There Were Birds, But They Didn’t Sing


What does human flesh taste like?

Everybody I tell this story thinks I should have asked her this question. At some point I began to think that maybe I should have asked her. But then how could I? How could anyone pick that seemingly little, insensitive, mundane and morbid detail out of the raw and painful macabreness of her story? Wouldn’t that information belittle her story and reduce her to a mere mascot of dark, human curiosity?

The story starts a kilometer from a goldmine in Masisi, a town in North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is where she wore a rented white wedding dress and said “I do” to her husband, Munire, a man she describes as a strong character with the presence of a wise man. This is also where one evening, the people she calls the Mai-Mai, a dreaded militia group believed to have supernatural powers, stormed their little house where they were hosting members of the church, and accused them of hosting “Banyamulenges”, minority ethnic Tutsis who the locals believed to be witches. This is also where the Mai-Mai dragged one of the two male pastors out of the house and shot him in the head as her three children screamed and her husband begged them to stop. This is also the place where they turned to her husband, called him a “snake” for hosting these Banyamulenges, dragged him out, made him kneel beside the body of the bleeding pastor, and shot him in the head.  The gunshots and the screams echoed in their small boma at the foot of a lush green hill. The sun was just setting in the hills beyond, and unbeknownst to her, it had also started setting on her life.

“They were around ten men,” she says. They beat her up. They beat up her children.

Then they took turns raping her. All of them. Her children watched. Her brother-in-law was amongst them. He too, raped her. Dusk fell quickly on this dark act. Bats and the sounds of darkness replaced the birds in the trees.

They bound the hands of her two kids to each other in the flickering light of her lantern. Her eldest was 7-years, her second was 5 and the youngest was a year old, still living on the milk of her bosom. She had moved from widow to prisoner in a matter of hours. Actually she hadn’t, she had become both.

Together with her two children and two pastors and carrying her one-year old on her back, they set off in a long file behind five or so Mai-Mai men into the expectant darkness of the looming forest. They headed East. The journey of hell had begun. They walked for a week, then two weeks, then a month. They walked until their shoes wore out and the soles of their feet got so bruised and sore that they had to tear strips of cloth from their clothes to wrap around their feet as shoes. The children cried.

The vast forests of Congo, she says, are like a parallel universe. You get in there and the forest claims you, turns you into its child. There are days they would walk without knowing if it was day or night because they couldn’t see the sun. The trees covering the sky were so tall they couldn’t see where they ended. “The forest has a roof,” she said, “and it’s made of trees.”  And it was very cold in that darkness of day. It rained often. They ate leaves and grass and soon her one year old couldn’t get any milk from her breasts. They drunk water from the clear springs that sprung from the earth. At night they slumped against tree trunks and passed out from exhaustion. They were beaten constantly.

After over a month of walking they got to a clearing in the forest. The sun was shining that day and she recalls how strange the sun on her face felt, like a mockery from God who was watching her suffer with her children. They were filthy and exhausted and scared. They were nearly naked because thorns had torn off most of their clothes. They were made to sit in a circle on the grass, their legs spread before them. There were birds, she remembers, but they didn’t sing. The men asked the pastor to confess that he was part of the Banyamulenges. He, weak from hunger, said he was a man of God. He wasn’t a Banyamulenges and didn’t even know anyone who was. They kept beating him to confess but he didn’t. He started saying a prayer. That made the men even angrier.

One of the men took out a knife and while the rest held the pastor’s arms and legs, cut off his head. He didn’t resist much because he was so weak already. Blood gushed out like from a burst pipe, bright red, like anger. The earth drunk it up; it was as if the earth was dying for his blood. A thirsty earth. Her children screamed and the men threatened to kill them as well.

“I thought they were going to kill my children too,” she says. We are sitting on plastic chairs in a hut-like gazebo in the compound of Lutheran World Federation – UNHCR’s implementing partner –  at Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County. I’m doing some work for my host, UNHCR on a project. A very lanky Sudanese boy, as tall as a giraffe’s hind leg, leans on a pillar of the building before us, staring at the phone in his long hands. Behind us, some boys shoot pool under a shade. The tea and mandazi before me are ignored. So is her now warm Fanta. It rained the previous night and  I smell the warm moisture rise from the soil.

“They then cut open his chest and removed his heart,” she tells me. I look at her. She says it casually like you would say, “they then spread butter on the bread.” The men, these men, then started fighting for the pastor’s heart. They eventually shared it amongst themselves. Eating the heart of their enemy, apparently, added to their powers, she tells me. The other pastor had passed out after the first blood spurted out of his colleague’s open neck. They laughed at him.

We don’t say anything for a while. Rather, I don’t ask her any question. I picture that scene; the men, these animals, sitting and eating another man’s heart, her children whimpering in terror. The sun shines. The birds don’t sing. Men eat another man. I’m reminded of a scene in Fury, Brad Pitt’s World War II movie where a greenhorn marine recruit is dropped in the middle of Nazi Germany at the height of the war, death, destruction and evil, and he -scared witless –  is told by one of his war-hardened colleagues, ”Wait till you see what a man can do to another man.”

“What kind of men were they?” I ask her. “Describe them.”

She doesn’t say anything for a while, doesn’t look at me, she never really looks at me, the only thing moving on her are her hands on her laps. They massage each other. This is how I will learn to read her emotions, through the motion of her hands, because her eyes don’t betray any emotion. There are no lights in those rooms.

“They were not men,” she says finally.

“Did you eat…what they were eating?” I ask, slightly embarrassed.

That question seems to stab her. She looks away. I watch her squeeze her hands, as if  

wringing off that evil memory.

“They were going to kill me,” she mumbles.

They set off again. Through thick forest. Trees with trunks as big as a house. Whenever they stopped for the night, the men raped her. And threatened them with death. They threatened to eat the heart of her one year old, because it was “not filled with dirt.” Her one year old cried constantly from hunger until she didn’t cry anymore. She slept for so long that her mother had to put her ear close to her nose to confirm if she was still breathing. They smelled.

Finally after walking for another week, they reached their destination and the men debated on who would take the prisoners to their leader. Just not anybody was allowed in his presence. She learnt that his name was Mokolo and he was some sort of mythical medicineman, the high priest  of evil. One of them volunteered to proceed with them. Goodbyes were bade. The rest then disappeared back into the deep forest.

Mokolo was a very short man. He was stocky and hairy. He had a big scraggly beard that was more mysterious than the forest. He had small beady snake eyes. He had no front teeth. He was naked, save for a patch of leaves around his groin. Mokolo was an animal, not a man. The first thing he did to welcome the prisoners was to rape her. Then he invited his lieutenants – men as equally wild as him – to have their way with her. Then they raped the pastor. They didn’t touch the children.

That camp – if you could call it that – was their home for four months. Mokolo lived in the dugout trunk of a tree while the rest slept under the canopy of a tree on a bed of leaves. They ate plants and the men went out and came back with honey. She became Mokolo’s wife, and the official cook for the camp. Sometimes Mokolo would let his right hand man have his way with her as his reward. Once in awhile the men would go out and after days they would show up with people who they would slaughter and have her boil for food.

“One day they brought back this girl, a small girl about 12-years old,” she tells me. “They didn’t slaughter her; they tied her to a big twig and roasted her over a fire.” She pauses. “She screamed for so long as she roasted over the fire. I still hear her screams….” She says that for a week after that, the girl’s burnt skin was all she could smell.

They taunted her. They told her constantly that she would be eaten next, that they were fattening her for a meal. But first, they said, they would eat her children, whom they would make her boil.

I sat there thinking how surreal her story was. Then I started to think that perhaps it was fictitious, a figment of a very wild imagination. I later asked Philip Odary at UNHCR how credible these stories were, and he said they were credible and that in the camp he heard countless similar stories and worse, of the capacity of humans to hurt other humans.

“What was your state of mind at this time?” I ask her.

“There is a point where you have no fear left in you to feel. Where you have been so fearful and terrified you stop feeling it. You become hopeless. In fact, you die before they kill you. Those men took away the human in me. We had become things, objects they could use at will. We had become animals. I knew I was going to die in that forest, that I was sure of, I just didn’t know when. I was ready for it. I wanted to die but the only thing I was living for was my children; I was not going to die and live them alive in the hands of these men.”  

“Did they harm the children?” I ask.

“They beat them up all the time. Even my one year old. They would hold her by the legs and dangle her and laugh as she screamed. They called us snakes. Banyamulenges. ” Pause. “They raped my girls,” she says. I see her pulse quicken at the base of her neck. I don’t ask another question. We sit in silence.

“Pastor said that we would never be human again,” she says.

One morning Mokolo’s right hand man asked her to make a fire. Normally this would be a sign that they were bringing another human to eat. Instead, Mokolo instructed her to boil her one-year old child. She begged and cried but they beat her up severely and she relented and placed her daughter in this big earthen pot that had water. Her other children cried and tried to save their sister but they were beaten and thrown into the bush.

“What could I do?” she asks. Her baby screamed as the water started boiling. The men stood around that fire, laughing and cheering. She cried and knelt before Mokolo and begged him to save her baby and cook her instead, eventually he told the men to remove her daughter. Half the skin on her lower body had peeled off by then. Over the next few days the baby cried constantly, her burns became septic and she started to emit an foul smell.

Weeks passed and the men informed them that Christmas was near and that they were going to bring “food.” A week later they came back with a lot of alcohol and some personal belongings of people they had ambushed on the road far away from the camp. They didn’t bring back any humans and they told her that the following morning they would boil her one-year old for Christmas. That night the whole camp drunk the alcohol and by morning they had blacked out.

They took that opportunity to escape. They didn’t know the forest. They didn’t know where they were. They could have been eaten by animals, which she says would have been better than being eaten by the men. They walked for days, stumbling through the darkened forest of day, avoiding any paths that seemed to be used by humans or animals. They walked until her daughters’ feet were swollen and their soles peeled off. “Mother, why can’t I die?” The 5-year old cried. “Why can’t I die and sleep?”

“We knew that if they caught us, they would tie us to a tree and cut pieces of us and eat them until we died,” she says. They knew there were chances of meeting another group who would abduct them and do worse things to them. The pastor carried the baby and her skin was rubbing off on him. They ate wild fruit and leaves. They tested them for poison by first rubbing them against their skin; if their skin itched they were poisonous.

After about 12 nightfalls (that’s how they counted days) they ran into forest guards that she refers to as Nyibinza, their version of KWS, I guess. They shot at them, or over their heads, as they walked through a clearing. “We knew the end had come,” she says. They knelt and waited. The guards, in green uniform, approached them with caution for they were naked and hairy and wild looking and they smelled.

“They surrounded us, these six or seven guards, and they started debating amongst themselves whether we were evil spirits. They asked us what happened to the baby without half her skin.  Were we trying to boil her? Were we evil spirits?”

“I didn’t want to tell the truth lest they are a part of the Mai-Mai.” She says it wasn’t uncommon for the Mai-Mai to infiltrate government bodies. The guards remained suspicious.  

