Branded a Witch – Mardoche Yembi
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Branded a Witch – Mardoche Yembi

I was born in Matadi in 1991 I was the forth child of eight there were five of us boys and two girls. We would have
water fight and play games outdoors especially football. My father was a
pastor church was a regular African church
service. We would sing, pray and my father would deliver a sermon. Those
Sunday afternoons was so much fun when I was 7 years old my mom fell
pregnant with their ninth child she wasn’t very well and was struggling with
the pregnancy. She went to Kinshasa for support but sadly passed away
in 1996 and the baby didn’t make it. I was only five years old. Before my mom
passed away she asked one of her brothers, who were both in the UK to
please take care of one of her children about a year later my father took me to my mother’s sister, Auntie Keisha. I started spending time with her as I would be
moving to England with her. My in one instruction was to never let anyone know
my aunt and uncle not my parents. A few months later I left my family and flew
to the UK. I remember how cold it was when I first arrived in England. My Uncle
Ray met us at the train station and we took the train to his bedside apartment
in Finsbury Park. My first day of school was a bit hard I didn’t speak a language.
I began to make a lot of friends and my favorite part was the school meal. Uncle
ray drunk a lot he would shout and he would beat and Keisha who was pregnant. My auntie was having crazy dreams and was convinced that
there was some form of spirit after her one day my aunty saw me eating and asked why do you eat like that, you know that’s how Kindoki children eat. I didn’t really
understand what that meant. One Sunday after church my auntie asked
to speak to the pastory and told him about the crazy dream she was having. The
pastor started speaking to me asking me about how I sleep. what do I see when I
sleep? I told him I just sleep and wake up most time I just I don’t have dreams. In
that instance he decided that I had an evil spirit in me, that I was in witch,
that I was a child of Kindoki. My two aunties and their kids were walking
together and left me out I couldn’t really understand what was going on. This is
when my life started to go downhill. I went to football training and I met my
my cousin his mother came to pick him up she told me to stay away. I went to the
coach and told him that I didn’t want to play football anymore. He asked me why
and I responded that I just didn’t want to play anymore. I had another friend
called Jack. Jack’s dad was a pastor and one day he came to my house to pray
for me My uncle shouted at me to leave my witchcraft alone. They prayed and prayed and prayed. They burned my football medals and trophies. Everything I said I was told was a lie.
He said when I was younger back in Congo a rich woman came to me and asked if I
wanted a biscuit. He said I ate it and then at nighttime the same woman asked
me where the biscuit was then I said I didn’t have it. TYhen the woman asked me
to sacrifice my mom in return to the biscuit. Those people don’t believe that
if your mom dies this just happening they would say it is the kids doing this
the kids are saying they are innocent but nobody believed it. I remember one
day I was playing in the park with the friends. My auntie came down to the where
I was playing. she said she had a dream about being murdered. She thought it was
me who killed her in her dream she started shouting you are not going to
kill me you are not going to succeed. Then she started telling my friends that they
shouldn’t play with me because I killed my own mom and I would try to kill their
whole family. She sent me home. When my auntie got home she actually threatened
me with a knife saying if I have any dream from you I will kill you. I had
stopped defending myself against them there weren’t too many accusing me.
Anything they accused me of I would just say okay. Auntie Keisha went to my school
to see if she could get permission for me to go to Congo for a deliverance. She
told them she believed I was bewitched by a woman. She told the school she did
not want me to have a evil spirit. She wanted the spirit driven out. The school
contacted social service and expressed their concern. Social service decided
that it would be dangerous for me to go there for an deliverance.
I was finding everything I was going through very difficult to handle I
believed I had Kindoki. I told social service that if I killed
myself I would be protecting my family Things have got so bad at home
I planned to commit suicide but my auntie contacted the police. I remember the police
officer saying I was wasting their time I don’t think he knew what he had
just done to save me. I remember that night my uncle came into my room and started
shouting at me. He was drunk I was scared of him.
even at night if I had to pee I would pee in a bowl and pour it on the carpet
so I wouldn’t have to leave the room and face my uncle. I didn’t want to stay in
the house anymore I would ride the bus back and forth so I could sleep I would
stay on the buss until the last stop. The social services referred me to a hospital to
be assessed. I would stay there for the whole week then on weekend I
would go home. I was frightened of going home for the weekend. Social Service decided
that I would instead go a foster carer for three weekends. Uncle Ray came to
visit me unannounced he said I was ugly and to black, that this due to the
devil inside me. I told Miss Jalloh that my auntie wasn’t really my mother. They now understood why I was being treated the way I was. Social service
asked me what I would like to do at this stage and after a final meeting the
local authorities they made a decision to keep me in foster care for the
remainder of my childhood. Life was so much better in every way.

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