“Funny Touches” – Who’s Laughing?

So I wish my experience was such that I would only blog about cheerful things like chickens and puppies (oh wait, I kinda do…). But the reality is not so unconditionally joyous – and at some points I feel the need to share with you the more shocking aspects of life here. This is one of them so get ready.

It happened when I was grading this week’s essay prompt: “If Only I Would Have Listened”. Though there were no other guidelines on the subject of the essay, coincidentally almost all of them dealt with rape and (informal) prostitution. I decided to type them all here. They might seem impersonal to you, but if that’s the case, keep in mind that these were written by my Grade 9 students – all kids that live in my village and I see everyday.

“Last week on Saturday we went to a bar called The System, but there is no under 18 getting in so we asked a boy to buy for us alcohol.

When it was 21:00 one boy came to our group and said ‘I want one girl from your group to be my girlfriend’. Then one of my friends said, ‘If you want one of our school friends, you have to supply for us alcohol before you will take her to be your lover.’

So when he went to buy alcohol my friend said, ‘Let’s go home so we will be gone before he comes back,’ but I refused. When he came back he said, ‘I want this one;’ then I refused, so that boy he started beating me until people ran and took me away. My one friend said, ‘I told you we should have gone home but you refused.’ And I said ‘I should have listened.'”


“Last week Friday me and my friend we went out to a bar to look for some girls. Then one girl came to me to ask me to buy for her a sweet. Then I said ‘No problem just wait for me here.’ After that I come out to propose to that girl. Then she accepts me to enjoy the whole night.

After one week one of my friends came to me to tell me that ‘the girl you proposed to that night is pregnant and that girl is very young to you, you raped her from now you’re going to spend your life in jail.’

Then I asked myself, why should I done this stupid thing? But you begged me to not go out with a group of school friends now I pregnated a young girl such as that one.”


“Last month we went with my school friends to the bar at Sauyemwa. I was with my friends and my sister. One friend of my sister was a girl and she asked me, ‘do you drink also?’ Then I said ‘no’. When my sister saw me walking with them she started calling me and I said, ‘I’m going with them,’ then one guy came to me and said ‘I want to go with you’ and I said ‘no’. The boy said, ‘if you say no, I will do what I want with you, girl.’ Then I said ‘Okay we can go then.’ We went to his friends house to sleep we started to do what that boy want to me. When we were finished he called his friend again to come to me and we slept again.

If I could have listened to me friend maybe this would not have happened to me!!”


“Two weeks ago I was with my friend who does not listen to what her parents are talking. In the afternoon she was in a group of her friends and they were going to a bar I asked my friend “Where are you going with those people who are drunkar?”

The sun set and they were meeting with some crazy guy who wanted to drink the alcohol. That guy, when he saw my friend then they bought a bottle of beer. They drunk the bottle and my best friend she still needed some alcohol. The guy bought her more then she drunk.a

Then that guy took her at some small shrubs and raped her. When she was feeling pain she took a bottle and threw it at the man who raped her and that man died there. When the family of the boy came they also decided that she should die also.

In the prison she started thinking, ‘If I could have listened to what my friends and parents were talking maybe I could not done this.’”


“Last month my school friend and I went out to the town of Rundu. My friend told me, don’t go out this night because you are drunk and these boys they are going to do to you bad things and it’s your first time out of the village.

Then I was not even listening to what she was saying. One of these guys that I was with started saying, ‘Lets go to my house because I see that you are drunk and you can not even want to move.’ Then I started saying, ‘Its okay lets go to your house.’

You know that a boy, if you are drunk and he is not drunk, do you think that he will feel pity for you? I was with that boy and I fell pregnant. A boy was not even using a condom and I was not knew when I was with him in the house.

At the end of the day I fell pregnant a baby without his father until now. If I could have listened to my friend all of this maybe could not have happened. Now I am suffering alone.”

“One of my friends, I told him that, ‘don’t go to the shebeen (bar) during nighttime’ but he did not listen to me. When he was socializing then he drank alcohol then he raped a young girl of 13 years old in the village.

My friend when he went to the shabeen during nighttime he lost self control so he raped a young girl of 13. Then my friend is arrested in the jail because you are not allowed to do that in the rule of Namibia.”


“One night I went out with a group of school friends. My best friend begged me that I must not go there but I did not listen.

At the bar we found lots of men and one of them proposed to my group member and the girl accepted the man. When the girl danced with the man she put her hand in his pocket and she took the money in his pocket. After dancing, the man and the girl went outside. From then the girl dodged the man and then she ran away home.

We waited a moment and she did not come back. Then the man came back and asked me if I saw my friend, and I said, ‘No I did not see her’. That man he started to beat us so that we would go call her back. Then he took out a knife and stabbed me in the eye. Until now I am only having one eye. Also he raped me and I got a disease. If only I would have listened!”


One Comment on ““Funny Touches” – Who’s Laughing?”

  1. Anne says:

    Tragic. First thought: they have to be making this up, they are just trying to traumatize poor Syd, it’s a creative writing prompt, nobody really got stabbed in the eye, right, oh please please let that be the case.
    Second thought: I am the most sheltered and naive and narrow-minded adult ever. Another jaw-dropping glimpse into Syd’s reality.
    Third thought: really, how does one grade these essays?: “no dear, you should say he took you IN the bushes and raped you, not AT the bushes…”

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