The pastor told them that they would rather be eaten by animals than go back to where they had been. The guards wondered where they had been that was so bad that they preferred to be eaten by animals instead. When they eventually told them the truth, they were shocked and scared because if the Mai-Mai caught up with them they would all be killed.

“But they had guns!” I say.

“The Mai-Mai can’t be killed with guns,” she says.  “The only way to kill a Mai-Mai is if you shoot him through the ear.”

The guards took them to camp and hid them in a small hut away from the rest of the guards. They ate real food for the first time in many months and the baby was given First Aid. The next morning, a few guards set off with them. They had been given ranger clothes to wear,  and they avoided known paths in the forest because the Mai-Mai, who could move much faster than them in the forest, were probably now looking for them.

They walked for five days until they eventually got to a farming community, Nyamirima, but since they weren’t sure if there were some Mai-Mai people in there, they sought refuge in a church where they stayed for four days. “We were so exhausted we couldn’t eat or sleep,” she says. The pastor of the church told her that if they hadn’t died already then they were not going to die.

She doesn’t remember her birthday, but she estimates that she turned 40 either in that forest or after the ordeal.

Eventually they got to the border of Uganda and the guards left them in the hands of a man who would cross the border with them the following day and drive them to Kampala. “Go to Kenya,” the guards told them. “They take refugees.” (Actually Uganda has received more refugees than any other African country, close to a million last year only, according to the BBC).

“I had heard of Kenya before, but it seemed so, so far away. I never thought I would ever come to Kenya in my life,” she says.

They spent the night in the house of the man they were handed over to. “He tried to rape me at night.” She says. She remembers the man coming into the room where she slept with her children. She was in pain, physically and emotionally, and as the man tried to remove her ranger trousers she told him to go ahead and finish quickly to allow her to sleep because she was tired and the man stopped and without a word left the room.

“I had been raped so many times that rape wasn’t something that scared me. I had stopped being a woman,” she says. “I felt worthless, like something that nobody had any use for.”

They got to bustling Kampala the next day. She had never seen so many people in one place. She was still afraid because she had heard that the Mai-Mai had people as far as Uganda. They parted ways with the pastor, but before that, he prayed in the throng of people, who stared at them because they hadn’t shaved, smelled and they looked like “mad people.”

“What was the last thing he told you before you parted?” I ask.

“He said ‘God knew.’” She sighs. She doesn’t expound. I don’t press. They got on a bus using the little money they got from the man who brought them to Kampala and eventually arrived in Nairobi at dawn. They huddled under a shade at the bus station for an entire morning, hungry and confused until a uniformed man walked up to them and asked them if they were waiting for someone. She told them they wanted to get to a church, any church.

“That man took us to his house which was one room separated by curtain and he and his wife gave up their bed  and let us use it for two days,” she says, and for the first time I see some emotion in her eyes.

“Do you remember his name?”

“No, but all I remember was that he worked for G4S .”

“How do you know it was G4S?””

“He had a uniform with a badge. I thought he was a policeman. He was the first person who showed us a lot of kindness. He gave us clothes – he had one child and he gave my children his child’s clothes. He took my baby to the hospital. When I came here to Kakuma I saw many other men with the same uniform and I only then did I realise he wasn’t a policeman.”

“When I came here I was thin and miserable,” she says when I ask her how life has been in the camp since she came here eight years ago. “I was ridiculed and some people looked at me with pity. But now I have put on some weight. I look much better now.”

She’s wearing a blue kitenge dress, probably her best, as she was told that she would be meeting someone to interview her. Because she’s still a lady, she completed this ensemble with a blue plastic purse. I can smell her lotion from where I sit. She is also someone’s wife now. She met a man, another refugee, and together they got a child. I want to ask her about that, her attitude towards sex and men. I want to ask her about forgiveness and God but in the past three hours I have asked her so many questions that took her back to those terrible days and she looks worn out, as worn out as I am.

I get distinct impression that she isn’t happy in the marriage because she feels that the man treats his own child better than he treats hers. So I ask her if she is happy with the marriage and the man. She says, “It’s better to be married in the camp and have someone take care of you than to be a single mother – men here will take you as a prostitute if you don’t have a man.”

She is in the Lutheran World Federation program and sometimes cooks at the centre to earn some money to live on. Her husband, a mason, hardly makes enough. Life is tough.

What strikes me as completely astonishing is the deadness around her and how she tells this macabre story while seeming divorced from it, as if she is narrating someone else’s story. But her eyes betray her; they are filled with secrets. They are like dark lights. She seems to leave everything she looks at with a stain of sadness. I couldn’t look her in the eye for too long because I felt apologetic.

“How are your children?” I ask. “Have they adjusted?”

“The smallest is now 8 years old and can’t recall it. But the other two – now 13 and 15 – remember. Sometimes they wake up screaming. Sometimes they are fine, sometimes they are not.”

“Are you fine?” I ask her.

“I’m here,” she says. What she actually says is, “bado niki hai” which could be anything from a statement of defiance to a statement of revelation. She sips her warm Fanta for the first time.

“Did you still believe in God?” I ask her. She looks at me for a long while and for a moment I think I have offended her. We sit in the brief silence and when I cross my leg ready to change that subject and ask her what her dreams are, she speaks.

“Sometimes I wonder why God would do that to me. How God can be that cruel to one person over and over again. My mother died when I was 13-years old and God allowed it. He then didn’t do anything when my father also died years later. Then he watched my husband get killed and then he put me through the problems in the hands of those evil men. I have had a very tough life. I understand there are people in this camp who have gone through a tough life, but I have gone through such a series of hardships and cruelty and God has never given me space to catch my breath. He brings one misery after the other after the other and I wish I could get answers, why me? Why was I chosen to live this life? What have I done…?”

She suddenly stops speaking. I don’t look at her.

“Maybe I did something to deserve this,” she says softly, “but what did my children do to God to allow this? What did they choose?”

She breaks down and starts crying, for the first time. And she doesn’t stop. It’s a cry I can’t be bothered to describe because I’m tired of writing this sad story. Hers were tears of loneliness.

I have learnt that if you stare at one spot and not blink tears will not come out. So I stare at a stone at the corner of the compound and I tell myself, don’t blink, don’t blink. Sitting next to her cry is more difficult than listening to her story. I’m filled with such sorrow. I slide further into my chair. Then I blink.

After she is done crying we sit there in a long uncomfortable silence. I suddenly feel very exhausted and guilty. Guilty that  I will get on a plane in a few hours and head back to Nairobi and on to my “pressing” life, onto another “pressing” story, and deadline and my important plans and my useless moanings about life’s inconveniences while this woman wrestles with immense ghosts here in a camp filled with both hope and hopelessness.

Maybe it’s because of this that after she has dried her tears and it has become obvious that I should fill this silence with a voice, or maybe because it’s because her story had bent my moral arch so far that I ask her, “Is there anything I can do to help you? Is there a small business you want to start that I can help you start?”

She fetches a neatly folded handkerchief from her plastic purse and blows her nose.

She says she’s fine, holding onto what’s left of her dignity.

I ask for her number so that I can check up on her later and she says she doesn’t have a phone. Never owned a phone. So I call Ann Kathure of LWF and request for a car, which takes us to this shopping center called Somali Market. At a phone shop we stand at a phone display and I tell her to choose any phone she wants. She doesn’t move, just stands there. She’s taken aback. She gets emotional because she probably can’t remember the last time she had a choice; she didn’t choose to be a refugee at Kakuma, she has had no choice over her own body with men using it whenever they chose. So choice is something she isn’t used to.

She points at a big ugly looking phone that resembles a disfigured grenade.

“Why this one?” I ask her.

“It has a radio,” she says, “I miss listening to music.”

I remember her telling me how those men had turned them into things, worthless objects to be used, expendable things. I remember how she told me she had been raped so many times until she had lost the very feeling of being a woman, of being human, and of the horror of watching your own child slowly boil in a pot. If you would have told her that she would spend her 40s in a refugee camp in a far away country, she would have thought you cuckoo. I remember how she told me her story from the echo of emptiness inside her and I was afraid that she had died inside and only carries a shell that she feeds and bathes. But when she mentioned in that shop that she wanted to listen to music, I realised with relief that there was something that still lived in her, a small ember that if fanned would turn into a fire again, and that thing, that little flicker needed music to get it alive again.


You have or know someone in their 40s with a compelling story they want to share? Drop me a line on [email protected]

To support the many refugees with a story like hers, donate here the amount will help The UN Refugees agency help them get their lives back on track.

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    1. Really, did you even read what the story is about? sad!! Biko thank you for this piece and especially during this volatile political season we are in. May God bless us.

      1. Flo ? Such a terrible thing to happen. But I’m glad you gave it to me to read. We have many refugees wanting to come into Australia . They should feel the warmth of being among people who care , and abore the violence of those animals.

      1. Oh my. Why,I ask myself again,do I complain?! God,I’m sorry. I even dared think that my story is worth telling. Let me just silently slip back into my abundantly blessed life and hope that I can make a difference in someone else’s life.

      1. I usually read ur stories chuckle or sigh depending with the story but this one I badly wanted it to be fiction. A movie can be made out of this poor woman’s life. I have never cried like this God have metcy

        1. I cried soo much I read it 2 years ago and it still has the same effect when i read it now… I hope she is happier now wherever she is… how can we help her?

        1. God will wipe away every tear from every eye. God will make all things new.

          “I have sworn by Myself,
          The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
          And will not turn back,
          That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Isaiah 45:23, NASB)

          All will be repented of and all will be forgiven. There is much evil in this world, but it will not be that way forever. The day will come when even those evil men who did those terrible things will swear allegiance to the one who is called Love.

    2. 1. Those people up there celebrating about being first comments: what on earth is wrong with you?

      2. This should be compulsory reading for all those social media warriors would have been saying ‘Let’s go the Rwanda/Congo/Somalia way’.

