Not everyone has the courage to talk openly about being raped, let alone write a book detailing the heart-breaking experience of being abused by the person who was meant to be your protector and provider.
But Khayelitsha author Sisanda Ncokazi has self-published a book titled Bunzima Ubom which reveals the trauma she suffered from the tender age of 10 and the endless challenges she faced while growing up under the guidance of her grandparents and uncle.
She said the abuse occurred in Engcobo village in the Eastern Cape from 1992 until the end of 1996.
Ms Ncokazi said she had not told anyone about the incidents and for years she lived with this dark and painful secret.
“I will give my parents this book to read and this is how they will know about it. I did not know how to tell my parents that my uncle had raped me – not once but countless times,” she said.
Ms Ncokazi said she had been pondering for more than 20 years whether she should write a book about the traumatic experiences which changed her life completely.
But she had been reluctant to face her horrific childhood and feared that she might never able to recover.
However, the 35-year-old unemployed mother of two said she finally managed to pull herself together and face her past head on.
She said one of her motives for writing the book was to find peace and healing.
She said the book talks about a young girl who lives with grandparents but whose grandmother had been abusive towards her. She said the grandmother would sometimes starve her for no reason and without the knowledge of her grandfather. She said her uncle had noticed that her grandmother had been treating her badly and pretended to help by giving her food.
However, it never crossed her mind that her uncle had an ulterior motive behind his kindness.
She said she simply thought that her uncle was playing a parental role. She said after some time her uncle demanded that she to repay him for his kindness. Unsure what to say, she said she told her uncle that she was still at school and did not how to repay him, but offered to do household chores for him.
She claims that her uncle told her something that she had never imagined – he wanted to have sex with her. She said the rapes occurred a number of times and there was nothing she could do.
She said it was difficult to write the book as she had to relive the experiences and open old wounds.
She said at times she would find herself silently weeping as she recalled her past while she was writing the book. But she believed that this was one of the necessary steps that she needed to take in her healing process.
She said she used to have an uncontrollable anger towards men but after writing the book things had changed a bit.
She said felt compelled to write the book as she also wanted to share her story with other people who might have experienced similar or worse trauma in their lives.
“I want people who have been raped to feel that they can talk about rape and not feel ashamed. The books hopes to provide healing to rape victims and make it clear that they should not blame themselves for what happened to them. Rape is not an easy issue to talk about. Rape has robbed me of my virginity,” she said.
She said it took her nearly three weeks to write the book. She said in terms of sales, the book was not doing well as she had no publisher.
She some poor marketing and a lack of funds were some of the main factors that she faced as a budding writer. But she said she hopes that people would buy the book. She said she was planning to write another book in January.
Call 061 398 3294 for more information about the book.