Campus is one place where every young girl and boy with dreams yearn to be. Many work hard in their final year of High school just to get a chance to study in a university of their choice. But to some, life doesn’t turn out to be a fairy tale.
Catherine Njeri, is one of those who went through hell in campus. Her life went on a downward lane after she was defiled by a fellow student pushing her to attempt suicide about 5 times.
While undertaking her Bachelors of Arts (Sociology and Communication) at the University of Nairobi, Njeri was robbed of her innocence by a fellow student. The born again actress has moved Kenyans to tears after her sad story went viral.
Coming from a poor background, a second last born in the family of 10, had a bright future but one Friday evening in 2007, things changed. Catherine and her female friend met for course work in a male student’s room but after studying for a few hours, her friend left and things turned ugly. The man he thought was going to help her better her grades sexually assaulted her. This was a dark moment in Njeri’s life and she attempted to commit suicide.
“IT CHANGED MY PERCEPTION OF LIFE. I WAS ANGRY WITH MYSELF, THE WORLD AND GOD. I WAS IN A SITUATION WHERE I FELT LIKE LIFE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I WAS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE THE WHOLE OF NOVEMBER. AND I WANTED TO DO IT ON MY BIRTHDAY BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED AND I KEPT ON POSTPONING THINGS 28TH NOVEMBER.
I REMEMBER VIVIDLY THAT DAY BECAUSE I WOKE UP AND I KNEW I WAS GOING TO COMMIT SUICIDE.”
She was not going to live anymore
“WHILE I WAS LEAVING MY CAMPUS ROOM, I SAW SOME POSTERS ALL OVER ADVERTISING ESCORT POSITIONS ALONG MONROVIA STREET. WHILE ON MY WAY, SOMETHING TOLD ME… JUST TRY SOMETHING CRAZY BEFORE YOU DIE, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE ANYWAY,” SHE SAID.
She called the number on the poster and a lady picked and told her that they were looking for escorts and call girls and they met up.
“SHE TOLD ME THAT THEY WERE SHOOTING A BLUE MOVIE AND SHE REQUESTED ME TO JOIN. I AGREED. THERE WAS NO ONE WILLING TO PLAY THE PART BECAUSE THEY HAD TO GET FIVE GUYS TO INTERCHANGE.”
The movie was released after two weeks and the reception was great. Njeri remembers how the producer called her asking her to shoot another one but at this time she was away on holiday.
When they resumed, Njeri was shocked that she was the talk of the campus and her fellow students were making fun of her.
“I GOT TO CAMPUS AND THE FIRST THING EVERYONE WAS TELLING ME THAT ‘YOUR MOVIE IS ALLOVER’. WHILE IN CLASS, MY CLASSMATES WOULD PASS ACROSS NOTES ASKING ME HOW MUCH I CHARGE PER SESSION. PEOPLE WERE CRUEL ENOUGH TO PLAY THE MOVIE DURING CLASS TIME AND YOU COULD HEAR YOURSELF IN THE BACKGROUND.”
“WHILE I WALKED OUT OF CLASS SOMEONE SAID I WAS GOING TO SHOOT SEASON TWO. I TOLD MYSELF I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. WHILE ON MY WAY TO THE HOSTEL, I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO JUMP INTO TRAFFIC. WHEN THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS TURNED RED ON UHURU HIGHWAY I DID IT BUT UNLUCKILY THE CAR DIDN’T HIT ME, IT JUST BRUISED ME.”
Her campus friends recommeded her to a counsellor who took her through the whole journey of recovery. Njeri who was a wild lass in her three years in campus, was taken to a VCT so that the counsellor would know how to handle her.
“THE MAN WHO WAS DOING THE TESTS HAD TO TAKE ME THROUGH SOME COUNSELING AND WHILE FILLING A FORM, HE ASKED ME THE NUMBER OF MEN I HAVE SLEPT WITH WITHOUT PROTECTION.”
Unlike many who would feel ashamed and even lie, Catherine was frank and free.
“I HAD LOST TRACK BUT I KNEW THEY WERE BETWEEN 50-100 MEN.”
Njeri was also raped by their farmhand on her last day of internship in Embu.
“I WAS DOING HOUSE CHORES THAT NIGHT WHILE EVERYONE WAS ASLEEP, I DECIDED TO GO OUT AND I WAS RAPED BY OUR FARMHAND. THIS TRIGGERED SELF HATE BECAUSE I FELT LIFE WASN’T WORTH LIVING. I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO TAKE POISON AND I WAS ALREADY THINKING OF HOW MY EULOGY WOULD READ. I MIXED RAT AND RAT WITH DIFFERENT PESTICIDES AND PIRITONS. AT AROUND 11:40PM I TOOK THE CONCORTION IN AN ANTICIPATION THAT BY MIDNIGHT I WOULD BE DEAD.”
This didn’t work and when I went to Mombasa, I decided to jump into the sea but before she could do it, an Asian man appeared restraining her from doing it.
Njeri’s story is just among the few stories we have heard about as many rape victims suffer in silence.
Watch the full video