Back in 1998, Jane’s biological mother gave birth to her in a local hospital in Kitui. In the same hospital, a certain lady called Pendo a Swahili name which means Love had also given birth to a baby boy. Being a mother of six boys she was not happy after getting another male child, the baby made her feel unlucky. This issue forced Pendo to bribe some nurses in the hospital in order to get a female child through their help. The nurses approached Jane’s mother who agreed to sell her baby to a stranger. Her reasons for selling her child were best known by her since she did not care about her actions.

Six years later Jane grew up to be a beautiful, hardworking and brilliant girl. Her ‘family’ being the best gift God had ever given her. For Jane living with them felt like having a small heaven here on earth which she would never exchange even for sacks of gold .One day, Pendo narrated the whole story on how she got Joy to her best friend simply believing that she would not tell anyone especially her husband. This piece of information annoyed her husband after knowing the truth from Pendo’s best friend. He heartlessly beat Pendo together with Jane who had no idea of what was happening at that time. The man chased them away threatening to kill them if he ever found them on his compound without his biological son.

The only option Pendo had was to live at her father’s house in Kitui. Jane always did all domestic chores in the morning then sell mangoes later in the evening at the market. She hardly had time to rest, play with her age-mates or study. Despite all that, she still maintained her first position in class. Each teacher loved her and admired how she worked hard in her studies hence nicknaming her SMART GIRL. In spite of that, Pendo’s father still detested Jane. The old man always blamed her for his daughter’s misfortunes.

One day, Jane was busy playing with her friends when her grandfather called her inside the house claiming that he wanted to send her to the shop. When she entered the house he slapped the poor girl, locked the door and pushed her on the floor. Jane cried for help hoping that someone would come to her rescue. Fortunately, the children she was playing with had not left the compound. When they heard her crying and screaming for help, they sneaked at the back of the house and crept up the window to see what was happening to their friend. They saw how Jane was struggling with the old man who was trying to remove her clothes while lying on top of her. Pendo’s father wanted to sexually assault the poor girl just because he despised her very much. The children ran for help which came on time before the old man had raped her. Jane is always grateful to each person who ensured that justice was served. The old man was sentenced to life imprisonment after beating Jane and attempting to rape her. Pendo disowned and chased her away. Since then, Jane moves from one house to another trying to get people who can love, appreciate her for whom she is and become part of a family.

Jane is in her final year in secondary school after getting a sponsorship of four years. Her main goal is to become an advocate one day and protect defenseless girls just like her, love and mentor them. Through this story I was able to know that there are some challenges girls and women face in their lives. Although, Jane feels that life has been very unkind to her she is still hoping and praying that there is a light beyond every tunnel in her life. Jane is a strong girl who is growing up to become a great woman in her Society and Country. Her story is like a synonym of why it is difficult to be a woman.

Edith Nene.