“I was raped when l visited Zambia, kept the baby’ -American woman

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‘I was raped and kept the baby’ Four months after she was sexually assaulted, Keisha Fisher, 34, a midwife from Ohio, USA, realised the unimaginable – she was pregnant

‘When I look at my five-month-old baby son Hans-David, I feel a wave of love, a surge of pride and immense gratitude for the happiness he’s brought me. Normal emotions for any mum – even though he was conceived in the worst possible circumstances. A child of rape, he came out of the darkest experience of my entire life.

 

Growing up in the American Midwest, I’d always dreamed of going to Africa. I knew there was so much HIV there and I just wanted to help those in need. So, when I was 26, I packed my rucksack and went to work with different charities across Zambia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zimbabwe, before settling in South Africa to train as a midwife. When I’d finished my placements at the end of 2013, I decided to go home to visit my parents Dwight, 62, and Nancy, 61, before looking for a job in Tanzania.

 

I had to travel through Zambia to catch my flight in December, so I went to visit some friends I’d made while working there a few years earlier. I stayed with several families who lived together in a small cinder block house with electricity, but no running water. I was overcome with exhaustion from my bus ride, so they gave me my own room – a big mark of respect and kindness in such basic conditions – and I crashed out.

A few hours later, I was startled awake by a dark figure on top of me. Mute with terror, I tried to fight him off, but he was too strong for me. In the moonlight, I thought I recognised him as a man from the village but it was so surreal, like a nightmare.

 

His hand clamped over my mouth, he started raping me, mumbling words I couldn’t understand as I wasn’t fluent in the language. I squeezed my eyes shut in absolute horror, praying someone would hear what was happening over the noise of the radio playing in the living room and come to rescue me. But no one did. I kept telling myself not to do anything that would make him hurt me more.

 

A few minutes later, it was over. As he fled, I curled into the foetal position and cried until the sun came up. The next day, I told my friends nothing of the attack – in total shock, I just wanted to forget it had ever happened. I knew if I went to the police, I’d have to stay there while they investigated, and I was desperate to get away.

So I plastered on a fake smile, waved goodbye and jumped on a bus. As I travelled to the airport, I felt sick with mixed feelings of guilt and disgust. Why hadn’t I fought harder? Was all of this my fault somehow? Even though I had worked with AIDS sufferers, it didn’t occur to me that I might be infected – or pregnant. I just shut down and refused to think for a moment longer about what had happened.

 

 

Back home in the US, I pretended everything was normal. My mum was having surgery on her foot and my dad has multiple sclerosis, so for the next few months I focused all of my energy on helping them.

I didn’t let myself dwell on that terrible night – not even when I missed my period. With all the travelling I did, my cycle was often erratic, so I put it down to that. However, by March 2014, my period still hadn’t arrived.

 

To put my mind at rest, I did a pregnancy test. It was positive. Shell-shocked, I convinced myself that I must have conceived and miscarried, as I had no other symptoms – and I couldn’t face the alternative. Tearfully, I told my parents the bare minimum of what happened in Zambia. They were devastated, and urged me to go to a pregnancy crisis centre.

It was then, on March 18 2014, that my fear became a reality when a scan revealed I was 17 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. Watching the foetus wriggling on the screen was one of the hardest moments of my life.

 

I’d always dreamed of having kids some day, but not like this. The love I instinctively felt was tinged with a sense of terror. I considered two options: adoption or abortion. Deep down, I felt this baby had a right to life, no matter what his father had done, but could I keep it? Could I live with a constant reminder of the rape? How would I even support us both?

 

 

The staff at the crisis centre were amazing, counselling me and gently explaining that I needed to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Thankfully, the tests were all clear for both me and the baby, but I still didn’t know what I was going to do.

 

Back at my parents’ house, I thought about the baby growing in my womb. It was a part of me, as well as my attacker, and I realised that no matter how hard it was, this baby’s place was with me. So I broke the news to my friends, although I didn’t go into details. I couldn’t bear saying the word ‘rape’, so I said I was ‘taken advantage of sexually’ and left it at that. Some cried with me, others were speechless with shock. It was horrible reliving it each time.

 

When I went into labour, with my mum at my side, I struggled when I had to push at the end. My body was in so much pain and I wasn’t able to control it.

