When I was younger, I lived a cushioned life, and being the only girl I was a little on the spoilt side. I had everyone in the family wrapped around my little finger (except for my mum of course- she saw right through me) and I could have gotten away with murder if I wanted. My father always made sure I had everything I needed though he was not too keen on buying things he liked to call “wants”. Basically I knew that school fees would be paid on time, I always had clothes to wear and I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. We all did. We may not have had all the luxuries we wanted but he had all the important stuff covered. I felt secure and content.

After my dad passed away, life took a turn in the “wrong” direction. I was for the first time in my life, sent home from school for failure to pay fees and I was traumatised. Things kept going downhill and I prayed for an end to it. Our family had to make some pretty drastic lifestyle changes. I had to be taken out of boarding school and I had to go to a school close to home to save money but also because my mum was sick and I needed to be home to take care of her. I had to make do with second hand uniforms and on some days we had no idea where the next meal was coming from. We often had to swallow our pride and take handouts from well wishers.

It is at this time that I learnt valuable lessons about the human population. I learnt that most people will kick you when you’re down. Some will try to take advantage of you and very few will help you out of the goodness of their hearts. I mostly encountered the vultures that tried to take advantage of my situation and I had to keep fighting them off even after things got better. The majority of them were men, much older than I was, pretending to be sympathetic of my situation.

Everywhere I went I was hounded by at least one such person. The teachers at school, neighbours, my friends’ fathers and brothers. And later on when I was a bit older and going to work my workmates, especially my superiors. The moment they heard about my background they would start hanging around like hungry hyenas. Their shameless attempts at flirting were rather pathetic. All of them were married. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking to myself “I’m not that pretty” and wondering what they all wanted from me. I soon realised that they knew I was in a bad place and I was also vulnerable. They knew that it would be very easy for me to be led astray especially if I saw a chance at a “better” life.

Boy were they in for a surprise. I may have been young but I was far from naive and I knew exactly were the path they wanted me to take would lead. There was nothing but disaster at the end of it. I just thank God for making me level headed and for giving me people who loved me and were genuinely supportive through this time. I have to admit though that sometimes the offers these strange men presented to me were rather tempting and it took a lot of strength to say no. I remember my very first job, the owner of the firm wanted to buy me a flat of my own if I agreed to become his wife number three. Yes three. I can only imagine the horror of sharing my husband with two other women. I thought I was quite clever for being able to reject these advances but now I know better and I know that God had big plans for my life and wasn’t going to let me get side tracked for anything not even for all the money in the world.

I could have chosen the easy way out. There was nothing stopping me from exchanging sexual favours for money. I could have even ended up a full time working-girl who does her business at street corners. But no, God loves me so much and He wouldn’t have any of that. I needed the money and there was no source of income aside from my mother’s miserable pension and there were medical bills and school fees to be paid. There were mouths to feed and a whole bunch of other necessities for which money was needed. It also didn’t help that our country’s economy was slowly “dying” . Up to now I have no idea how we made it through that tough phase. It was indeed by divine intervention. I’m really glad I listened to my conscience and slummed it out during that time.

Otherwise I wouldn’t be enjoying the fruits of my perseverance. I’m not rich but I’m OK and I know God has yet to finish with me. It really pains me to see all those girls who do “things” for money. I look at them and think “that could have been me”. They wanted a quick fix and made choices that seemed to be the best at that time. They made life long decisions based on lies and honey traps and now it’s too late to turn back. I learned that there is a season and a reason for everything under the sun (Ecc 3:1) and that we should not let our current situations define us or determine who we become in future.