Fiona Ruzha and Tariroyashe Goredema
…tale of an abused child
Since birth, Enara Malenga life has been in misery and dejection because his father wanted a son.
Enara, 34, grew up with a violent and abusive father who failed to accept her from birth.
Her father was married before and the marriage did not work because he wanted a female child.
Because of this obsession, sometimes he would suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and often flew into fits of rage with Enara being the target because of her gender.
Between the beatings with tree branches, periods of starvation, and being locked out of her home overnight from the time she was five years old, Enara became desperate for a way out but unfortunately it was impossible since she had nowhere to go.
“My father wanted a son, he never loved me from birth he used to beat me up every time I came home late from school.
“When I was born my father only accepted my responsibility because he thought I was a son,” she said.
“When I was born life was hell for me because I was a constant reminder of the mistake that he had with my mother.
“He wanted a son and thought my mum was going to give him one,” said Enara.
Enara dropped her passion for pursuing with hockey because her father demotivated her and deprived her of the right to education when he stopped paying school fees.
“I used to play hockey at school and I was in the team, my father used to beat me every time I went for practice but I never stopped playing that’s when he decided to stop me from school.
“When I reached the age of 15 he decided not pay my fees and he wanted to marry me off,” she said.
Research states that normally children who are abused end up trying to commit suicide and in the case of Enara it was no exception.
“I tried to take my life and when I was in hospital my father said he wished me dead.
“Two years later my father fell ill, my mother had to work so I had to look after him on my own even when it came to bathing and changing him,” she added.
Cases of child abuse have been on the rise and last year, Childline Zimbabwe recorded close to 700 cases of different forms of child abuse from Mashonaland West in the first six months of this year.
The organisation’s monitoring, evaluation and research coordinator Memory Mhlanga said besides sexual abuse, children also complained of neglect and other forms of physical abuse.