      3. Biko, how can we help this lady? We have been proven to have immense capacity to crowdsource.

      4. Is it possible to trace the G4S gentleman?

      1. Muthoni Gacheche you really have good points. We should learn from this story. The G4S guard is a unique example of how true Kenyans should be. Yes… Would be good to find him and show him what his kindness brought about

      2. Like most other characters in this story, the G4s man remains nameless, including the main player, the mother.
        Still the true hero of the story is the one year old who grows up to age 8, even after having been placed in a cooking pot as an infant and surviving the horrors of the Congo forest for endless nights of savagery.
        Some questions arise. Masisi on the eastern parts of the Congo has for ages been inhabited by the Tustsi. It forms a part of the boundary with Rwanda and Uganda, stretching northwards to Beni and Butembo, to terminate the Congolese frontier at Bunia. The region called Nord Kivu. These hardworking inhabitants of the zone are famous for livestock farming and most of the milk and even cheese consumed in Goma is received from Masisi, Rutshuru and the neighboring Kanyabayoga.
        Their neighborhood is the Virunga mountains in the south west and the Ruwenzoris further north.
        As a Kenyan youth, I visited the area in the 90s and marveled at the plentifulness of this zone. Almost every crop planted, from yams to beans, seemed to sprout with incredible eagerness, well nurtured by the rich volcanic soils obtaining in the region. The inhabitants may well be the politest and most welcoming communities I had or would ever interact with, in the Congo.
        Back to the story, the Mai-Mai at the time was a forgotten story of half naked savages who lived further south in Bukavu and spreading out in non descript existence towards Lubumbashi. They were synonymous with the Mulele rebellion orchestrated by the Cuban dogs of war, lead by Che Guevara, and his Congolese side kicks like Kabila senior. That said, the Mai-Mai would not have the same description or even purpose in a 21st century Congo. Any bunch of abductors, rapists, child molesters and cannibals as described in the story are neither rebels nor freedom fighters. They are just simply what they are. Savages without a cause or relevance.
        Their leader, Mokolo, is curiously indifferent about the captives brought to his camp. His actions, rape and cannibalism on first sight with no interrogation would seem to contradict the need for such a long trek through the jungle. No wonder the woman captive and her brutalized children are eventually able to just sneak out, leaving their abductors reveling in their drunken stupor.
        So, who are these people?
        Known cannibals in the Congo inhabit the area in the north west. From Uele to Kikwit. They are the little known Bamangbetu and the Yogo, rarely seen with other communities as they shy away into the bamboo thickets where they conduct their dark rituals. A trek through the jungle from Masisi to reach this zone is beyond harzadous. One has to survive encounters with the silverback gorilla of Virunga, gigantic serpents of every description before reaching Epulu, home of the rarest animal on Earth, the Okapi, to be greeted by the sneering communities of Mbute pygmies. Such a journey for a Kivu mother and her infants is enough horror to challenge all reasoning, even without being goaded forward by the evil escort so grossly described.
        Uele draws its name from one of the many upper Congo rivers, snaking its way through the almost uninhabited emerald forest, to drain its waters into the gigantic river Congo. The one month trek would seem to take this direction even though there’s no mention of rivers. Welcome to the home of untold horrors, survival of the uncomplaining meekest, in a region that still waits to be discovered.
        Still, why bring the woman and her children out here for endless sessions of rape, only punctuated by grotesque meals and mental torture? What’s Mokolo’s agenda?
        To be continued…

        1. Thanks for the story. I have the privilege of visiting DRC north Kivu while undertaking a course in conflict at the uon. And it’s grave, unthinkable, unimaginable.

          1. Apparently you had a tougher job than mine, and thanks for the comment. I was on a marketing assignment, a year or so before the conflict started in Kivu. So it’s like I left just in time, but you were assigned there when it was already red hot.
            Even then, one could feel the undercurrents of a ticking time bomb. And it was not anything comparable to what the average Kenyan would imagine, even in our most imaginative daydreaming of conflict. Indeed that was one time I felt truly proud to be Kenyan. Even noticing small details like Kenyans have a mark on their left upper arm. A scar left by the vaccination that we go through as kids, immunizing us against illnesses! The Congolese would marvel And say Kenyans are so valuable to their country, they are marked with a stamp in case they lose their way outside home.
            Yet , here we are… here we are dear brethren, we the envy of the region, toying with a dangerous idea whose consequences are totally merciless.

        2. Now this story has already changed the way I complained about certain things. Yes dignity, respect and many more rights which a human so rightfully deserves are rights I experience by the grace of God. But God in his sovereignty allowed this lady to experience such outrageous experience… not good! Very bad! After that, what do I have to complain about? Words are not enough to explain The Almighty’s greatness likewise for me, words will not suffice to console this lady. Muchoki wa Wangari thank you for teaching me a bit about my country.

          This woman need Love, affection and art. Financial fund and more visit.

          I don’t know how long I have left to live, I will be cautious and wise not to state anything that I will not do but, one day I would like to help. If not this very woman then women like her, pastors like him and les enfants whom have gone through such saga. I too am a refugee in South Africa but my journey has been far better, nothing of this likeness. May The Lord Jesus Christ bless her soul. And may his name be blessed.

          1. Amen and Amen!
            The Congo is too beautiful to be made that ugly, and too big to be made that small. The peaceful days we spent there as foreigners we called the country “Mboka kitoko” (The beautiful land).
            May the Lord have mercy on all of us and restore the beauty and dignity of this African gem.

          1. Thanks Black Parrot. I believe we are now getting there. This woman, raped, brutalized and dehumanized is symbolic of the abuse that has been heaped upon mother Africa for centuries.
            We can deal with her case almost instantly and give her a happy life from here henceforth. We just need to send no more than $5 each and give her a new lease of life, at least financially. (Biko has insisted we make such donations through UNHCR). Fine. How many more do we have out there and not just in the Congo?
            The story is about ourselves and that’s why I’ve labored with language to dig into the history that brings about such deprivation of human compassion and of human dignity. Still I just wandered in the woods and got no real direction.
            That’s not to suggest that we share in the guilt of allowing people like Mokolo to exist in our society. Yet, it’s our wake up call to stop their re-birth. It starts with you and me. It will not be cowardly to wave the olive branch in one hand, even if you wave a huge fist in the other.
            “Tomorrow is the most important time in our lives. It comes to us very clean at mid-night. It hopes we’ve learnt something from yesterday”. John Wayne (sometime in the ’70s).

      3. How can we assist the woman? Are there links on how we can trace the G4s. Please let us know. I am ready n willing to contribute something for the two.

      4. I would like to be a part of the crowd funding for both the G4S gentleman and the woman with her children. Any success in tracing thr G4S gentleman so far?

    3. Physical pain, nightmares, paranoia, sleep deprivation and emotional withdrawal was / still is too much pain to bear..!
      This was pure torment..The memories will be with her forever..

      May God grant her strength and peace.

    4. I understand when someone has gone through so much grief, God seems like a far off cry but I wouldn’t understand how one can even maneuver a way of telling such a person the goodness of God and how his timing is always the best…….this story made teary and I realized how much I have to be grateful for even the tiniest, peace of mind, good food etc….thanks biko for this

    5. Ooh my I have cried from the beginning of this story to the end. I can’t even begin to put myself in her shoes. They have gone through so much. I have kids and my youngest is 18months , I can’t even imagine what she was going through with what was happening to her kids. These animals should be delt with. God created man in his own image but these ones must have been created by the devil himself. The 2older kids will need psychological help to be able to put all this behind them and I know it wouldn’t be easy. I am glad they all have life. I would also like to help out with the lady and her kids. And to the G4S guy, may God bless you abundantly for being a good brother. Am still in tears. Thano you biko for this life story

      1. Thank you Biko for writing about the reality of war. Thankyou for doing something other than what the average is doing i.e inviting political commentators and fanning flames of war in this nation. War does not discriminate when it starts the agenda is clear its us vs them, after a while the lines blur your not even sure what its about and our kids wonder why God wont let them die.

    1. After failing to count my blessings so far…..wah!!! Forgive me lord…bless that lady, she has undergone worst nightmares…sad these rebels are still alive somewhere enjoyin’ their loot…..

      1. Many times we dont understand the things that happen in our lives and it seems like God has forasken us but the truth is He never does n we may not get it but He may be using her, her children and her story for greater, for sth beyond our mere comprehension.
        I am compleled to start a habit of not complaining because compared to this woman who has bn through so much n she doesnt complsin, all she asks is why?…. who am i to complain? My problems r valid but i still havr so much to be greatful for.
        This is a very inspiring story, thank you for writting it.
        Na nyinyi mafala wa kuandika how ur first to comment, see your life!!

      2. Oh myyyyyy! God forgive me for all the times I have complained and redeem me from this. I struggled to not shed tears in the matatu as I read this. Lord please change this mum’s and her kids story. Please heal them and give them a reason to smile. With you it’s possible. I found a new prayer item..this lady

        1. I agree, I have wondered what my complaints are for. I just need strength to keep thanking God whatever situation. May the Lord hold the storms of this world

        2. Same here. I have asked God to forgive me for all the times I have complained about petty things. I also asked God why He would allow a series of misfortunes to happen to this lady and her children but I know He holds the answer and a better tomorrow for her. May He give them victory in the end. Maybe publishing this story will signal a new and fresh beginning for her.

    2. whats the big deal in commenting first? and when do people really mature up? or should the three gimics put age (read maturity) restriction on this site? too many questions around this first to comment babies.

  1. It’s always a learning day when it comes to Tuesdays. If we don’t learn we rob life one of its key spice. Great read

  2. She went through alot.. Women are strong.. after undergoing what she went through you probably lose the will to live anymore .,.

  3. Nahhh. This one is not for me today. Can’t finish this. Not today. People roast people? Naaahh, not today. Sigh.

      1. Hehe. Bumble Bee, i shall ‘ revisit’ this piece some other day when am ready to read it whole. I began reading it and the images that come to my mind were extremely disturbing. Very disturbing. Was not prepared for such today.

        1. Since I read this in the morning, I have not stopped thinking about the 12 year old girl. Her screams fill my head. Her will to die faster. The suffocation of the fumes, the smell of burning fire wood, the smell of fire. How how blood was drying up even before it flowed from her body. The sound of her screams vibrating in her lungs. How she tightly closed her eyes in the hope that it was all very possible, a dream. But the burns won’t allow her.
          May she be on the forefront of heaven’s door. May her soul rest peacefully. May her spirit watch over the other tormented children.

          It reminds me of the documentary, Children of a Lesser God. The story of Garissa University massacre, of specifically,one Stella.

          For a second, I thought, if I was asked to book my own child, I would suffocate first and have her die rather than have her die from boiling water on her body until the life evaporates from her. But then, we thank our Good Lord for hope. She held on to hope until the life of her child was spared. May she grow to tell her mother’s tale. And may the spirit of the 12 year old burn in her that she may be the Messiah to the least of them. That she may bring salvation to those still being oppressed by the Maimai.

          God bless her heart.

          1. Uh! I did blink, several times!
            Tears have flown freely and my colleagues think something terrible has happened to me! I have told them it happened to a woman and forwarded this incredible piece to them!
            Now, that pastor is a SAINT! Women, there’s something for us here –hang in there! God listens to our cries!

    1. I was unable to finish the piece too, my heart sunk to my stomach then I felt like I would throw it up through my mouth when I got to the part she had to boil her daughter. I’ve finally been able to finish it and my mind is still numb. This story is unfathomable.

    2. I am with you Cliff, I stopped at the one year old being boiled…This is tormenting…..Two days later I have come to finish this read.
      And just to imagine the animosity in humans is beyond me!
      I just Can’t let go.this story/life is so morbid!

  4. This life….!!!
    One thinks they’ve seen it rough because they tarmarked for three years…then you read this story.
    I’ll NEVER complain again…

  5. This story has tore mercilessly into my very core… while my tears flow, I also wonder why and how anyone can be allowed to undergo such hideousness.

