LOUD WHISPERS: The Heaven for Little Girls

Every year we commemorate the Global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, November 25th- December 10th. This global campaign is really a local one. It is about what we can all do about the pain of women and girls. Sadly, too many girls and women end up where they are not supposed to be. Do something. Say something. Save someone. Silence is not an option.

I told mummy

That daddy was hurting me

She said, ‘Shhhhhhhhhhh

Hush girl

Don’t let anyone hear you

How dare you?’

She called me a liar

She called me a prostitute

She called me an evil spirit

I was sick for a long time

Then all of a sudden, I did not hurt anymore

I told Teacher Maggie about Teacher Joe

She said ‘Shhhhhhhh’ too

She said I was wrong

She said Teacher Joe plays with girls all the time

She asked, ‘Why are you the only one telling lies’?

Me too. I told Grandma about Felix

She said, ‘Shhhhhhh’

When I started to vomit,

She took me to see the Doctor

When they asked Grandma who was responsible for my state

She said I was a bad little girl

When I tried to open my mouth

She said ‘Hushhhhhhhhh’

I did not know babies could hurt that much

I heard Grandma screaming my name

She was asking me to push

Push! Push! Pushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Then everything went dark

My daddy and mummy did not say ‘Hush’

But they said ‘Yes’, when they came to beg them

Three boys

Three families came

Pastor, Chief, Honourable

Big men and women

They begged and paid

No one spoke to me

So, I went to the back of the house and stared at the water in the well

Then I closed my eyes………………….

Where are we going, I can’t see anything?

See, over there, where the light is coming from

Oh, I see it now

Where is it? Where are we?

Right there, over there

Take my hand

All of us will be safe here

Why will we be safe here?

It is the special heaven for little girls

The ones who were told, ‘Hushhhhhhhhh’.

The Heaven for Little Girls is in ‘Where is Your Wrapper?’ Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, published by Farafina books, October 2020.

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3 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: The Heaven for Little Girls

  1. Rachael December 7, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Hummm. This is deep

    Reply
  2. Iyanuoluwa Isinkaye December 7, 2023 at 7:47 am

    Protect the girl child

    Reply
  3. Adegbola Opeyemi December 8, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    I feel this to my bones

    Reply

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