The wages of war (War child)


As we played with our toys and playmates in the playground, dark clouds were looming.

In the streets, in the universities, in the shambas and on radio people planned the war. They incited and they divided. It’s us against them. For us to survive they must be exterminated.

So the men sharpened their pangas and took up their guns. The children were hushed and sent into houses. The women were frightened, weeping over what was about to happen and told us to hush, play quietly and not to under any circumstances leave the house.

The fighting began: us against them, our neighbors and friends. I wondered what crime had they done. Yesterday we were friends playing together and working together in the field. I asked aloud my mother, “why are we fighting our neighbors’?” my mum cried and told me to hush I was too young to understand.

When it was over my father was dead and my older brother was missing. My mother and sisters were raped and left for dead by soldiers who came to deal with the revolution.

I have wept until my heart has no emotion. I feel like my God has abandoned me because I have prayed I got no answers.

My childhood and its dreams are gone. I am only 8 years old and I feel like my life is already over before it begins. All around me all I can see is blood and death.

I wish we could go back to one month ago when I was playing in the playground. Now am just another warchild, a byproduct of hate and war.

Why do we wage war, why? The cost of war over peace has left me scarred permanently. And the memories of the hate where love once was they haunt me.

Written May 21st 2009

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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]