Taziona’s Misfortune By Pemphero Mbedza

Feb 13, 2024 | 2023 Competition, Secondary School Prize, Short Story Competition | 0 comments

‘How could you do this to me Wonongani? What wrong did I do to you? How?………’  Nkhawa kept on showering rhetorical questions to her second husband who was in Adam’s attire in Taziona’s bedroom. Tears of disbelief were all over her face. She fainted and collapsed as Taziona was sobbing.

Nkhawa had been married to Fatsani for a beautiful number of years. The only child they had was their daughter, Taziona.

The family was living in Kabula City before they got divorced. Fatsani was working as managing director at Tamwa Brewery. They were living in a magnificent company house around Makata industrial area. He sent their daughter to Tsogolo International School.

When they got married, Nkhawa only had Junior Certificate of Education as her highest qualification. She failed to continue to MSCE level because her parents could not afford to pay for her school fees. They just married her off.

When Taziona was five years, Fatsani encouraged his wife to go back to school. She got enrolled at Ndirande Hill Secondary School under Open Distance Learning.

When she got her senior certificate, Fatsani sent Nkhawa to St. Joseph Nursing School. Five years later, she found herself working as a nurse at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city.

Smiles were all over in the family. They lived a happy life as both Nkhawa and Fatsani were driving to work.

As soon as Nkhawa got settled as a full time nurse in the city, an argument rose in the family. The wife accused the husband of failing to make her pregnant again.  Nkhawa wanted to have as numerous children as sand on the shore.

‘I don’t know what the problem between us is. I made you pregnant nine years ago. I do with you all it takes to make a woman pregnant. I have just completed the herbal dosage I got from this year’s Mulakho. What else can I do? Let’s just ask for divine intervention. After all, we have Taziona,’ said Fatsani in an apologetic tone.

Despite Fatsani asking his wife to wait for the ascendance of the holy blessing, the woman was impatient. She wanted more children.

Due to high inflation in the country, Tamwa Brewery got closed. Fatsani lost his job. The company car was taken away from him. In no time, he got bankrupt.

Nkhawa was not ready to take a full financial responsibility of the family. She said it is the responsibility of a husband to provide for his family.

Fatsani was helpless.Nkhawa divorced Fatsani and got married to Wonongani. She relocated to Chilomoni where she lived with her new husband. Her daughter was in form two then. She was a boarder. When on holiday, Taziona remained home alone.

One friday afternoon when Taziona was on holiday, Wonongani, the stepfather, returned from Kabula Market where he operated his hardware business. He found Taziona home alone. He called her to their bedroom. The girl was terrified and quickly ran to her bedroom. The father followed her. He raped her.

Coincidentally, Nkhawa was feeling headache that day. She left her work place for home. When she entered the house, she heard her daughter crying in her bedroom. She went straight to the bedroom. The mother could not believe her eyes when she saw the Iscariot on top of her daughter. She was distressed because apart from breaking her daughter’s virginity chances were high that he infected her because the mother tested HIV positive five months into her new marriage.



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