Fall and rise as a team...woman!

Womanhood | By Edith We Utonga, Musician | 07 May 2015

The invite said shorts and shades, girls only and promised to be fun as I got the call from my girlfriend insisting that I be there. The party was going to be at a campsite almost two hundred kilometres from the capital city. A message on Whatsapp reminded us departure time would be early morning,  seven, very early for some of us on a Sunday but considering who we were doing it for, it had to be done.

International Women’s day saw us leave town about midday,  trust our birthday girl’s boyfriend to try and fit in this all girls outing as our driver, delaying us in the process. Nine girls and their handbags, squashed in a  four by four Isuzu, cooler boxes with all types of drink, baskets of food, salads, meats for the braai, a cake box,and the one man driving,the car was packed. We got to the campsite and found out from the manager we were late as they had a program planned for us, team building, a cruise and horse riding. We quickly changed into comfortable sporty gear, packed our foodstuffs on a counter near some braai stands and dashed to meet our coach for the team building sessions. The games were fun but tiring and soon my curvy, fuller bodied and big team mates were bored started complaining and confronted the coach. We were given a break and that’s when we discovered the horses at the site had helped themselves to some cake! It was upsetting but the day had to
go on.

We took onto the cruise boat, mud baths and finished off with braaing. It was at this point that the only man in the group decided to start calling the manager of the site to come  and replace the cake that the horses had helped themselves to. We argued that we had to go,as we had left children at home,some had not told the truth about where they were going and needed to get home on time. The young manager was so intimidated by the man but still could not do anything to compensate for the lost cake.

It was getting dark, we had to start making our way back to the capital,yet when we got into car packing our stuff, and arranging our seating, the man told us to get out of his car if we were not prepared to wait for him to get management to pay for the cake...all hell broke loose, the birthday girl offering to give the man some money to compensate for the lost cake but he’d have none of it. He told us to get out of his car, threatened his woman and scolded her in our presence.

We off loaded all our things from the car into the young managers car who got threatened not to take us anywhere. Again we off loaded and started walking towards the main road, ten kilometres away. Before we got any further we stopped as it was very dark and waited for the man to leave... he drove off while we hid in the nearby huts at the site and we waited for the manager to take us to the nearest town. Instead, the man drove back soon after and demanded to drive with the young manager to go look for us. By the time they got back I was tired of hiding and insisted to the ladies that we do not hide but confront him and get him to let the manager take us to the nearest town. That failing we got subjected to something almost similar to abductees as he would not move, time moving, and threatening at some point to lock us up at his farm.

We regrouped, all the team building exercises coming into play, and planned on how we were going to get our selves from the site. As we made calls and strategies to leave, the man, came to us and declared we were leaving, and we were going the way we came....silence, as we decided what to say next, uncertainty on some of the ladies faces as nobody wanted to be driven by one who had downed a whole bottle of Johnny Walker Whiskey and had subjected us to such trauma.

The coach had put us through an exercise of learning to convey a message in silence that very afternoon and I saw it being put to good use as we walked towards the car. The managers car was parked next to the mans car and instead of getting into the car, six ladies jumped into the managers car, immediately provoking the man, who quickly ran to the car trying to stop one of the ladies who had started the car... mean while his four by four was revving, keys in the ignition, and all I did was look at the birthday girl, and we jumped into the car, skidding our way off the site.

By the time we got to the police station in the nearby town, the man had reported his car stolen,and the officer in charge thanked us for bringing the car to his station. We begged for him to give us escorts to go back to the site to pick up the remaining ladies as we had noticed their car had not made it as fast as they wanted and the man caught up with them. Worried, we called the girls first before we left and they told us the car had developed a fault and they were slowly making their way to the station, the manager and man in tow.

By the time they got there, one of the ladies husband had arrived from the capital city, driving a Chaser, which normally sits five and being the only car available, there was no way we could all go at once. Birthday girl insisted she and other  three stay behind and wait till next morning but, having had a class that afternoon on staying as a team, all nine of us, Chanel, Gucci bags included, fit into that car, making sure we left nobody and drove back. Our knight delivered us all home, door to door,explaining to spouses, parents what had happened and the last one got home at four thirty in the morning.

Lesson
There’s a greater chance of success in working as a team and helping each other up when they fall. We could have left our birthday girl with her furious and dangerous boyfriend, but we did not. We could have been intimidated to silence and abuse but we fought hard to get out of the wilderness as a team. We fell and rose as a team. To Rumbi, Busi, Melo, Rumbi wacho, Eve, Patu, Tary and Maggie, you fought a good fight and we got home in one piece. Well done
Happy International
Women’s Day