Geli Recalls Her `Marriage'

I WAS sold to Jackson in the winter of 1958. There was no wedding celebration and no exchange of rings. I was in no mood to celebrate. I simply moved into his tiny basement room on 14th Avenue. It had no furniture, except for a rusty single bed with a hard mattress and without a headboard, a small unpainted table and cupboard, two unpainted chairs, and some milk crates used for storage. The cold room had no windows and was heated with a brazier, which was also used for cooking.

For two months after I moved in I refused to let him touch me. I spent most of the time alone, as if in mourning....

``You're mine now,'' Jackson said one day. ``And nothing you do can change that.''

... He went to my mother and Aunt Matinana and complained about my ``stubbornness.'' Afraid that he might demand his lobola back, part of which had already been spent, they summoned me home and Aunt Matinana gave me severe lectures on my duties as a wife, which boiled down to pleasing Jackson, obeying his every command, and conceiving as soon as possible.

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