Final Part

“Yes, Nalia Oletwa killed her father, the Chief of Otongwe, Babu Ntolela Oletwa.”

The court room went silent as all eyes jolted from Nalia to me.

Being an outsider, I hated having to testify against the Chiefs daughter but I had an obligation to do so as the head of criminal psychology in the country as well as this county.

It was my duty, not only to the Chief but to my government, to make sure that this draw back didn’t affect our treaty with the county.

On one side I had the pressure from the higher ups to close this case fast but when a young woman’s life lays in wait I couldn’t sit and watch her die all to save on time.

If you had told me a year ago I would be in this position I would have said you need to get checked.

To my closest friends, I had it all.  The leading job in my department, the perfect husband and the best kids in the world.

I did have it all but when the government gave me my new assignment in the far east, I had no choice but to say my goodbyes and head over to a little village that had just finally agreed for our government to educate their local police department in criminal psychology.

I remember the first day I got here like it was yesterday. The chief was a bit too friendly, his staff even more so but what caught my attention was his daughter.

She was quiet, withdrawn but when spoken too she was rough when her eyes pleaded not to mention the way she looked at me.

I couldn’t tell if it was jealousy or envy but with much beauty and coming from an affluent family I disregarded it as nothing.

Like many aboriginal people family closeness was normal and I understood the need for the chief to keep her close but many of my colleagues found this peculiar and the more I was around them the more uncomfortable I got.

“Being the lead criminal psychologist in the country and having interviewed the suspect, please explain to us how you reached these conclusions.”

The night I got the phone call never in my wildest dreams did I think the case would be that of the Chief with his own daughter as the main suspect.

“Having examined the evidence and spoken to the suspect I came to the firm conclusion that while the suspect did kill the chief, my assessment also showed that she is innocent of the crime.”

The courtroom came alive , some confused, others angered that I, an outsider, brought such allegations to the forefront of what was a peaceful community and the majority disissing me because the Chief had favored me and made sure not to hide this from anybody.

When I first saw her I didn’t believe she did it. She was cold, sure, but she didn’t have the disposition to commit such a heinous crime.

She barely talked when I sat down on the opposite side of the table and hardly batted an eye when I called her name. But I knew she was different almost childlike. So I observed her mannerisms and after a while put a paper and some coloring pens in front of her and what happened next astounded me.

“Nalia suffers from what we like to call ‘multiple personality disorder’. A disease of the mind that manifests itself after a traumatic incident in one’s life. Using a few sound techniques I was able to draw out each persona when I needed to.”

To speak of such things shocked the locals who most often the not believed that those who suffered from mental problems were possessed by demons. My broaching the subject only made this case that more difficult.

“Having interviewed the suspect I found that she had three alter personas that I know of to date. Leana, a five-year-old girl that represents her younger self, Biko a father like figure that protected her and Liana and Nalia the person who you see before us now.”

Having been around the Chief and his daughter a lot over the past year spotting the personas didn’t take me much time. It always surprises me the different characteristic they all have and how the smallest thing such a shuffling can link them together.

Liana was a shy, friendly girl who still had her innocence with her. But even so she was plagued by the darkness that existed around her and lived in an imaginary world in her head.

Liana was Nalia before the abuse started and from what I gathered it began when her mother and father passed away and she was handed over to the chief who was the fathers only living relative. But who would have thought…..

“Dr. Smith, I asked if you could explain what you meant when you said she did and did not do it.”

“My apologies.

Firstly, the person who killed the Chief is her male alter, Biko. But to say he killed him would be a lie. It was self-defense without a shadow of doubt.

 Biko represents the protector that Nalia lost when her parents passed away. Having spoken with him I deduced that his actions were justifiable.”

“Please elaborate?”

“While it saddens me to say this, the chief was sexually abusing Nalia. From the age of five when he took her in as his child, I learned from Biko that soon after, the abuse began and the disassociation took place.

At that point Nalia became a woman and she took to protect her innocence by creating an illusion of escape through the mind of Liana and when the torment became too much, Biko would take over and that is when the violent outbursts occurred.

I didn’t quite understand it at first but now it all makes sense.

For years, this child has been crying out to us all to help her. For years, she has suffered in silence, disillusioned by a community she doesn’t know and a man and new life that she had to call home and not once did we stop to ask her how she was doing.

We blindly followed the complaints of a chief who was trying to cover his tracks and labeled her a troublesome brat.

So yes, she killed him but in light of this, does she deserve to be punished for something that she could not control?

