I struggled to open my eyes..it was like I just missed a chance on death. I made effort to get myself up. My face was dusty and there was blood stain all over my dress. I felt a sharp pain on my forehead. I turned around and there were other girls surrounding and starring at me. I was startled. I couldn’t figure how I got into a truck with a dozen of girls. All I could remember was that I was attacked by two hefty men on my way home.
I turned to the girl next to me “where are they taking us?”
“I don’t know” she whispered afraid. I could sense the fear in their eyes too. The journey took a while.
We arrived at an unknown place, and we were offloaded like goods from the truck, we found ourselves in a camp filled with gunmen. They were dressed all black with red berets on their head.
“Sit! All of you!” One of the gunmen roared. His voice roiled like a stormy sea putting us beneath it. We fearfully positioned ourselves on the hot sandy floor.
The women we met there offered us coloured water to drink, I refused but one of the women said to me
“Child, This is the only drink you’ll get for the day. Drink.”. She said with a faint smile. I had no choice. I was too tired and thirsty to reject it. I gulped the colored water like a thirsty camel. “Thank you” I said to her. She responded with another faint smile. I could see the pity in her eyes. The women nursed our wounds, we took a bath and they gave us clothes to wear.
We were taken to an old room were I met another dozen of girls. “What would they have us do?” I thought. Every morning, the women would feed us with small plate of pap with bread till they realized we were strong enough.
Some days later, five men were assigned to the room they kept us. They pick five girls randomly and forcefully rape them. They made make us watch them rape the girls. I wish i could wake from this reverie but it was real, I couldn’t bear the scream of the girls, I heard them cry aloud as these beast forcefully took turns on them. I was only Ten years old, I cried bitterly because one day I might be next.
We wish we could scream for help. But who will hear our fainted voices. We were hopeless. I sat there lost and dumbfounded. The third night, they came again and this time, I was chosen. I struggled so hard. In tears, and pleaded with them but it was aimless. One of them knock me out with a fire extinguisher on my head. I was unconscious and helplessly. He penetrated. The five of them. I wished death could embrace me but i was alive.
Months later, I noticed my enlarging stomach and so it was for some of the girls. We were going to have the babies of these beasts. Rain of sadness drenched me, I wanted to run away but the gun men were always on a look out, they watched every of our move. I tried to commit suicide but I was caught and beaten mercilessly.
I realized they wanted us to stay alive to birth the babies so they can be trained to be like them. I did all that I could but was unsuccessful. They made us do as they wish, forcefully wear skimpy clothes to please their eyes. Yet, They never stop fetching girls into the camp.
It’s been Ten years now, I’m twenty with a child; Zainab. I couldn’t give birth to a male child so they’ll have me killed.
By the time you get the chance to read this, I’d have been dead. But you are reading this diary because my Zainab survived. I left this book with the woman who gave me coloured water from the start. And had help Zainab escape. You are reading this because I want you to know these men are real!
Tell the government, the beast are coming for more girls, Tell them, they are raising rapist and saddist like them. Tell them, we are weak and insecurity is our greatest challenge. Tell them to protect our girl child.
© Aliu Sarah.
Edited by Ruby Chidinma Ochei.