That night I didn’t even think about the consequences of my actions,teenage recklessness or adrenaline rush? All i recall is how it was to affect me for years to come.
I was 14 when thieves broke into my family home. My parents were attending a funeral in the village. I was left in the company of my girlfriend and my cousin who was a few years older than us. All i remember is seeing a huge shadow in the lounge, i went out to check and the next thing i noticed was a heavy glass flower vase coming my way.
I shouted for help, in no time we were all jumping and shouting . I am sure a few neighbours heard the noises but took long to react. As the thieves tried to escape by jumping the fence, i followed in hot pursuit, i jumped the fence and as they sprung in the dark towards the forest i did not stop either. Only when they vanished into the thick dark bushy area did i stop. As i turned to go back home with the pride of a wounded puppy, i realised there were some men from my neighbourhood armed with all kinds of weapons from sweeping brooms to spears. They too were pursuing the thieves. It was too late, the burglars had escaped with the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR), before dropping and damaging the TV and stereo.
If you grew up in the 90s like me, you will know how precious these gadgets were. Not only because were they expensive but there were the latest technology, well at least in my ghetto neighbourhood….
For a minute everyone forgot about the incident, i was showered with praises people were more interested in how i had jumped the fence and why i had followed the burglars. No one took notice of my bleeding toes, the gate spikes had cut deep into my right foot.
A few days later Police investigations led to the arrest of the duo, some young men from the neighbourhood . In court i was the state witness and they each got a 2 year sentence. We never got the VCR back.
For days to come, i made the neighbourhood headlines and for years to come i was to be the hero. I was scared…
I feared that the two would one way or another seek revenge. This incident is the reason why i find it hard to sleep alone or sleep in the dark….
I get to hear this word a lot . People telling me i am brave, for writing on this blog, for sharing my story or openly talking about my gender identity.
I know now that what i did that night when i was 14, was bravery. Right now i am just living my life. I am writing my story to connect , to learn and to share. I am not being a hero, i am not doing it for applause, i am honestly just being me, thinking out loud and just defining and redefining myself.