One Step Beyond – Angola – People – Rebecca Mujinga
I stepped on a landmine in Kasongo. That's across the Luena River. We were five children. My friends and I. We went to collect wild fruit. We didn't know that the place was mined. Actually, I was sent to get water from the river. But before I could leave, my friend Tina turned up at our home, and told me that we should join her and collect some fruit.
I said: "No, I can't go. My mum told me to stay at home and look after the baby. I can't go." My friend insisted until I gave in. Tina pushed me. And so I went with her.
Then we walked, and walked, and walked. My friends were in front of me. Except Tina. We were looking for fruit between the bushes. After a while I ran away from my friends. I wanted to go home and care for the baby. But they came after me and insisted I join them.
Tina took my hand and pulled me with her. Finally I agreed, and we kept on walking. We walked further, and further, and further. Then we found the first tree with lots and lots of fruits. We picked them up off the ground. Then we walked, and walked, and walked. My friends were in front of me. Everything was safe. We came to the next tree. More fruit. We collected some more although we already had so much.
My friends were on their way back. I remained a little bit behind. I took a shortcut. Unfortunately, when I took my next step, I stepped on a landmine.
I felt a heavy explosion – dohohoh – and I fell down. I had stepped on a mine. When I stepped on the mine, all my friends ran away. They continued along the path to the road. My right foot was bleeding. I started crawling until I reached the road.
My uncle Jamie came with a bicycle. He was carrying some firewood. He put me on the bicycle and pushed me home. Our house was very close by. He put me in the shade in front of the house.
A lot of people gathered. Later on, a car passed by. They put me into the car and took me to the hospital. This is the car. I am here in the car. I came into a room, which I don't remember. They started cutting off the flesh dangling from my leg. I fainted. When I woke up, I found myself on a bed in another room. The room had two doors. This is me on the bed. I am wearing a skirt. This is my injured leg. This is the healthy one.
I came this way. I tried to go back home using this path. My friend followed me. She took my hand forcing me to go with her. She pulled me that way. We walked and walked and walked and walked.