Isn’t her voice just as important as the dead man we all respected because h was Chief?”

 

 

The End

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Extract from Interviews: Liana

 

Interview with: Liana

Age: 5 years old

Gender: Female

Location: B-9 Police Station

Interviewer: Rachel Smith (Lead Psychologist)

 


 

(Click, click)

Liana, I’d like to talk to you about Nalia.

Oh, Nalia is my best friend! She buys me red sweets and lets me play hide and seek and when we are scared she takes me to our hiding tree.

Can you tell me where this special place…hiding tree is?

I normally don’t know.

When he comes, she takes me away and I never know where until she removes her hands and I see, then poof, just like that, she disappears.

Where does she disappear too Liana? Who is he?

The special tree smells like the woods when it rains and there is always a fire that illuminates. She has to go back to the cave so that he notices I’ve not gone away.

It may be a cave I don’t know but Nalia likes to sing about it when he…..

When he what’s Liana? It’s okay I won’t tell.

(Shuffles)

Curiosity killed the cat and those who pry will get the cut.

Liana, what does that mean? Nalia said the same thing…..

He wrote that on the wall

 (shuffles)

Who’s he? Do you mean Biko?

Is he the one you run away from?

(silence)

 

Extracts from Interview: Nalia

Interview with: Nalia

Age: 16 years old

Gender: Female

Location: B-9 Police Station

Interviewer: Rachel Smith (Lead Psychologist)

 


 

(Click, Click, Click)

Where am I? Who are you?

Nalia? It’s me …

Why do you keep looking at me like that……

(shuffles)

Wait, what is this?

Nalia i’m going…

Is this blood?

WHAT IS THIS?

Nalia, I’m going to need you to calm down.

 (Click, Click, Click)

 (shuffles)

Hey relax, look at me.

Its Doctor Rachel, remember? Am a friend of your dad’s and I’ve been helping him with the department?

(silence)

I’m sorry we had to keep you in this room but it’s all for your protection and everything will be made clear in a moment.

(Shuffles)

I know you are confused but I am here to help you.

You are in B-9 police station and you were found unconscious outside Great Fruits Supermarket a few miles from the Chief residences. Do you remember how you got there?

(Silence)

Liana…

Liana?

(shuffles)

Why am I here?

I’ll answer all your questions I promise….

What is all this…. blood?

 …….but first I need you to try and remember what happened before we found you outside the supermarket.

I…..

He…..

(Shuffles)

I can’t help you if you don’t tell me anything Nalia.

(Shuffles)

Listen, Liana ….

(whispers) what have you done?

….told me that Biko was trying to help. Do you know who Biko is Nalia?

I remember now …..where i was.

I was at home with him, the chief.

What were you doing at home?

I….(shuffles)….I was finishing my homework.

You remember don’t you? How the chief always said that school work was important, how he said it low and cold. You remember don’t you miss ‘it’s the gateway to the white lands’?

Said?

Says, said, your language is foreign to me.

Nalia, tell me what happened after you finished your homework?

I …..

He….(shuffles)….

I don’t want to be here anymore. Now either tell me why I am here or let me go this instant.

He….the Ch…Chiief won’t be very happy about this, white woman.

Listen there is no need to be rude and your father….

(Shuffles)

Father (snickers)

Na…

Curiosity killed the cat you know.

You shouldn’t stick your nose into other people’s business.

(Shuffles)

Extracts From Interviews: Liana

Interview with: Liana

Age: 5 years old

Gender: Female

Location: B-9 Police Station

Interviewer: Rachel Smith (Lead Psychologist)


(click click)

Hello Liana. My name is Rachel, how are you?

(shuffles)

…..I’m scared.

I know you’re scared Liana and I’m so sorry about that but guess what…. I’m  here to protect you and I won’t let anything bad happen to you. Okay?

(silence)

Do you want to hear a secret?

(silence)

I’d rather be home too, the boys here all smell like dudu.

(giggles)

There we go, now I’m going to ask you a few questions and all you have to do is tell me anything you can remember.

(silence)

 Can you tell me how you got to the supermarket?

I’m not supposed to say….

They told me not to say.

Who’s they Liana?

(Silence)

Hey look, its okay, I promise no one is going to hurt you.

(Click)

Here have some Fanta, you told the officer you like Fanta, didn’t you?

Yes

Good.

Now Liana I need you to try and remember anything you can, okay?

Okay.

Who is they?