  6. I can’t count how many times my heart sank while reading this! Nothing I know can rationalize the barbarism of her ordeal. If I didn’t know better this could as well be a script for a horror film. The one that keeps you at the edge of your seat. And to live to tell her story! To find the strength to keep hope alive! No words complete this woman’s experience and resilience. Absolutely none.

    1. … thoughts too!!Well put Wesh.

      And here we are,sometimes complaining about not getting enough likes on IG and FB,while people like this woman have undergone earthshaking experiences…..And she still lives on…One thing,I have learnt from this,always be grateful for the mercies we recieve everyday from God!

    2. I kept on reading, thinking it’s all fiction. My mind couldn’t just perceive the barbarism and the horrendous experience she went through.

    3. While people are celebrating halloween today, others have lived it. Nothing fun about celebrating darkness in my opinion. Biko i think you’re on to something, Worship/Gospel music is known to heal the deepest of wounds, please bless her with all the music she wants.

    4. Leave alone what to say, I don’t know what to think anymore. What happened to the fabric of man? How much torture does one have to inflict on their perceived offender to feel the satisfaction of having punished. I’m torn. I’m saddened.

    5. So usually,after reading a story on here,this is where I usually rush to just so to see what your opinion is because of your consistency and the fact that you give genuine feedback.

  7. Biko,

    Do you have her number. We should consider helping her to start something. Sometimes its the small step that matters. And maybe, just maybe we can help this one person look at a possible future. Trying not to bawl in the office.

        1. Oooo
          Thank you so so so much Bikozulu for sharing this story…
          I have cried buckets while reading it and have been left asking, like her, why why why???
          Mercifully, noted too the NHCR PayBill No.329378 after hitting your relevant donation lead at the end of this story; and though no donation can ever wipe away such a lady’s sorrow, it can at least help afford her a more dignified existence….
          Meantime, praying for her. Only God knows why…

        2. I think most guys here Biko would wish to make a direct contribution to her other than the larger UNHCR fund.

      1. Oh dear God. Oh my goodness. 8 years ago was just the other day! Let us love and care for one another! And support causes that help people who have lived such horrendous lives!

    1. Me too. Dear God, Heal her & restore her faith in You. Hear us too & unite us. Heal our land so that we may be a testimony to the nations around us, that we will be a peaceful haven & witness to them

  8. Oh Dear Lord, comfort her.
    What a sad story. May God be ever so close to her and her children.
    What can we do to help her?

    1. Hi Joy, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

      1. Hi Biko… thank you so much for the article. I would like to help her personally please.. as you mentioned earlier… you had bought her a phone… would you mind sharing her number please so I can send her mpesa directly

  9. Sad story. Man’s capacity for evil is as unlimited as our capacity for good. Sad, sad sad. Can’t imagine your experience listening to the story first hand. Watching, observing. Tough and traumatising. Sad, sad, sad.

  10. This is the saddest thing I have heard in my entire life. How can “humans” be so inhuman! Boil a human being….one’s own child! share a bloody heart. God forgive and redeem them. I actually hope they still don’t exist. May she find hope in the little life that remains of her…may her children be saved from the misfortunes they have experienced. Amen!

  11. Balancing tears and wondering how cruel people can get…..but like you said “wait till you see what man can do to another man”

  12. That is a sad story. From what I have heard, the stories from Congo are heart wrenching. You cannot fathom how a man can do some things to a fellow man.

  13. Reading this story made my stomach get very tight. I was not sure I will finish. My work is with humanitarian sector, displaced persons and refugees and I go to Kakuma and to think many of these women have this story makes me sad and I can feel the guilt of the good life we have. The good life where I can wake up and make a choice. Thanks Biko for sharing this.

    1. The humanitarian sector is heartwrenching. Sadly, the ones who bear the brunt of all injustices in life are women.
      Worked with women and girls who’ve been visited upon injustices till I couldn’t take it anymore. The stories, the brutality. Sickening.
      We’re damn lucky.

      1. True Sachy, I worked with them as well. The horror stories I heard were unimaginable..I left after 4 years. Couldn’t take in any more stories of monstrosities meted out by fellow humans.

  14. Saddest story have read.I feel her pain*wipes tear* We should be thankful for all that we have.
    No one will ever understand the mind of God.
    Great read.

      1. Hey Waithera. Pole for the ordeal,by God’s grace you are a strong woman now you can lift your voice and testify.You made it. Bless you gal

  15. We take our lives for granted ,We take what we have for granted.Such inequality in this world.No-one deserves such a past .

    Thank you for the story !

  16. Tears are dripping from my eyes and I am in the train.
    Two things.
    1. Wait until you see what a man can do to another man. This works both ways. Both in good and evil. A man can lay down his life for another, and a man can draw the life from another man smiling. Case in point, the G4S man hosting strangers who could very possibly be mad people, in your house, leaving your own bed, for complete strangers ( God bless his heart) Vis a Vis the top cream of evil men who boiled little kids alive ( Forgive them Father for they know not what they do).

    2. God knows. Apocalypse and the hope of an after life gives us hope that we will pick it up with him.

    1. Also, never underestimate the healing power of music. Did you you the song sky crapper has helped prevent , or rather save over 1700 people from themselves? Healing power of Music.

      Carol Meryl Achieng? Do you need an oxygen tank as you drown in tears?

      1. I’m still in shock that their exist people who have the capacity to inflict such horrors to their fellow man!

  17. Sad beyond measures man, the story is surreal. We should be greatful for life . People have gone through Isht that we can’t imagine

  18. And just when you thought that its the saddest thing she’s gone through…. The next paragraph proves you wrong.

    We’ve read many sad stories here before… But this beats them all..

    So surreal at one point I too was almost sure its not all true.

    May God salvage what’s left for her… She’s still alive… God knows

  19. I have actually gone teary after this article today.She is one brave woman who has gone through a lot of turmoil ,pains and hardships and the amazing thing is that she is strong enough in a way to still live on.Words are are understatement of what she has surpassed.Impossible is nothing with God…always believe never loose hope no matter how little is left to hold on to

    1. We need to help. How long will she and her family be there? Is there a process underway to get her citizenship..Kenyan or otherwise? Can we help get her housing, to get a new life and hope and dignity for the children. Would love to help too.

      1. Refugees are under the UNHCR.They give them basic necessities like food,clothing,shelter and education for their kids.It’s not possible for them to get citizenship.
        But there’s a new camp with better houses being build for them at Kalobeyei(1 or 2 mMs from kakuma).Maybe repatriation overseas with a better job and therefore improved living standards.
        But we can help them with clothes,we can donate books and even proffesionals can offer free guidance and visits.
        Refugees are traumatised but we ignore them all the time.We should all be guilty and do something about it.

  20. Tears are dripping from my eyes and I am in the train.
    Two things.
    1. Wait until you see what a man can do to another man. This works both ways. Both in good and evil. A man can lay down his life for another, and a man can draw the life from another man smiling. Case in point, the G4S man hosting strangers who could very possibly be mad people, in your house, leaving your own bed, for complete strangers ( God bless his heart) Vis a Vis the top cream of evil men who boiled little kids alive ( Forgive them Father for they know not what they do).

    2. God knows. Apocalypse and the hope of an after life gives us hope that we will pick it up with him

  21. I can’t relate to her pain, I won’t even try. Tonight I will hug my daughters alittle more. Is there any way we can help?

    1. Hi Felicia, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  22. Eh!
    That lady is strong. I can’t even begin to imagine those things she went through.. Especially the kids.
    Oh Lord
    I am emotionally drained..
    May she continue finding strength……waaaaah

  23. Tears…saddest story I have ever read.How we take so many things for granted.As a mother I cannot even begin to fathom the unimaginable pain of watching your own child boil or a 12year old being roasted alive.

    It shows you the extent to which human beings can go in hurting others as lesser beings.
    But God is truly gracious for giving her and her kids a second chance in life.She is truly a fighter.

  24. Oh Biko. Oh what you do. You do good work. You constantly remind us what others are going through while we are busy complaining about life’s inconveniences. This is the saddest story i have read. Thank you. It shall be well. Music will usher her into a new life. And if she can pen a thing or two, she will discover a brand new life yonder.

  25. Profound shock in human-animal ability that speaks volumes. Sad. It begs to ask, what can we do? Taking deep breaths and sinking with unbound sorrow in this story can only last so long. Then, we are back to our reality and version of sadness and frustrations that we have inadvertently chosen to surround ourselves with. At least we have a choice, even if and when we think we don’t, we actually do. But, she does not. What to do now?

    1. Hi Stella, we can’t do much, but you can help by donating here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  26. What is an appropriate response to this woman’s story? I can say how touching it is, but is that appropriate? I will be touched and then I’ll get up and go about my life, maybe tell it to two or three people, but that would be it. Someone tell me how to respond in a way that actually impacts this woman’s life because I am at a loss.

  27. Dear Lord may you always remind me of how blessed I am just to wake up in the morning and be able to go to work and to have all necessities in this life. May you keep me humble so that I can learn to be grateful and may you remember the woman above always.

  28. For the past three months, I have been emotionally drained and kept on wondering why I have to go through such. I have read this story and I am sorry God that I forgot all the blessings you have given me. I admire her strength . I admire her resilience and hope and pray that her better days will come sooner !
    Thanks for sharing this Biko

  29. I tried so hard not to blink, I couldn’t stop myself. This is super heartbreaking. I hope that ember turns into fire someday.

  30. Am speechless Biko. So painful and emotional read. May God give her strength to overcome the pain. Thanks Biko for such stories for they make me appreciate life and peace in Kenya.

  31. This is the saddest story I have read, I can’t hold back tears. To think this really happened to a human being and not one of those things we see in movies or read in novels. May this family find peace in their souls.

    1. God knows. Problem is his timing is not our own. He is still manifesting. If anyone can be through all that and still manage, in one piece. That takes only God.

  32. This is soooo sad… I can’t stop the tears from falling. I pray that time will heal the wounds for her and her children.

  33. my heart hurts.
    Waah. I… lack enough words to truly describe how devastatingly heartbreaking each word kept getting. I have sobbed. I take too much for granted. No more. It may not help but I’m truly sympathetic and sorry for what she has endured and yet proud of her inner spirit and strength in the face of pure torture after torture, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Those were not men. But stay resilient, woman, queen, warrior. Heroine.
    Blessings, love, healing and light.

  34. I am one of those who comes here to read and then i go away. Today however I will comment. I work with refugees and the stories I have heard from Congo are some of the worst. The Congolese refugees have been to hell and back. At some point, I had to undergo counselling to deal with what I heard. For those may have doubts about the authenticity of this story, I urge you to take time and speak to refugees.
    Maybe the media needs to air stories about refugees and maybe we Kenyans will think twice about war and be grateful for the peace we enjoy as a nation.
    Thank you Biko for reaching out and telling stories of refugees. We need to hear more of them. They are human after all and did not choose the life they now live.