The last time I felt that way was during the rape, and the connection was too much to bear. The midwife, who I’d explained everything to, had warned me that might happen, but there was no way I could have prepared myself for it. I battled through the mental and physical agony until Hans-David Munana Joy was born, weighing 8lb 7oz.

 

Before the birth I’d prepared myself that he could look like his father, with dark skin and African features, but gazing at his beautiful face didn’t trigger flashbacks – I just felt grateful he was mine. Since then, the bond I feel with him has grown stronger. He’s a constant source of joy to me, healing the scars left by the horror of rape.

In a few months, I’m planning to return to Tanzania to work as a midwife with Hans-David in tow. I want to build a life for us on the continent I still love, even though I know it’ll be hard to manage on my own.

While I understand that other women might find it too hard to keep a child conceived in such traumatic circumstances, it was the right decision for me. I try not to think about the man who raped me, and I don’t want to report him to the Zambian authorities. If found guilty, he might be stoned or beaten to death by his community, and I don’t want his death on my conscience.

 

When Hans-David is old enough to understand, I’ll tell him the truth about his conception. I know it may hurt him and, of course, that worries me. As his mum, all I want to do is protect him from pain. I can only wish by then I’ll have taught him that it’s possible to find hope and happiness in the darkest of things, like I have done.”

The Sun

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119 COMMENTS

  1. what kind of an image do u want to paint on our country??? just tell us about the killing of black teens by white police officers,there is no truth in yo story dear so just try something new.

  2. Stoning and and beating is a Muslim or Jewish use of punishment if we’re going to be stereotypical. However the person could have been one of her hosts? You would have to know the rooms etc to walk in without notifying your presence. A girl was raped twice in broad daylight on public transport either in the UK or states. It can happen. I’m so sorry it happened in our beautiful country. However many young women come to “Africa” and are readily available for some recreational and consenting sex. Even visiting men. The truth is we’ll never know.

  3. Gaps gaps gaps!! This story has too many important parts missing to be convincing!! If she reports the “dark figure”, he might be jailed or stoned to death? Never heard of such acts of stoning especially in Zambia. If it was just a dark figure muumbling things she couldn’t hear,then what is she likely to report?!
    Reporter,go back and get more facts,this doesn’t quite make sense!

  4. As usual in the comments bellow, u shall find the sad but very true side of us zambians or is it africans, the criticism and negativity in the comments below, yal not the ones that were raped so i suggest you hold back your unfare sentiments as only she knows her story.. If im a party girl and i get drunk, if someone forces themselves on me no matter how weak i am is still rape

  5. She knows the father just be honest and stop hating. Alot of HIV?? She went back to the village for the same black man! how big is the house? how did the intruder enter when everyone was wide awake? she enjoyed it that is how come she ignored all signs of being pregnant in the early stages. i hate such stories so primitive.

  6. This Lady was not raped…..! They had made an appointment with the man, ati ‘wise nga bwaila’. So she equally enjoyed the fuck. “Volenti non fit injuria” (No harm is done to the one who is willing).

  7. Could she accept an apology and accept to live with this man who raped her since she want to bring up the child in a good way? Please Lusaka Voice find out for me. This guy really loved her but was just very scared to approach her. Let us know her response

  8. Okay maybe i missed something!..says she was given a room to herself by the occupants…so the rapist bypassed everyone without notice,raped her and left?she cried until morning and no one heard her sniffs and scoffs?even in the morning no one noticed anything about her face?…Zambians always guard their guests in any home and will never leave them unattended and when asleep all unnecessary noise especially loud music is turned off!….i dont want to judge but if there could be a bit more clarity….and the way i know their kind…the media would have a summer day hosting a ranting raped woman!!!….all things being equal i think it was mutual….thankyou for bearing for us but you dont to say rape….barbarians are extinct!!!

  9. We don’t stone people to death here in zambia this lady is fake so is the story, she knows the person who slept with her and after discovering she was pregnant she made up this story so she can cover her tracts.she only came here so she can have child with African decent but she didn’t know how to break the news to parent thus creating lies.

  10. too bad…bt in the village entering som1’s house unnoticed n goin direct 2 d bedrom of a muzungu plus do d racing. it wz an act frm sam1 frm within d house thus she didnt say nthin tho she knoz who did it

  11. So Zambians are savages who would kill the baby if they knew he was conceived through rape? And the house conveniently did not have running water so she does not wash herself after the rape?

