Siko what?

Dear Africana Woman,

Today I have been off. I woke up and my body was sore. And you know when I feel pain around my spine then I know that woah this could be something serious. This is because, way back when, I believe my year 10 at boarding school, it was almost time for lights to go off. And I was chatting with a friend on her bed so I jumped onto me bed to get ready for bed. The lights went out and in a split second there was a searing pain through my spine. I could not move. Here’s the thing with boarding school, or at least the one I went to, whenever you declare you are not feeling well, the one and only diagnosis is malaria. So they immediately put everyone on malaria medication and just grossness. Somehow, I was transferred from this dorm to the sick bay and there I must have tried to sleep on a bed for one day, but gurl it was painful-oh. I said nix. That’s how my mattress was laid on the ground. Plus they had started me on a malaria regime. Chloroquine guys was the bane of my existence. It is disgusting. I am one of those people who takes a long time to swallow pills. What happens is that I put it in my mouth and it will stay there for a good five minutes whilst I psych myself up to swallow. I don’t know what the problem with swallowing is. Whether I think that I will choke or turn pink kaya, there is just a genuine phobia at that point. Now imagine putting water in your mouth with a pill like chloroquine and it starts dissolving. Jeezus. Even now just thinking about it I feel like puking. So, I developed this technique where I don’t take pills with water. I have to swallow first (after 5 minutes) then I wash it down my oesophagus with water.

Back to the story so these Nuns had me in the sick bay under the auspices of Malaria. But there I am lying on the floor not able to move let alone eat, writhing in pain. I was in there for maybe a week and a half. No improvement. I used to have this one hallucination that looked like a full moon and then a black line would start to scribble on it. This would drive me crazy because I could not get it out of my mind. And for whatever reason it felt like as the scribble grew my heart was being squeezed. The connection is weird. Is there even one? Needless to say that was agony.

A year or two before my illness another student had died having gone through the sick bay. So these women were looking at me with suspicious eyes. Like who is she trying to die on here. That’s how they called my mum and told her to come and get her child. They washed their hands and said, "We have failed." That’s how Chulu went home.