It was early in the morning and I was at the Centenary Park round-about, about to buy chewing gum from an old female hawker seated on the floor. A car stopped several meters ahead of us and a young girl climbed out.
She had clearly come from a night out and was dressed in see through tights and a short top. Her underwear was visible. She was wearing high heels and was skittering about on them. She had been dancing all night and it was obvious her feet were in agony. She also looked embarrassed. She had her arms crossed over her chest and her head hung down.
Out of nowhere, a gang of men appeared. I shall not say the language they applied to her. But they did touch her. Everywhere. She ignored them and kept her head down, walking quickly and trying to keep her balance as they pulled and groped at every part of her body.
It was a traumatising sight to see and I could almost feel tears coming to my eyes. They pulled at her breasts, they groped her buttocks, they grabbed her thighs and her movement was impeded by their molestation as they had a high old time. I no longer recall how many men they were. Traffic police across the road were staring and doing nothing.
My hawker stood up all of a sudden and wrapped a lesu around her waist. I was alarmed because I thought she was going to join the abuse parade. She calmly walked towards the group as they approached us. When she had reached them, her hand rose and she delivered to one man a slap so loud I jumped. His friends instantly run across the road but she refused to let the one she had slapped go. She beat him and slapped him, shouting:
“Stupid man! Why are you touching this girl? Do you know her? Is she your sister? Who do you think you are? Kumanyoko! Musilu gwe!”
She went on for a few more seconds before she delivered one last stinging blow and let him go. He run to join his friends and they disappeared. The old woman turned to the girl and said:
“It’s okay. Just go home quickly and change”.
I thought that was really cool.
As curator, Lindsey Kukunda only wanted to share one story on this blog but was ordered at gun point by someone called Angela to write this one because it is a positive example of civic action. Her other story is somewhere down along the line.