    1. this is exactly what I’ve been thinking all along as i read. We kenyans are taking the peace we have for granted! May God heal Kenya

      1. Not blinking hasn’t worked for me. This story is heartbreaking. My heart bleeds for the children. May God see them through.

    1. Yes. He should be questioned because He is the answer. See, how else can you explain this phenomen. Death, Rape, fear, Torture, Cold, Hunger Hungand come out in one piece to see another day, Only God

  35. My heart mourns for her..Humans have really evolved into something God did’nt create,as i read this i hate rapists,i really hate them.They should be hanged,to that lady i hope you find peace,i hope the darkness inside you reduces if disappearing is too much. I dont know why God didn’t say anything or do anything but He is God He has all the answers

  36. DEEP and SAD, I have tried looking at one spot without blinking but it doesn’t work .Am in tears after reading this….

  37. This one is for tears…. my heart bleeds for this lady, and her children….and so many others who have gone through such an ordeal. May God in His wisdom give them peace, and healing…and fill them with hope. This is just sad, so so sad.

  38. What do you say?

    I’m looking at my son sleeping and can’t imagine him being boiled-by me no less even though forced!

    Jesus come down.

    And still we spew hate? Father forgive us

    This is what hate leads to, inhumanity.

    1. Hi Juianna, there is something you can do. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  39. This article has literally given me a hard task this morning… I have battled with my tears through it all…I thank God for the little I have and I thank Him more for giving her a chance to see one more day…May He continue working on her, to give her and her children a reason to smile just one more time!!

  40. I didnt ‘blink’ until where the pastor said God knew.i didnt want to believe the story.I wanted it to be folkore.I wanted it to end with a simple lesson like ‘thats why you shouldnt go to the forest’ .Then the G4S guard,God bless his soul, appeared and in a place where he would have given her money or food he chose to give her so much more and gave humanity in a story that none was left.Biko please share this ladys number and lets show her some love.

  41. Bawling my eyes out. Things that we think matter don’t actually matter. Here I am thinking is it okay to ask God why ?? Why do all this stuff happen and more so to one lady? Oh Good Lord,May the light of Christ shine bright in her life and maybe someday she will understand the why of her ordeal.

  42. Biko, I want to help her and her children. Please, please tell me how. I just had a baby and this story has torn at my heart. Please show me how to help!

  43. My eyes are teary! Such realness, such depth.. Why would someone go through all that?
    My heart aches!

    Thank you Biko.

  44. This is one of the most horrendous accounts I’ve read in my whole life, and that’s saying alot..The crisis there has produced evil monsters. I can’t help but feel rage over what the West has done in the DRC for decades..(and centuries because begins with King Leopold.) And for what? For rubber, for copper, gold, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, coltan, oil…for mineral resources. They’ve traded people’s souls for all that. It’s sad, and horrific and incomprehensible.
    I pray for this lady. I can’t imagine what horrors she is reliving in her memories, the things she sees when her eyes are tight shut. God knows and He sees, and I pray He heals every dimmed corner of her body, soul and spirit. Only God can.

    1. Watched this account, more recent of the curse of the coltan mines and felt even more gutted. The mine workers are still being shafted (pun unintended)… in their own country!!!! but the West profits the most…aaargh! It’s gutting, and annoying and very symbolic when the lady in this account says she doesn’t even own a phone! Coltan out of Kivu in Eastern Congo mines is used in all the electronic gadgets, the latest phones, laptops, airplanes! DRC should be given space to grow, instead of regional powers and the West turning a blind eye to the conflicts between militant groups in eastern DRC, doing little to stop the rapes and the killings which have surpassed those of the holocaust!

      1. And then there are discussions about elections in 2018, it seems that Joseph Kabila very much like other African strongmen wants to hold onto power. When will the people of the DRC have what is rightfully theirs? When will the plunder of their resources end? When will the rapes of women and children stop? When will the neo-colonialism in the country end? When will they be given space to make their own choices? When will they be allowed to ride into their glorious destiny? When when when???

        1. Yes, Caroline. All these are questions begging for answers. But, alas, the history! Check out Joseph Conrad’s “Heart Of Darkness”. The happenings, even before the Kabilas were born, are uncomfortably similar to the current events over there.

  45. ” Guilty that I will get on a plane in a few hours and head back to Nairobi and on to my “pressing” life, onto another “pressing” story, and deadline and my important plans and my useless moanings about life’s inconveniences while this woman wrestles with immense ghosts here in a camp filled with both hope and hopelessness.”

    MOST TIMES WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT PEOPLE HAVE GONE UNTIL WE LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES…not the intellectual and fake social media ones or the motivational speaker like ones but real stories… Everything Is a Story

    1. This is a truly heart wrenching account of what happened to that lady, her kids and the Pastor. It must have been extremely hard to even master the courage to ask questions Biko. I cant believe that they are human beings going through such gruesome experiences in this world we live in . I have taken away from this story that I should be very grateful for my life and complain less, way less.
      I am angry that we have such beasts on earth and sad that she was so abused for so long and like her questions of a higher nature came to me for which I have no answers

  46. Jesus Christ! Whhhhhaaaaaaatttttt? No one deserves that kind of suffering, i have teared, i can’t imagine what shes is going through. Biko, how can we help?

  47. “It’s a cry I can’t be bothered to describe because I’m tired of writing this sad story. Hers were tears of loneliness.”

  48. You think you have seen it all then this. Even animals are not this cruel. My heart goes out to her. A strong woman she is .:-(

  49. Oh dear Lord…I cannot even imagine the pain she felt watching her child boil. I have tears in my eyes but I cannot break down because this woman actually lived it. I am only reading it but she lived it. I do not deserve to have my pain flow down my cheeks. She married a man she barely likes so other men don’t take advantage of her. This is just…why? Just why? God, please intervene for this woman and her children.

  50. BIKO…..I blinked… And am still blinking.I hope you told her that she didn’t deserve what happened, no one does.This is not a story, not a masterpiece….. I simply cannot fathom what to call what I just read because it’s also not ‘life’.

  51. how evil is the heart of man? The bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked. Help me God to always guard my heart. I realised with relief that there was something that still lived in her, a small ember that if fanned would turn into a fire again, and that thing, that little flicker needed music to get it alive again. Let the fire burn until life and dignity are restored.

  52. This is dark, evil and heavy yet with a glimmer of hope…Biko what can we (I) do for her to fan what’s left of that ember?

    1. Hi Moreen, thank you for reaching out to us. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  53. Had to do a double so sorry she and many other refugees have to go through such harrowing. Experiences….am glad she found refuge and kind souls here who could help her and many like her…I pray for peace in kenya and the region ..thank you Biko.

  54. I’m also trying not to blink. This is graphic. although i have to give you credit for making it to the end of the interview

  55. I wish all Kenyans can have this story for breakfast every morning for the next two months, maybe we might get our sanity back and stop all this negative- ethnicity crap running amock in our beautiful land.

  56. Wah. Gutwrenching. At first I thought it a creative narrative, kumbe it’s a firsthand account! My goodness. If this story doesn’t awaken us to the truth of the matter which is that we have been bequethed with a peaceful Jewel of a Nation i.e. Kenya and we should protect and treasure her at all costs, then honestly I don’t know what will. Many a time we see foreigners we assume to be refugees and shun them or judge them , mostly in our heads. But we don’t consider empathy. To walk in their shoes for a minute. And this piece made me think of that. Of the fact that, as Biko has written, none of them chose to be refugees. They are living the consequences of some few (probably) tribal hatemongers who (probably) never faced the same end. Worse, no one chose to be born as they were: a certain tribe or skin color. It’s truly sad that the divide and conquer BS from colonialists caught on so well, too well here.
    I almost cried reading this coz this past month I’ve been complaining about the most mundane of things. They seem quite life-changing to me, tbh. Relativity, one would say. Yet I’m not sure they will ever compare to what the lady above has gone through. I don’t think I could survive really. She not only survived it, she is overcoming it one step at a time. Most impressive is how she found the strength to run on that destined morning, when most people’s spirits and will would have been too broken with fear to even dare attempt an escape.
    I’m saddened by what happened to her children. Saddened that Innocents had to go through all this. This is what happens when we sit silent on our timelines whilst people we call friends spew hateful posts with each hateful utterance from a politician! Our innocent children who have nothing to do with these shenanigans end up paying the price. I swear if we don’t wisen up, I don’t even know.
    I don’t know what that pastor meant by “God knew”. Im willing to bet most people in their adulthood have questioned God’s existence due to what they consider a trauma or two in which God didn’t come through for them as they hoped. All of my moments pale in comparison to the lady’s. I try to look for the good in the bad but I’m forced to consider there isn’t any. I resent the thought of God putting people through nasty experiences just so they can help us learn something. I don’t want to believe there is no distinction between us but I think at the end of the day, human beings are just animals. Their level of savagery is just as great as their capacity for good. Hell, maybe even greater. We all think chickens are docile but look at how a mother hen reacts when you try pinch one of it’s chicks away. Truth is, we all aspire to live a civilized life but when we don’t hold our neighbors to these standards, this is what happens. As Martin Luther once said, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Be the conscience on your timeline and risk being blocked and let history give you a clean conscience rather than lose our beloved country. Most of us agree in public but in private, curse our so-called “enemies” out…let’s remember, what’s done in the dark often comes to light…in a way we may never want. Let’s value our country and keep her peaceful for the sake of our children.

    PS: can we find the G4S guy? #Shujaa.

    1. Thanks for sharing what i had in mind…this country is a gem, and we will only know the value once its lost (to the dogs!).
      Most of us here have never slept anywhere else but in a warm comfortable bed…there’s no such in war.
      Biko, this story (i regret calling it so) has given me more reasons to celebrate my life as it is. And it happens to be my 40th year too. May God grant peace, love and light to the mum and her kids.

  57. Biko I can’t imagine how hard this must have been for you to listen and then relive it again by writing.
    Her kids have PTSD I’m sure they’d do well with a psychiatrist to help them get over the ordeal.
    What is life anymore..

  58. Am caught unawares, i cant get it off my head in the next few days… she’s still alive! I’d like to see what she becomes of.

  59. Within every human being, there lies an inherent capacity for either good or evil that is beyond measure. One only needs to find oneself in an environment that allows you to fully exploit this capacity.

  60. Everything happens for a reason to those that believe… Bikos faithful followers (gang)we can give this story a happy ending. Let Biko give us a number we contribute what each has for the children’s education and for the mom too

    1. Hi Mueni, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  61. I read it quarter-way(in some boring meeting with pie-charts and graphs), paused, gawked at the ACs in the ceiling to hold my tears from trickling. I have been through nothing. Biko you should assist her write a book

  62. Extremely sad. The worst story I have read in my life. Could be the worst I could ever read. I cant think of anything worse than this. This story made me to be extremely grateful for my life. Maybe God created her for such a time like this. To slap us out of our ignorance and constant murmuring about trivial things. For sure I will never look at life the same. Every time I try to complain I’ll remember this story. Her life is not over yet so hoping the rest of the time she and her children have on earth will be more pleasant

  63. This is heart wrenching . I have no words, other than there can’t surely still be a God. This story has taught me that there are good people in this world….and obviously…monsters too.

