The Palace Of Sins
Creative Works By: [Ken N Speranza]
The palatial mansion stood huge as its great artistic walls made it visible at the summits. The trees that surrounded the place made it look like a hidden paradise. It was situated on a hilly area such that everyone who paid residence to the area would perceive its rooftops. At the metallic electronic gate entrance, one would view the international standard swimming pool and a dozen nude strippers. As new time visitors to the place, we were marveled at the great sight of the ‘hidden insides’. All we saw before we ever had this great chance to get here was the rooftop chimney and the great walls surrounding the palace. Nothing more would be made credible of what lay inside the mansion.
We met this gigantic soldier whose appearance sent chills through the backbone to the popliteal fossa of our humble making. He was a giant of a man with great shoulders equipped with oak beam arms. His face was a product of multiple gang fights and a protruding scar on the left cheek could send a message. Not a good message though. He turned his face towards us as we approached the gate. He glanced at us as if calculating the momentum needed for us to escape the premises. He had adorned the country’s official Army Uniform complemented with white gloves on both arms. We were inside a Mercedes S-Class vehicle, which was used for ferrying people in and out of the premises. The vehicle halted at the soldier’s place. The soldier bowed down at the driver’s place and saluted after recognizing the chauffer.
He allowed us in after about 15 minutes of serious scanning and scrutiny. He looked skeptical about us even after he had completed the inspection. On opening the front door, the fragrance of unique different flowers attacked our nostrils. From our intelligent angle of elevation, the palace was approximately six floors.
Our Main Reason for visiting Mr. Pedro La Keta was to give him his letter from the media asking him to avail himself for an interview on 10 March. We were highly experienced veteran Journalists by then. We were to stay at his premises for three days, as he was to share some of his stories with us. He was a man who loved story telling.
Our 3-day stay at the place made us learn things that hit our hearts so hard. The palace had approximately 200 servants who worked day and night. They resided in old shanties just around the mansion. They would come in the morning and leave in the evening. Their faces, from a psychologist or a medical analyst could tell they had undergone through so much suffering in silence.
From one of the scared employees, we learnt that they reported to work at 4am and left for their homes at 8pm after a hard day’s work. They were working under the pressure of Mrs. Pedro Azangata – His wife. One of the workers told on a written piece of paper that they were facing fatal problems. They had even nicknamed her ‘Jezebel’. Another ‘Maid’ of the palace told us that they were threatened not to object any of their grievances to us because we were assets of the famed media houses. In other words, Mr. Pedro had made plans earlier. He knew we were coming and he had the knowledge that we were higher people in the media houses who would bring his reign down in case any information was leaked. But surprisingly, he welcomed us to his premises. This made us to be very cautious as we went around our duties in the three-day stay at the place.
Inside the furnished rooms, Mr. Pedro treated us like a son of his own and gave us all the luxury services that we needed. The maidens would even prepare our rooms, serve us food etc. some asked us even for massage free services of which we declined. We feared Mr. Pedro because we did not trust him. Something weird kept alarming us about him such that we did not engage in all the free services he offered. We got VVIP treatment for the three days. We did not take it so serious because we were aware that it was all ironical. He had offered us all the services to hide his leopard’s claws. He was more than a murderer. A serial killer. His deeds were atrocious because of the things he subjected to his workers.
When the time came for us to leave, Mr. Pedro escorted us to our car and bid goodbye. Being a concerned investigative journalist, I told my partner to report to media house and inform them about our visit. Before my partner went, we discussed a few things concerning Mr. Pedro and came up with a collective report about the visit. I was left at the area around the hilltop but outside the palace as my partner went. We agreed to meet later that night at the same place where we separated.
I booked a lodge at the area and waited until the time I would have a word with one of the workers as they got back to their homes. I was determined and armed to the teeth in my determination to have a word with one of them. Equipping myself with some snacks, i walked aimlessly on the road leading to the Pedro’s as a bat in the twilight. At around 8:10pm, four women got out of the gate. They walked with quick short steps talking a lot of stuff. I suddenly approached them as they took a certain corner. They were shocked and one of them almost screamed. I quickly held her mouth and informed them I was a good person. Two of the other women escaped and left their own. I released her and to my surprise, she recognized me. She was the woman we had spoken with when we were inside the Palace.
