felt loved, protected and safe, just like I imagine I would feel from my biological father whom I never got the chance to live with. I was the result of a rape my mother experienced back in our home country Congo.

One Friday, Mr. Samuel asked me to come to school on Saturday. He told me he would like to teach me some important things. When I went home, I told my mother about it, and she insisted that I go. That Saturday, I woke up very early and prepared myself to meet my beloved teacher.

The school was empty, except for Mr. Samuel and I. He told me to enter the staff room, close the door behind me and then to sit down. When I did what he told me to do, he opened the book on the table. My chair was very close to his.

After some minutes, Mr. Samuel started putting his hands on my thighs. When I looked at him in shock, he removed his hands. After some minutes, he brought his hands to my thighs again. This time he was moving it around my body. I stood up and asked him what he was doing. He stood up too and said, “relax, let me touch you and make you feel good.” My mouth fell wide open. I couldn’t believe that those words came from his mouth. It seemed like I was dreaming. I told him I wanted to go home and I walked towards the door. He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back, and then held me close to his body tightly.

I forced myself out but he was stronger than me. He was hurting me and touching my body inappropriately. I screamed so loud for help but there was no one in the school to hear. My world was crashing right before my eyes. Only when I bit his arm did he leave me, and I was able to open the door and run out of the room crying.

My mother was washing clothes, when I got home. She threw down the clothes ont he floor that she was supposed to put on a hanger when she saw me. I was still crying. She asked what the problem was and I told her everything. She broke down in tears. She felt betrayed, and she felt guilty that she contributed to all my broken emotions. She saw the bruises on my body and cried. She held my hand and we went to child protection unit to file a complaint against Mr. Samuel. Mr. Samuel was later arrested and taken to court but ever since that day, I haven’t been the same person again. All I have are broken emotions.

21 December, 2022