by Mazuba Mwiinga

At ten, most school going girls put their trust in their teachers for guidance in all sectors of life. But for Beatrice (not her real name), her innocent closeness to her male class teacher at Kasaka Basic School in Monze District of Southern Zambia, rather became a boomerang. The teacher sexually abused her in his office.

But to the teacher’s shock, the little girl reported the abuse soon after it happened, thanks for the knowledge she got from a traditional teacher known as Alangizi.

“She is a very beautiful little girl; light in complexion and very attractive. At school she is the class monitor and has had regular visits to the male class teacher’s office collecting and taking books. That could have been the reason the teacher got tempted” Monze traditional teacher Linah Chiyaama narrates.

Its not all ten year olds who would find it so easy to report such issues as perpetrators are often so close to victims and promises victims all sorts of things to keep the abuse secret. But for this little girl it seems the very opposite happened because of the prior knowledge she had over sexual abuse.

“A month before the abuse happened, I was invited to the school by one of the female teachers to give a talk to primary school girls about sexual abuse. So I had told them that if a man touches your

breasts or your private parts or buttocks its wrong and that if he pulls something that looks like a snake from his pants and ‘bites’ it on your private parts that’s totally wrong and you should immediately tell any female teacher or the police or your parents”, Chiyaama explains.

She says that when she was telling the children she was somehow uncomfortable looking at the age of the little girls she was trying to impart the knowledge about something to do with sex.

“I wasn’t sure whether I was doing the right thing until a month later when I was summoned to the school by the same female teacher who had invited me to give a talk a month earlier. When I reached I was told that this girl had just told the female teacher that her male class teacher has ‘torched’ her with his ‘snake’ on her private parts” Chiyaama reveals.

When they checked the girl’s vagina, they found semen and immediately they took her to Mwanza clinic after informing the head master of the school. From the clinic the little girl was taken to a near by Police post and the alleged abuser was arrested later in the day.

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