She told me her name was Mary. I extended my palm and greeted her. I introduced my name to her once again. She seemed so fearful and skeptical –always looking sideways to note any impending or peeping eye. She later led me to her house, which was about 300metres from the road. We passed through a labyrinth of dark paths and I wondered how she managed these paths every night and early morning.
As we approached the house, I was slightly astonished by the make of the house. How could she be living in such a house while she worked inside a palace during the day? It was an old ramshackle grass thatched house that bended on one side due to the weight of age. It was supported by a certain ‘Mugumo tree’ if not because of the support; it could have collapsed long time ago. She welcomed me inside the house. On entering the house, I was flabbergasted when eight thin children plastered their eyes on the paper bag I was carrying. They knew anything bought using a supermarket paper bag was edible. They bore the conscientious serenity of people accustomed to abject poverty.
I greeted the eight children, one by one. The general assumptions when greeting someone, is that they will look at you and smile. The children greeted me as their eyes were fixed on the paper bag that I was carrying. Thank God, they were taught to be patient!
I gave the paper bag to Mary and enquired some of the irritating things she faced at the place of work. I took a deep scrutiny at her from head to toe, she had a rope for a belt and she was barefoot. I was emotionally striked. She told me to look at her eyes and swear to her that Mr. Pedro could not be aware of the leakages. I promised to adhere to all her instructions. She started:-
‘Women are greatly abused inside the mansion. They die because of being battered or gang raped. Last week, I was raped by Pedro’s sons because I had not attended to my duties as a punishment. That was on Mr. Pedro’s authorization. He is a beast!’
She dropped a tear that ran down her neck. They followed each other and soon she was sobbing in front of her own children.
‘It’s painful and I regret working at the place, but where else shall I get employment’ she continued. ‘I don’t have a husband to take care of my needs. He was killed after he agitated for my rights. Mr. Pedro shouted to us that we were nothing without might’ she paused and swallowed a lot of saliva such that it sounded per gulp!
‘We get low pay, harsh working conditions and fatal punishments but we have to stick to the job because our children are crying because of hunger each day’
I glared at the children again, they were half-naked. They were clad in rags. Their swollen stomachs protruded and peeped out of the ragged tops. Their sunken eyes still fixed on my paper bag. I removed the snacks and gave them some and later handed the remaining to Mary. She thanked me without smiling. I gave her two – one thousand shilling notes. She smiled. She glared at me and continued, ‘sometimes, we are beaten thoroughly like killer dogs with whips and no treatment is given to us to cure our bleeding bruises.’
She told me a story of a woman who evaded work and was later caught and summoned for punishment. She was beaten using wooden planks and thrown inside a drainage sewage pipe where she died and was later removed from the effluent at the end of the drainage. Mary was told to wipe the blood. She was later threatened never to speak of the matter otherwise, she would suffer the same fate. She had put her ultimate trust in me in that I would help her secure freedom from her situation.
I was deeply engrossed in her message such that the masculinity in me faded away. Her words and experiences had already touched my heart that I felt like squeezing Mr. Pedro’s eyes out of their sockets. I glared at the floor and gazed at the children again. They had gone through a lot. I had to go. I talked to her and assured her security and freedom soon.
Just as I was going to leave the house, my fellow investigative journalist, whom we were together in the palace, called me and told she was at the point where we had agreed to meet. I quickly left the grass thatched house and walked towards the point we had agreed to meet. It was pitch dark and the sounds of crickets and frogs were all that dominated the air of the calm night. I knew she would be on this road at 4am as she heads to Mr. Pedro’s house to work. Not assessing the dangers, she might face on such a lonely road. Failure to observe the 4am time would probably lead to harsh and fatal punishments.
I met my fellow investigative journalist’s car parked at the side of the road. She opened the door and I got inside. She noted in my eyes that something wrong had happened. My mind was pre-occupied with Mr. Pedro ungrateful acts. I explained to her everything that Mary told me. We booked a lodge at the hill town area just around the palace. We got to bed at 9:30pm but slept at around 2:30 am as we analyzed and discussed about the evils women go through under the pressure of the Pedro’s.
Posted on January 4, 2017, in AFRICAN, GENDER SUPERIORITY, shocking, Slavery and tagged empowerment, forest, girls, hilltop, impunity, jezebel, kenya, Kings, ladies, oppressed, oppression, Palace, Patriarchal, Queen, sins, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.