 (shuffles) Biko and…… Nalia.

What did Biko and Nalia tell you not to say?

(Silence)

It’s okay Liana, you can tell me anything, pinky promise.

We are friends, right?

Yeah I guess…

If you promise not to tell…

(shuffles)

 

Biko … He didn’t mean too. He was just trying to…..

(Silence)

Liana?

What was he trying to do……

Liana?

(Silence)

(Cuts Recording)

Through factual and fictional, intimate multimedia portrayals of a cross-section of Nairobi dwellers, this collaborative project aims to engage the visitor into questioning the similarities and differences between people in postmodern, capitalist, urban environments on a global scale.

Challenge your stereotypes and preconceived ideas of the “other” by letting Nairobians introduce themselves and life in their city through audio interviews, large format portraits, fictional texts and video stories.

Entering emotional, intimate landscapes mixing the personal with stereotypes, real life experiences told by those who lived them with fictional texts and stories, you will experience a slice of life in this modern African city.

Submerge yourself into a bubble of someone’s life in this city through listening to each person speaking about subjects as wide ranging as culture, religion, film, drumming, development, storytelling, city and rural life, philosophy, where home is, personal ideas of what “abroad” is like, Kenya: its landscape and characters, Nairobi: its opportunities and divides, traffic, names and tribes, living in a slum, traditional coastal music, homosexuality, living in different countries, Swahili, hopes, dreams, and more.

Read fictional and factual pieces on aspects of the everyday of life in Nairobi by young local writers.

Experience walking home from work along the streets of the eastern part of the city as written by a Kenyan literature student.

Watch people of all ages telling stories of their choice (factual and fictional) straight to camera in a stories’ booth.

Listen to a local man explaining (in mixed Swahili and English) the process of Changaa making, sitting at nighttime by the river in the Mathare slum where people make the popular liquor.

PROJECT COLLABORATORS:
PHOTOS, INTERVIEWS & VIDEOS BY
nekane (www.nkproductions.org)
HAND PRINTS BY
Alan Robertson (alan@2iliffeyard.co.uk)
TEXTS BY
Achieng Duro (achiengdro@gmail.com)
Carey Baraka (careybaraka@gmail.com)
Ivan Irakoze (ivan.irakoze@gmail.com)
Jonathan Fraser (jonfraser567@gmail.com)
Trizah Fay (trizahfay@gmail.com)
ILLUSTRATION OF TEXTS AND MAP BY
Beth Jarrold (info@bybeth.co.uk)
PHOTO FRAMES BY
Lola (loladeozamiz@gmail.com)
POSTER AND FACEBOOK PAGE BY
Aaron Anderson (aaron291094@gmail.com)
WEB SUPPORT BY
Leo Brown
AUDIOVISUAL SUPPORT BY
Bruno Cuartero
THANKS TO
Lola de Ozamiz
Matti Pohjonnen
Tom Nicholls
Fran Hales
Ruth Wedgewood
Alex Mara
EXHIBITION CURATED BY
nekane (www.nkproductions.org)

ALL EXHIBITED PIECES ARE FOR SALE AND ANY PROFIT GENERATED FROM THEIR SALES WILL GO TOWARDS FUNDING E-READING SPACES IN NAIROBI.
A PILOT PROJECT UNDER THE NAME OF “CYBER SOMA” IS BEING DEVELOPED TO BE SET UP IN UMOJA, AN AREA PREDOMINANTLY INHABITED BY STUDENTS AND WITH LIMITED TO NON-EXISTENT INTERNET ACCESS.

 

*I had so much fun working with Nekane and being a part of the show! Shukran*

TUKO MOJA SHOW: London

Gallery Space

Mad love: When your words become a rap 😀

Loki {Part Three}

As his teeth sunk deeper into my flesh and his counterpart proceeded to release me from my skin, I saw her eyes shine golden as the sun. Her hair as wild as its rays. Her movement as swift as the evening winds that passed through our lands every day.

It was she, Loki, the ancestral spirit protector.

Very few had seen her, and even fewer had been in her presence. Loki, some would say, was a myth, while the older children believed it was a meager scare tactic used by the elders but not me.

I believed in her because I saw her once when I went to fetch water. I saw her once reflected behind me from the water which we drink and I knew from that day that she was more than a simple old wives tale.

She leapt and pounced on the Hyenas that threatened to devour me and my family to nothing.

She ripped them apart and her paws dug into their backs and as she finished off the last one I realized that Loki was I.