Monday, 14 March 2016

Torture in Boarding Schools - A Victim Speaks out after 12 years of silence

Following the recent death of a Form Four Student of the Saint Joseph's College Sasse, whose death is being attributed to an alledged touture by a senior student, some victims of same treatments are finally speaking out their traumas.

Frisha Gold Ngu, former student of Saint Bedes College Ashing Kom Bamenda who was once a victim  of torture in her school, tells her story.

"...I have carried this story in my heart for years and I have never spoken about it 12years now. That's a very long time to carry pain and I thought I had dealt with it until I saw a child lying lifeless on the floor yesterday because of boarding school torture. I saw myself in that child. 

12th February 2004 St Bedes College Ashing Kom. I remember cos it was the day after 11th February I stayed back in the dorm alongside many uppersixth classmates who didn't go to Belo to March on the Youth Day. 

There was an outcry the next day that a classmate's money was stolen. 45000 francs. And they said I did it. A junior student even stood to bear witness, looking at me right in my eyes that she saw me go to the bed of the "victim" and searched it. Wow. They sent a search party to my locker in class to turn it upside down searching every leaf of every book. 

They turned my empty trunk and box upside down, they scattered my bed and mattress, ransacking every property of my life looking for the money. Thank God I was so poor that they didn't even find a coin to say it could be the change from the stolen money. At that time 10k was a lot of money you could not finish it in 2 weeks. Let alone 45k. If u stole the money they will find it on u. But they didn't find it yet they wouldn't be unconvinced it was me. My own classmates... 

They made me sit on the floor with just my pant and bra and they surrounded me. Hitting me, asking me all sorts of questions and punctuating their accusations with slaps on my face. They poured water at me and made me sit in it. Their words were so hurtful. They were hurting my body, my soul, my spirit... the only thing on my mind was to die.

I knew I was going to die. The pain was too much. Some were there but refused to be involved. They didn't make any move to defend or accuse me. At some point I wasn't hearing them again. I was lost in thought, thinking of the fastest way to die. Cos I was convinced that once they left me alone, I was going to end my life. The saving grace came when I heard someone come there and ordered them to stop. She asked them some questions in my defense which they could not answer. 

Why was it only my stuff that got searched? Why don't they think the culprit was one of those torturing me? How far are they even sure that money got missing in the first place? That was Lily Mbinglo. She was my angel that day. Since Lily was about the most influential of my mates back then, her defense killed the fun of the pharisees of the sanhedrin, Gradually they dispersed. 

Lily took me from there. She helped me clean up and she told me I should not worry cos the boys don't believe I did it so it's not that bad. She had explained to them in class and by the time those girls reached them with their story, they blasted them off. When I heard this, My suicide mind nearly repented but the need to die was really strong. I was far too destroyed psychologically. I had lost every little trace of selfworth and selfesteem I had in me till that point. The humiliation tore my confidence in people to pieces beyond repair. I couldn't live with that.

In the night, very late in the night, I did something very drastic. I hadn't learned it from anywhere or seen it done anywhere and it's only later in life I learned it's what people actually do. It was either that or I died. When everyone was sleeping, i went outside to the open field and tore the dress on my body and cried to God for vengeance. I put my hand on the ground and cursed whoever stole the money and made me suffer such humiliation in her place. I was just a child. 17 years old. The grief in my heart was too much for me to bear and I was powerless to fight for myself. I even cut myself to let my blood enter the earth to amplify the seriousness of my curse. It was that bad. And it's because I died. I died a painful death inside of me and was looking for a God, any god to avenge me. I wasn't in the news but I died that day. 

And for many years after that. When I met pastor Steve, I was very confusing to him. It was hard to determine whether I was being proud or suffering from inferiority complex cos the two almost manifest the same. He saw in me a fragile girl who was far more destroyed than what facebook was portraying. He couldn't reconcile Frisha Facebook and Frisha in person. The gap is faaaaaaar too wide. That lively, bold robust intelligent girl doing wonders online was a scared, confused, complexed, emotional, timid and solitary girl in person. 

He told me I am in a church of people who love me so much...I refused to believe him. I suspected everyone who was nice to me. Sooner or later they will leave or hurt me so why invest any emotions in them? In fact I was deliberately nasty to everyone to accelerate their true intentions to come out. Their niceness was keeping me in suspense and I hated them for it. Dad decided to love me unconditionally. And he sustained many injuries from me because of that.

I did many things to hurt him. Some deliberately. I was trying to force him to show me his other side. The side am more used to from people. I lived in expectation of being hurt. I felt that's what I deserved. Love was always a surprise to me. I'm coming from very far I tell u. Very far. But not everyone is that lucky to meet a pastor Steve. They walk around in life with so much hurts and people who cannot interpret this go around calling them names and disrecommending them from anyone interested in them. Some people identify them and rather take advantage of them and dump them. I wasn't joking when I said I left boarding school with my death certificate. 

Brutality, psychological, physical and emotional, is nothing new in boarding schools. The difference between then and today is that the tradition is being passed to weaker and weaker generations who are beginning to die from it... physically. But me, I was dead 9 years and I only recently resurrected..."

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