A Poem by Alvin L. Kathembe

For C. C.-S.; May you never be silenced


Baba is my protector.

They teach us this in school.

There is a big picture on the wall with the title ‘NUCLEAR FAMILY’;

Baba, mama and baby.

Baba provides, mama takes care of the home

And baby goes to school.

Baba protects mama and baby

He is the head of the home.

I am afraid of baba.

He comes home late sometimes

Sometimes he is very happy

Sometimes he is very angry

He is always smelling of something.

Sometimes he comes to my bed

Sometimes he tries to touch me

Sometimes he tells me to do things

I must obey baba always.


Family is my protector

Baba says that blood is thicker than water

I told mama about the bleeding this morning;

Baba came to my room again last night.

Mama beat me very badly

She made me promise to stop lying.

She said I have a dirty mind,

And I must never repeat this filthy lie.

I must obey mama always.


Jamii is my protector

My teacher asked me what was wrong

She said that i have changed of late.

i told her that i’m not allowed to tell,

That it’s my fault, i deserve it.

She noticed i’m not walking so well.

She took me to the head teacher

He looked at me, and shook his head

He said it’s a family matter.

Teacher took me to the clinic after school

She told me i am pregnant.

She walked me back home

And asked to speak to mama.

They talked for a long time

After she left, mama beat me again

She says i have brought shame upon the family.


Afande is my protector

Teacher took me to the police station today

Afande asked to speak with me alone

Mwalimu amesema umenajisiwa, ni ukweli?”

i do not answer

Nyumbani kwenu kuna aliyekufanyia hivi?”

i keep silent.

i don’t want to bring any more shame to our family.

Ukona boyfriend? Mnashiriki katika ngono?”

i keep quiet, and stare at his shoes.

i do not understand him.

His shoes are very shiny.

Nyinyi watoto mnaanza mapema sana siku hizi.”

He says, in a knowing tone

Haya maneno yote yameletwa na runinga.

Labda hata huyu boyfriend ana umri mkubwa kukushinda

Hujui hawa vijana ni waongo? Mbona unakubali kudanganywa? "

A pause.

Una miaka ngapi?”

i speak, for the first time

Kumi na tatu.” i answer him.

He shakes his head, 

Tsk tsk,

And writes a few words in his file.


Baba is my protector

My family is my protector

Jamii is my protector

Afande is my protector

i am surrounded, everywhere, by my protectors

God, protect me from them




© 2015 Alvin L. Kathembe

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Hey, great piece. Deeply no words. Such are the injustices of these world. that a man writes about rape this way, is very touching. So not all men are beasts, oh eh ok. oh. Children in our country do suffer this same story as it is, but I think any one who has been there can identify with this. I must share this.

Posted 3 Years Ago

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Added on April 23, 2015
Last Updated on April 23, 2015


Alvin L. Kathembe
Alvin L. Kathembe

Nairobi, Kenya

I write for the mind...and if I touch your heart while I'm at it, I'll take it. more..