She sat dejected, looking at the remains of what was once her home.

“Gone, everything, I have lost everything,” she said.

“I am all in this household, the mum, the dad, the sole breadwinner. The family depends on me” she continued.

Her eyes seemed glazed and numb from shock.

“They burnt it all down.The house, the belongings. The money which I use as capital for my small business. Even the granary with maize that was to see us through the dry spell” she said.

Here she paused a bit, and her voice almost broke.

She pulled herself together and continued….

“The papers, my children’s high school certificates, all burnt, including our identity cards.”

She shook her head in disbelief. She hoped that through a stroke of luck, everything would end up being an imaginary ordeal. Her most frightening, horrifying, distressing nightmare.

The acrid and pungent smell of smoke rose from the dying embers of the fire. A fire that consumed and shattered her world as she knew it.

The smoke hit her nostrils and aggressed her eyes. She drew herself back into the harsh existence she wanted to escape.

It was no nightmare; It was now her new reality.

She looked at me and smiled, a broken, empty, soulless smile.

Her shoulders slumped, and her eyes drifted into the horizon.

She stared hard. Waiting, searching for a glimmer of hope. Solace that came from somewhere, anywhere.

She needed it, to keep her afloat in the sinking sand of mayhem and broken reality.





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