  64. Eish, Biko. This is the most heartbreaking story you have written so far and reading it reminded me of the evil things man can do to a fellow man!

  65. She lived for her children. How thoughtful, she even forgot her own miseries. there’s always just that one ray of hope

    1. Hi Andia, thank you for reaching out, you can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  66. Wait till you see what a man can do to another man- that pretty much sums it up. I work with refugees and their stories are beyond shocking. But people generally don’t hear them. Thank you bikozulu for telling her story..

  67. Biko, no. This cannot be just another 40’s story. How can I help? How can we reach out to her, her children, anything we can do, please.

    1. Hi Mercy, thank you for reaching out, you can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  68. How she survived all that trauma is simply beyond me. I just can’t wrap my mind around what she lived through inside that forest. She’s one very strong woman.

  69. Wah…this story! Very sad…and to think we keep complaining….about this that or the other. This story gives a new perspective to life.

  70. (deep sigh….)

    (deep sigh….)


    i have a knot in my tummy. Still digesting this.

    I know people are wicked. I have seen some wicked stuff…this tops them all

  71. Nyayo Estate Embakasi child story, at least that one I bawled my eyes out. This one though. . . . . . It has tagged a place where there are no tears, just some deep deep despair. Lord have Mercy.

  72. May God forgive us for whining and complaining about life’s problems.
    May God visit her and redeem her…..
    May she find peace from the ghosts she battles with at night…….She has gone through so much for one lifetime
    ……and her children…,ehe!!This is so messed up

  73. I am not sure what to say after such a heart breaking story that this particular woman and her children have gone through. May God bless her beyond measure for being there for her vulnerable children even when she felt lost as a human being.

  74. So sad! It really baffles me how much hate and evil people carry around in their hearts. How else can you describe such heinous behavior? There’s so much joy in the world. There are fewer bad people than there are good. Why does evil win so many times? Why can’t we just seek love and light!? I wish so much sorrow on those men, I wish their fate will be worse than what I wish for them. I pray karma doesn’t let this one go. I pray the lady and her kids will be fine, at peace and learn to trust again. I wish them so much joy from life and in life. I wish the birds would just sing already. I wish her turn for misfortune is over.
    So sad!

  75. I am seated at the waiting bay of a hospital and I am scared. I want to scream. I want to wail. I want to cry.
    You think you’ve heard it all. You think humans can’t get any more cruel…

    She is the embodiment of emotional and mental fortitude. I would have cracked.

  76. I haven’t read such a heart-wrenching sad story before. I pray for her that God would somehow minister to her and her children. Only God who is love can heal her soul.

  77. How we take for granted all what God has provided for us. Jesus! All that happened to one person. Tearful I am. What disgusts me is that we are killing one another emotionally with tribalism here in Kenya. Lord grant hope on the woman and help us appreciate all you have given us.

  78. Waaaart!Really,people go through a lot more horrendous (because the word difficult cannot fully describe this) experiences than some of us could ever imagine..and even more sad is the fact that these sufferings are caused by fellow human beings This made me shed tears-we really take a lot forgranted.
    May God help us to brighten the corner where He has placed us.

  79. I haven’t cried this hard in a long time. To think that we have gone through life……oooh my, she is a very strong woman!!! Am glad she still has some fire in her. May God hold her hands

  80. This is the saddest most horrific tale I have ever read. I have cried in the office. My heart aches for her and her children.

  81. Thanks Biko for this post… I have had a rough 2 years that got me thinking why I was alive if everything I tried to do was not successful and now I am grateful just for an opportunity to try and try again… the blessing of my heart beating, me breathing every single day and good health. What she went through no human alive should go through. I admire her resilience and that she always wanted the best for her children despite all she underwent.I pray that God may grant her peace and grace in her heart and mind and that her children may be able to fade those bad memories and live in the present despite the challenges.

  82. Sigh.. This is heart wrenching.

    Thanks Biko for telling her story, as hard as it was for you to listen and pen it down. She survived all that!!!!! Sure she’s here and alive for a reason. Bless her and her family. God knows….

    May we all overcome our “pressing’ issues and know it can’t get any worse.

  83. My heart aches. This is the saddest story I have read and it being true, breaks my heart even more. She lives for her children and never contemplated suicide.
    We need to stop whining and be thankful for our lives.

  84. If human beings have such capacity in them to do evil, absolutely horrifying evil, what if we for once just decided to do good?? God bless the rangers and the G4S guard and the pastor. I hope that someday before she leaves this side of the sun she will find peace and a reason to smile again. I pray for her children……

  85. I’m speechless, and to think my greatest worry at the moment is leaving my 3month old son to go back to work now seems so trivial. I’m worried he will cry (at times) for no reason and the house girl won’t be able to calm him down while someone had to put firewood to a pot holding her child. There’s just so much pain seeing your children suffer even from a well meant jab but boiling! And rape! That’s just too much for one person to handle. God knew…that she could handle it? Story of Job with different cast. God is unseen, and his ways are inscrutable and beyond human understanding.

  86. My heart has shattered!!

    I pray that the music will heal her, transport her to a happy place, and that one day she will sing and dance from the depths of her heart.

  87. Oh Biko! How did you manage to sit through this interview? Its so unfortunate that her story is similar to so many. I have used up my emotions quota left for the year reading this one. I truly feel sad.

  88. This is probably the saddest story I’ve ever heard or read. So much to thank God for. May God grant that lady and her children strength

  89. I’ve never been touched by a story, ached by words this much…., A story of pure agony, told with carefully selected and emotions wording.
    May God remember that woman. It’s sad what militiamen can do to humanity.

  90. This is arguably the saddest story I have ever read. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read through. This world we live in is sometimes so cruel. I pray for that lady and her children. I pray for that G4S Samaritan and his family too.
    “What could I do?” she asks. Her baby screamed as the water started boiling. The men stood around that fire, laughing and cheering. She cried and knelt before Mokolo and begged him to save her baby and cook her instead, eventually he told the men to remove her daughter. Half the skin on her lower body had peeled off by then. Over the next few days the baby cried constantly, her burns became septic and she started to emit an foul smell.

  91. “Weeks passed and the men informed them that Christmas was near and that they were going to bring “food.””….ironical: what are these monsters celebrating during Christmas.
    A heart-wrenching piece.
    We’ve studied animals (including man) and made so much progress in technology, space etc; but there’s so much to understand in humans: like why do some ‘people’ behave like beasts?
    That part about Choice is deep. And the things we complain about or take for granted?
    Thanks Biko.

  92. God knows……sad story indeed…But when she mentioned in that shop that she wanted to listen to music, I realised with relief that there was something that still lived in her, a small ember that if fanned would turn into a fire again, and that thing, that little flicker needed music to get it alive again.

  93. ‘my important plans and my useless moanings about life’s inconveniences ‘
    I feel guilty that am so blessed yet i let God down so many times complaining about what i don’t have.
    At first i thought they all died or maybe a child lived to tell the story.
    That she did not die is something she should thank God for.
    Her life has a been a nightmare that doesn’t seem to end.Surely,there’s good and evil in this world.

  94. I work with refugees and I’m so glad you did this one. Glad is the wrong word but I’ve no word yet to explain the feelings this piece has brought on.

  95. I’m at the deepest depth of sadness from this piece!! Let me hope the tears I’ve shed reading this will raise me afloat. Truly there are humans and then some .!!
    God knows

  96. i have felt such deep sadness, This read is just one of those that make you hate the fact that you are human, we honestly do not deserve this planet. waaaaah.

  97. The value of human life can be corrupted by evil. Evil has found its way into our lives and humans and is having a cup of tea with our dignity. May God keep alive the hope of these dear ones and help us to do more than just feel sad for them.

  98. Am one tearful person but on this one, my spring s could not yield…. Oh Biko share a mail with helpline for this family …we can support her financially and medically…I cannot imagine STIs and other reproductive health issues she concealed with that cry….oh God

  99. I work in Kakuma Refugee Camp under Womens Protection and Empowerment and I’ve often imagined that one day you’d write a story on the horrors that refugees face. I wish I’d known you were at the LWF compound..I would have said hello :-). I’ve not had the strength to effectively articulate the pain I see and hear everyday, perhaps because I am unable to process it all but I keep a journal. Maybe one day it will count for something. Thank you for telling her story!

  100. Biko, this is one story you do not leave hanging on us! We your readers, cannot just read this and move on as if it was a tale. You bought a sim card for that phone with a radio, right? Please call her and/ or the Lutheran World Federation and let us know how to assist at least her children. She went through so much for them. Let her live to see them write a different narrative.

    1. Hi Wambui, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track. Spread the word 🙂

  101. This is such a heart-wrenching story. I could not read beyond a point; to think she actually lived it. Listening to it retold much have been gutting. My heart goes out to her. She is so brave.

  102. There are whys that can only be answered by God. As sad as her story is, it lights our dark world in a big way…her little candle is brighter than most of our neon lights!

  103. Biko, u should have put a warning before this story started! such a sad tale. I pray she one day gets emotional healing

  104. When reading this *story* (not sure whether to call it a story) I was thinking about the government idea to close down the camp. I strongly supported the idea given the threat that kenya has faced over the shabaabs. But now am thinking, where will the woman and her children and many more like her go? I still don’t have an answer.

    1. I prayed against their closures I felt convicted that if we refused to host refugees God would “revisit” that issue with us. I am glad they were not closed and we can be of help to many.

      1. I also supported it at first (out of ignorance and foolishness) before a friend who works with UNHCR cautioned me about the uncertainties of life.

  105. Forgive me Lord,for many a times i take all your blessings for granted…this is unfathomable! Humans roasting fellow humans….She is definitely a one very strong woman!

  106. This story is so heart breaking,av teared at a client’s office,especially that bit where u offered to buy her a phone and went for shopping,it’s like my emotion have realized that’s a reprieve in her life albeit in a small way …av questioned the existance of God,like where was HE when all these was happening to one person who was even hosting His men???When I see people not believing in God, I stopped questioning them because like in this case,how do you even encourage someone e.g this woman with a word of GOD?WHERE do u even begin….that part of the twelve yr old being roasted alive,God,why???This sounded like one of those tails we read about the ogres only that it happened to real people.and her kids being raped,God,they were only five and seven,how did their lotto legs even carry them thru?…saddest part is that I know this can happen in KENYA what with the hate we have seen on social media…

  107. For fk’s sake!! what world is this!!! And to sit here, in my warm Nairobi office and bitch about trivial matter. This just can’t be. Are those babies going to school? How can I reach out? At least I can sponsor one to school, just that for now 🙁

    1. Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track. Spread the word too.