  12. This story has a lot of twists and turns…she says she didn’t see the figure n again she doesn’t want to report him coz they might kill him and again she gave the boy an African surname or maybe its just me who doesn’t get the name n lastly how tired can one be to even not feel someone undressing u n get on top of u…..am failing to reconcile these facts…..sad as the odeal may have been true or not.

  13. I feel for you and sorry on that animals behalf, I believe you coz. I have a dear relative that happened to recently and I feel hurt. he must be haunted were ever he is. The baby is so cute.

  14. Those who’ve been to school and learned psychology/counseling and have practiced counseling will say this is a very true story, and I agree. But for our other friends and the heartless they are the ones saying anything here. Lady, this is a touching and brave story. We must not forget to also thank the good Lord who has given you this unique grace.

  15. Sad sounding story but in my view it looks fake from all angles. It was not so late as there were people still playing music and she never raised alarm even after the guy had left her. Following morning she kept her cool than doing what a sane person would have done, i.e. inform the host, report to police and go to hospital for a medical report and also that they give her medication in case of infection. After discovering that she is pregnant thats when she decides to tell her “ordeal”, worse still she then decides to go back to Africa where she was “raped” from, either she is courageous or just dumb or she wants to go and show “daddy mandingo” his gorgeous baby. The last puzzle is the name Munana given to the baby, was the baby named after a place in Africa or that is daddies name? In my view the romp was consensual, she knows the guy very well but she has just made up this cock-and-bull story to save her face. My opinion

  16. none of us witnessed the incident. Therefore, none of us can draw a conclusion on the authenticity of this story. If its true, God bless her but if its not, Lord have mercy! So stop acting like your opinions are facts.

  17. In the Zambian criminal justice system a person convicted of rape is sentenced to imprisonment, the minimum sentence is 15 years and maximum is a life sentence. A person found guilty of rape is neither stoned or beaten to death, stop painting us black or uncivilized. It is so wrong. I seriously doubt the authenticity of your story. We are a civilised Country with laws.

  18. Hahahahahaha. 1. In a house with electricity. 2. A dark figure. 3. She didn’t tell her friend or report the dark figure. 4. Hans David ‘Munana’ (the dark figure’s name) 5. She knows him too damn well but won’t report him. She’s a liar. She just embarrassed to say that a nobody impregnated her.

  19. If its true then she is dull elo naye muzungu because she claims africa is aids ravaged why didn’t she go to the hospital to get ant retro virals that they give after possible exposer to prevent from possible infection,we all know that they give that to rape victims just incase the asailant was infected!

  20. you who are saying she was not raped, in your right thinking mind don’t u think the men she. might have slept with as u perceive wud have shown up to claim the child? seriously who wouldn’t want this cutie

  21. Vry stupid woman you were jst ashamed to tell your family you were doing black men in Afica so you came up with the rape story.Who the fuck has ever been stoned to death in Zambia for rape?.Shame on you.
    Chita Get Out.

  22. Well,there is something funny or not true about the story,I guess u can’t be raped in a house full of people without alerting anyone and secondly she says there was this figure on top of me,then again she says even if she went back she can’t report the man,my take she got horny and had sex with this black animal called an african and is ashamed to tell her whit friends and relatives that she was inpregnated by this zambia animal so rape is the only way to put it,be real girl!

  23. I am not sure I believe her story. It is possible that she was raped it is also possible that she just had a one night stand and was too ashamed to tell the truth. I mean the first and obvious question is why she didnt report it or tell anyone but she kind of covers that in the article so I won’t chastise her there but even if she didn’t report it to the police why did she not go to a clinic to get checked before she flew out or after landing in the USA? That’s just weird. Did she think there was absolutely no chance she would get pregnant? She just talked about there being alot of AIDS in Zambia did she not know or think she was at risk of contracting it? I mean if she got checked even when she got back to the States they could have checked for all that kind of thing and given her treatment in a totally confidential manner. Come on now. I am just not particularly convinced by this story.

  24. Oh dear!! What a shame, that rapist has brought untold shame on us as a zambian people…cause this woman will always think of of zambia in a painful way…I would tell to come and name him because unlike TZ we don’t beat and stone people but jail them

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