It’s not the first time we have heard of girls suffering in silence at the hands of relatives who abuse them sexually. In the Giriama dialect, hunda means dowry. The name Kahunda is given to babies whom the parents expect will get married and bring them dowry. Unfortunately for Blandina Kahunda, who is now a form 3 student in Kilifi, her dreams of taking dowry to her parents seem shuttered. Kahunda now resides in a rescue center after her family declared her an outcast.
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Kahunda’s stepbrother defiled and impregnated her while at the age of 14 and in class 6. She regrets why she never shared with anyone what she was going through in the hands of her stepbrother until she got pregnant. “My brother forcibly defiled me for over one year but I never told anyone.” She said. The reason she kept quiet was that he was the one supporting her education and other basic needs. He also threatened to kill her if she dared to tell anyone.
The misery began at the age of 11
At the age of 11, together with her younger sister, Kahunda had to start selling vegetables in the village to support their mother’s income. Her stepbrother a charcoal transporter took advantage of the situation and offered to help her.
“One day he sent me to take empty charcoal sacks to my uncle to fill. After a few days, he asked me to accompany him to see the progress.” When they reached the homestead, it started raining heavily. Kahunda joined other girls until the rain ceased. He commanded her that they should go back home. As they were going back, he took a different direction and rode into the thick forest. She tried asking where they were heading to but the brother did not answer.
“He stopped somewhere and demanded to know the boys I have sex with. At this moment, shock dominated my life. I did not have any boy in my life. I tried to explain but he tied my hands, undressed me and defiled me,” she said.
This was the beginning of her misery in the hands of her stepbrother. The trend went on like that until one day a relative almost caught them. “He took me to his usual charcoal checking missions and took me to the forest. I was getting fed up with his behavior. A man in a motorbike passed by. He stopped at a distance and came back. My brother lied that I was misbehaving and he was taking me home,” she said.
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Kahunda faced rejection
Kahunda’s stepbrother took her home and lied that she was moving around with boys. By then she was five months pregnant but she hadn’t noticed it. Her brother bought her a big school uniform to hide the bulging tummy.
After everyone knew about her pregnancy, the matter got to the chief and he summoned the family. Everyone turned against her and the family claimed he was framing the brother. One of her sisters-in-law planned to have terminated the pregnancy but she declined.
One of her sisters organized with another man to marry her since she was being mistreated at home. She ended up married and after a few days, the chief sent for her. She ended up in a children’s home. Kahunda’s brother was found guilty and as a result, convicted to 10 years in prison. Her five-year-old son also lives in a children’s home in Kilifi.