  108. Dear God, you have all the answers to the many questions that are in her heart. reveal yourself to her and even to her children. very sad story…feeling a lump on my throat and teary. the pain of boiling your own child. dreadful. Biko may God also give you peace and grace..having heard her story raw am sure you much also have been disturbed because what you have given us is polished.

  109. So we live every day whining about all the “big” problems we have the “pains” we go through. We mock everything that comes our way, from life to peace, health to wealth, we have graffiti of bullet holes on our matatus, we operate pseudo accounts with scary names and we take pride in hate massages we write. Forgive us Lord because we know nothing. And thank you for your Mercy

  110. Hardest read in a while., and to realize someone actually went through all this and is still going through hardships. Comparing this story with the other 40’s stories and i can’t even fit it in those stories. It needs it’s own classification. 🙁
    Thanks Biko.

  111. Surely….we are not deserving, maybe God regrets creating mankind…this is so sad it trivializes every suffering that I personally have whined about. May God restore hope and light in her life…a reminder that she’s not forgotten.

  112. We take things for granted. One person experiencing so much pain until she feels no more pain. May God continue blessing her and her children and bless them abundantly.

  113. Jeremiah 17:9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?

  114. The horror! I have read this holding my one year old and all I could do was pray that the children survived too! I had thought of not reading it all but I pressed on hoping for a better ending. She loves music! Music heals the pain, soothes the soul and makes one to start ” feeling” again. Praying for her total restoration!

  115. Oh that the Lords grace and mercy may be upon us. May none of us ever have to go through this or anything close to this. Let us keep praying for Kenya… we do not want to end up in such a state. God help us!
    I’m in for supporting her and her kids, at least to show her that there is still some good in the world and she need not remain helpless. Please let us know how we can help.

  116. Totally lost for words. Let us help. God has blessed us so much that we forget what other people go through. Let us help this lady Biko. She has gone through hell and can still raise her head. Lord have mercy.

    And let us appreciate and thank God.

  117. This is a life changing story. This post just got me thinking deep…why would a fellow human do such inhumane things to a fellow human. I can’t stop thinking about what this woman went through the though alot is heart wrenching. There’s always hope and some kind of relief when you listen to music. Sometimes all your soul needs is music. May God bless her and her children. Lets keep her in our prayers.

  118. may she on day find the peace she so very much craves for..and may God heal her broken spirit..and heal the minds of her children…trauma is not something anyone should ever have to live with… God bless you Biko, for making a difference in her heals…she and her children will heal…

  119. Oh my goodness. You beautiful strong woman. I pray for healing for you and your beautiful children. I don’t even know what to say; (

  120. How can human (am i even allowed to call them that) those devils ..this is very disturbing ..sooooo sad…..I have cried and cried and asked God for forgiveness for whining at my little problems…May they get comfort .

  121. May God shield her from any more pain….give her strength to overcome her past. only God can… my prayers…
    Oh how I complain of the little things in life! quarter of her experience would have killed me already!

  122. To think that words like “militia” and “ethnic profiling” are already being used publicly in our country. Thanks for the kind reminder.

  123. What a life! All that pain and sadness. The thought of seeing your own child scream in a pot of boiling water, being raped. That’s the kind of horror you never live down.

  124. My heart is in knots., I will never come back from this story. Because of the credibility that is Biko, i would otherwise think its some fictitious horror film from Hollywood. Its at such moments that one questions everything godly about God. If really He exists and listens in our times of despair but He Knows, right?. She lived on as a testimony and as a lesson to us all, how little can be so much. I say a prayer for her.

  125. saddest thing. imagine how it feels when steam burns your finger… imagine the pain of watching your littlest one boiling as you fan the fire….

    They need deep counseling…. otherwise, how can they ever trust another man… watching their mother being raped countless times.

    May God reach them in those depths we cant know and heal them.

    Such a sad story… God help us all

  126. This story brought tears to my eyes……. very sad!
    The demons are surreal but she fights them.
    Am glad she has moved on and has hope. May God bless her and her children.

  127. This is a sad piece.

    Thanks Biko for telling the story of the refugees who many at times we judge ,blame and hate on them. It’s brought tears to my eyes and taken me back to my days in Daadab as a case management worker of Sexual Gender Based Violence cases.

    But I like the end of the story,it’s a better ending. Indeed her desire to listen to music is one of hope .

  128. This is the saddest thing i’ve ever read in my life….God Knew….i just do not know whether to put a question mark or an exclamation mark. did He???
    Goodness!! i just can’t!!!! boiling my own child!!!!

  129. Biko we need to changia this woman, she needs to earn a living and educate her children without further strain if possible. She deserves no further suffering and as a faithful ‘gang’ member on this blog I say we get a paybill number and do something.

      1. Hi Sev, thank you for reaching out to us, you can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

    1. Hi DK, thank you for reaching out to us, you can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  130. You know, I have a slight headache on the right sight of my head, just above my ear. I have watched all the Rwanda movies on the genocide and thought I’d heard or seen a semblance of how evil man can get. But this, this is just too much. I once read somewhere that Hope is the last thing that dies in a man. But how do you hope in the midst of all that. I’ve read a lot of your stories Biko, this one got to me … and I blinked…

  131. This is so sad…. have always cried on all your 40’s stories but this I just can’t!!!!! Biko please let’s start *a go fund me* for her……. at least for her to leave the refugee camp and for her daughters too!!

  132. Oh My God. This is soo soo SAD. I kept reading and taking breaks to gather strength and Grace to take me to the next paragraph. I am just speechless and guilty of all those times I have whined about my small meaningless problems. May the LORD continue to renew her strength!

  133. Amidst many breaks and several tissues later, I finally was able to get to the very end.

    Haven’t read something so heart-wrenching. I cannot begin to imagine what she has been through.May the same God who knew, give her healing and peace.

    Whatever we can do to fan that little ember of hope, in whatever little capacity, please share.

    1. Hi Mumbi, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  134. Biko, once again you bring us ‘entitled’ ones into different worlds that we might never experience… thank you for sharing her story.

  135. “Then I started to think that perhaps it was fictitious, a figment of a very wild imagination. I later asked Philip Odary at UNHCR how credible these stories were…” Sad…for sure! But there are holes that need to be filled if it is a true story.

    How did they cross the border into Kenya? Which id papers did they use?
    If indeed it is known in Congo that Kenyans take refugees, why lead them through Nairobi only to go north?
    Even the kindest of hearts in Nairobi are wary of con men and are used to the sight of street families yet none stretch their helping hands. How is it that Mr. G4S helped? What story compelled him? Is he part of the same security guard force that give many of us chills for entering a building on shoebaru?

    Not to downplay the story, but it ought to sound more than a script for Beasts of No Nation; based on a true story but with twists and turns that wouldn’t otherwise be plausible in reality. All got drunk at night, family escapes, pastor survives the heart eating ordeal for four months…

    A few holes Biko…

    1. Any one seeking asylum can enter a country without any papers (ID or passport). You only need to inform authorities that you are seeking are fleeing your country and want to seek asylum. There are Conventions on the same. For the longest time anyone seeking asylum used to pass through Nairobi for registration at UNHCR offices and mostly because most refugees and asylum seekers do not know about any other receiving venues like camps.

    2. You raise pertinant points and you not be vindicated. Having said that, am sure the lady went thru alot of cruelty… she and many others like her need our help

    3. Must say your observations are quite valid, Mel. I had the same misgivings especially about the Nairobi stopover. The G4s Man accommodates the sickly and starving newcomers in his squeezed residence, and his family have to give up the only extra bed plus share just about everything else with them. Yes, here’s a tough one that brings to question the wisdom in such risky generosity, especially in a city that’s becoming more associated with malevolence.
      But try the idea of surviving a cooking pot with about a third of the body already ‘blanched’ by cannibals and nothing becomes difficult to believe anymore. At this point we seek comfort in understanding the omnipresence of the hand of God, rather than the predictable nature of man.
      Still it brings to bear on the reader that in some dark corner of the human soul, therein lies a primitive and sadistic impulse that would derive gratification from causing horrific pain and suffering. It’s an impulse that defies description because the gains are nothing beyond the sadistic joy of watching a helpless woman and her children pleading for a less painful death than being cooked alive.
      After reading this to the end, I couldn’t help screaming out “no, no, no. All men were not created equal!”.
      Even then, hoping that Mokolo and his bunch of beasts have since undergone the only justice befitting them and such as them. Roasting each other alive over a slow fire in a drunken stupor.


    I think there are cruel people out there that even animals would not want to be associated with them, so I will not offend the animals by calling those “humans” animals

    All in all, there is a lot in this story that doesn’t add up.

    I still do not understand how this woman got on a long-distance bus from Uganda to Nairobi while she keeps describing herself as looking like an animal and I quote something here “who stared at them because they hadn’t shaved, smelled and they looked like “mad people.””

    And the baby..How did she survive that long, the wounds and the ill health?

    The G4S guy?

    I thrive in the tiny details, they are the ones that make the bigger picture for me

    1. Its not in your place to ascertain the credibility of the story or not. It affects you in no possible way. Just read the story, deal with whatever emotions its brings in you and move on if you have to but don’t start questioning its authenticity because you do not know. And for your information, nobody judges whoever gets on a freaking bus to anywhere because its all about the money. You disappoint me.

    2. There are buses from Kampala to Nairobi………….no one cares how you look provided you have paid your fare.

      The baby was taken care by God and she even got first aid in the forest from the “KWS” guys.

      The G4S guy was an angel to them……those people who do good anonymously.

      Any other question??????

  137. OMG…this is such a horror story! I thought witnessing your husband being shot in front of you was bad enough but when I continued reading my heart collapsed. Such savagery…oh my God…boiling a baby…I cried at that point because I imagined if it was my baby..such innocent souls. Biko you have written this story so well I could visualize the entire horrid experience for her. Am truly touched.

  138. So sad,so very sad
    I am surprised after reading all this only for other refugees to brand you a prostitute if you don’t marry…

  139. Biko you always write stories but this one…
    Am angry very angry at such humanity. I hope the little one recovered well from the burns. Its hard to be told to boil someone. But your own baby, thats sick. Am in tears.
    I believe in God, one whom I can’t question. This is the moment I say, I dont know what His plan for this lady and her children is, but He needs to visit them.

    I need fresh air to clear this from my head.

  140. Yaani …this is the saddest thing av read ..but Biko are on another level…this has made me laugh amid tear..”:So I stare at a stone at the corner of the compound and I tell myself, don’t blink, don’t blink.”

  141. To all those who dehumanize people by referring to them as ‘those others’ based on prejudiced notions, this one is for you to ponder on

    To those who still believe in humanity, let us ask Biko how we can reach this woman and help her in whichever way

    To those who believe Kenya is not for everyone, hate which leads to war can happen in a heartbeat

  142. There are much more horrid stories in DRC
    There is a place called Pinga, they have a hospital for rape victims and you think you have scene worse then you realise you cannot begin to imagine how humans can turn into animals in seconds. Babies as young as 9 months have been raped and their stories ‘re out of this world. Kenyans need to appreciate peace…..

  143. There is something really wrong within DRC. Does this still happen today. This is not the first time I have read about such evil acts by Congolese to fellow men. is another such story.

    Is there anything happening today to get the perpetrators of these crimes from the forest? Is this being run by the rebels? What is the Congolese government doing about this? Where is the AU?

  144. finished reading, went down on my knees and thanked God for the blessings in my life ….sometimes we stress over small things, then you read a life experience such as this one and then you realize how fortunate you have.

  145. Oh my God!!! She seems to leave everything she looks at with a stain of sadness………………..I have no words to express what am feeling. I am just being reminded to be thankful to God for all his goodness to us even when we don’t seem to notice. Takes me to Psalms 90:10, 12 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
    12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

  146. I read this post twice. Once in the morning, when I got the email notification. And the second time, now. Both times I have had to take breaks in between because I can’t seem to comprehend what I am reading. At some point I thought I was reading the script of a movie. You know, a horror movie of sorts. Up until Biko asked Philip if it was indeed true. And my heart sank. I almost hated myself. For thinking that someone can come up with something so sick, so sinister..even for a movie. No. I tried doing the math of the time they spent in that csmp or whatever. Four months, plus like two months or so, walking and then finally when they escaped. That is almost seven or eight months, just holding onto hope, clinging to it. That is such a long time living in uncertainty. But she never gave up. The pastor at the church was right, though. If they hadn’t died already, they were not going to.

    I have never read anything so horrifying, so heartbreaking, so annoying and so scary all at once. The world is a fucked up place. I mean, evil hovers everywhere like a cloud of smoke that won’t go away. Those Mai-Mai people have no humanity in them. And that’s just putting it lightly. Makes you wonder if they were even borne of women. How do you roast a 12-year old child? A fucking child. While making the rest of them watch! You even think there is no hope for humanity. Until you get to the G4S guy. Then hope is restored, even if just a little. At this point I had had enough. I blinked, alright. Thank God for people like him. He probably doesn’t even remember her name, like she doesn’t remember his. But his deeds will never be forgotten. The never ending battle between good and evil. Good always triumphs. Not because of the many good people there are, but because when evil wants to be felt, it has to be big. So fucking extra! But good, on the other hand, doesn’t need all that. Doesn’t even need an audience. Do one small thing. And the lives you will impact will be phenomenal. Tenda wema, nenda zako.

    I wouldn’t blame her for asking God all those questions. I mean, no one person should have to go through all that. But thank God that something still lives in her. She is one strong woman! I doubt there is anything she would go through now that would shake her. She has seen it all, really. She has seen humanity at its worst. And all she misses is listening to music. Music heals. Thank you Biko for getting her that phone. And I hope that one day, no matter how long it takes, she will heal.

    I feel for the two children who can recall their ordeal. They may never heal. I don’t know if those camps offer counselling services, or simply someone to just talk to. But then again even if they do, probably everyone in the camp needs those services. So probably they never got any help. Probably never will. Even for the last born who was one-year old. She may not remember. But a part of her died in that jungle. I pray and hope that those children did not live through that traumatizing ordeal for nothing. That one day, they will come out of that camp and be important and respected people who can effect some change so that no one ever has to go through that again. For now, I hope that the Mai-Mai will be stopped one day. And may the souls of those who have been victims of that militia group watch over those who survived. And I pray that the lights of the survivors of this and other ordeals, may shine bright!

  147. Sad story heart wrenching.
    Have you people noticed how KENYA is looked up by other states a save haven a small heaven for them . Yet we take what we have lightly, we should strive to uphold this stay peaceful a good example to others.

  148. May God grant her and the children better days ahead. Stories like these make us realize how cruel the world can be.It doesn’t owe us anything. Great job Bikozulu!

  149. Reading this as a mother breaks my heart into a thousand tiny pieces. What she went through is unimaginable. May the Good Lord who saved her n her kids give them peace and a purposeful life.

  150. I honestly don’t know how one human being can go through all that pain. I have read the story over a couple of hours as I stopped and blink. It is the most painful story I have ever read.

  151. I have so much to say about this article. Wow. I cannot even begin to describe the depth of emotion in me right now.
    Witnessing someone getting their head cut off, as if they were some goat. Even worse, someone you know. How do you move on from that? What does that do you to you?

    That ain’t right. This story ain’t right.

  152. I cannot describe what this has made me feel! I can’t imagine boiling my infant daughter. I have been sulking how this year has been a bad one, but after reading this, i can truly say its not even 1% bad.
    My heart goes out to that lady. Lord please intervene in her life.

  153. But God!
    How much sorrow has flooded my heart in this post, I am resisting to let the well waters fall.
    But God! In all His majesty and splendour,
    Is always up to something
    Her strength throw her lows, I cannot seem to but my mind on that however the phrase lingering in my mind is
    But God!
    Her future is bright and this post is going to sponsor that brightness because we don’t just read Biko, we connect and we are all about leaving beyond elf.Let me speak for self.This is a clarion call for those that can in whatever way they can or however they can make her realise how her bright future starts now.

  154. My heart is completely shattered!

    To imagine such savagery exists, Nooooooooooo!!!

    And God knew??

    Ten years from now, I’d love to read her children’s narrative, and how it has defined their lives.

    Thanks Biko, sometimes we need to know about the other side of the divide.

  155. Kindly help us be human by helping her. With something anything… just don’t leave it there (you wrote live it a typo in the narrative). Please Biko I implore you. Today I can’t even read comments as everything is dancing today.

    Don’t let us not be human and learn from this and stop fanning hate and labelling people witches or militia. Please Biko help us help ourselves by preserving our humanness by reaching out to this young lady to be a beacon of HOPE though the heavens may fall.

  156. Jesus. People are evil. That lady is strong. Amd to think that i complain about my life. Lesson learnt. Be grateful for you have always

  157. Me trying to convince myself this is one of those fictious stories…but hey!!! Strong woman there…the trail of questions in my mind right now.. What if I was ..?

  158. Unbelievable! This is just so heartbreaking. She is such a strong woman. May God bless her. I will be glad to help out in any way I can.

    1. Hi Maureen, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  159. Reading this in a mat and can’t stop crying! Trying to locate my handkerchief took longer than it should have.
    You wonder at what point does someone feel like they own your life and they can do with you as they please. If the tables were turned on these animals,and their lives threatened, would they plead for mercy or they long great crossed the human line???
    My heart goes to this lady. The hopeless she felt on all the numerous occasions when she couldn’t protect her kids..or shield them from those atrocities.
    Saddest story ever. You can’t read this and stay the same. Thanks Biko. I feel we can help her in so many ways however small. We could contribute some some and help her set up a business. My two cents.

  160. Biko I refuse to let this pass as ‘another story’…..for the sake of a clear conscience please avail an avenue for us to ‘vent off’. Hint…Paybill

    1. Hi Chalo, thank you for reaching out. You can donate here to support the many refugees with a story like hers, the amount will help the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency help them get their lives back on track.

  161. I have always despised people who say “sisemi Kitu” I just realized they have a reason not to.
    This story can’t have a real comment tied to it.

  162. sad story ,very infact.the imagination itself is giving me horror moments.
    can this woman be relocated to europe or US far away from where she had that traumatizing problems.
    WARNING!.the comments section is longer than the story

    1. This is horrible….. There are such horrible people on earth? Why eat people???! Biko, I started reading the narrative again after it dawned on me it was a true story. Waaah… Mwambie Pole sana if it can help abit.

  163. I will never look at The congo forest the same way again , They day on the other side of our maximum fear are all of the best things in life , Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy , At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate . I stared at the wall so that I don’t shed tears after reading this piece …

  164. I will never look at The congo forest the same way again , They say on the other side of our maximum fear are all of the best things in life , Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy , At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate . I stared at the wall so that I don’t shed tears after reading this piece …

  165. I feel destroyed. I don’t know how to bounce back from this. But then again someone up there said that we shall never understand the mins of God and with that let me rest in His will and grace. Strength, love, grace and comfort to this Mami.

  166. I have been in series of challenges in my life but this is something out of this world….people have gone through a lot only that we don’t read it through their faces…

  167. THIS IS PROBABLY THE STRONGEST WOMAN I KNOW!!!! her story has taught me to appreciate life and the little things I have. Lord…people have it rough out here.. did God forget her ?the answer is no. I look at it as a test of Faith taken to another level. before I read this story, I would die at the sight of my child in a boiling pot .. the countless sexual assaults..watching the 12 year old..all this things sound imaginary but they would literally take me to my grave. how she survived this am still in shock. my heart is troubled. however, the end of this story has changed a lot in me. there’s more to hope than what I thought I knew ,there’s more to grace than just what I believe in and there are more Brave men and women out there. A lot going on in my mind. can we get the woman’s contact? how can we help her or her children? are the miawhatever still there? the people who dint manage to escape? the child? one day that child will be a great person and she will tell a story of how she escaped death from a boiling pot and the teeth of wickedness. oh and the birds will sing… and we shall all blink.

  168. I thought I’m strong,
    I thought the people around me are strong
    I have cried again, and again and again for her.
    I am short of words,
    I can only mumble,
    GOD remember her.

  169. This is really really sad. It reminded me of the movie Beasts of no Nation, except this is a true story. My heart goes out to her.

  170. @bikozulu This story is gut and heart wrenching. Sadly these brutalities continue in East Congo and many other parts of Africa, the survivors finding themselves in the refugee camps and towns of Kenya and neighboring countries.

    I’m wondering whether more stories like this need to be shared to amplify just how dire the situation is?

    The other part of the story is that warring factions find themselves housed in the same camps and furthermore resettled in the same cities in the Western World. The resentment, anger, hatred doesn’t go away they just simmer underneath the surface and result in further issues like alcoholism, dysfunctional families. There isn’t enough psychosocial support for this population!

    Perhaps telling there stories will encourage professional volunteers to try and partner with the humanitarian organizations???

  171. This is a terrible story like so many others I read while working with refugees. There are people suffering in Africa as a result of tribal hatred and we need to thank God for the peace, even though brittle, that we enjoy in Kenya. May God grant us peace and may he comfort and restore those suffering so painfully in this horrible world we live in.

  172. This hit me hard, two sides to mankind;real horrific evil and the healing power of kindness.
    Biko, this can’t be the end, please help us help her, if only to dry her tears for a bit.

    1. However vivid the story is told, however livid we get from such an ordeal, one thing comes out, It doesn’t get easier with life hurdles, we get stronger, even with a single life in hand, they will clutch onto resilience, till their souls lay in silence. Vanquished. But then again even death will one day die.

  173. Yesu,Maria na Yosefu what a story??Biko you are brave this is very very sad I still cannot understand how I pulled this through by reading it all

  174. Is this real or fictional? It is unfair for life to treat this woman as if she was born to pay for the sins of mankind. Too much of an ordeal for a single person to undergo. Great piece though