Terry Gobanga only survived the ordeal after she bit off the male organ of one of her rapists.
Terry was set to wed her husband at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya when disaster struck.
The night before the wedding, Terry found out that he had some of his fiance’s clothes, such as a tie and so on, and it was important that the groom’s clothes match.
A friend who was with her that night offered to deliver the clothes early in the morning before for the wedding ceremony to start.
In the morning, Terry saw off the friend to the matatu stage to deliver the items to the groom.
But when she was on her way back home, she passed a man who suddenly picked her up from the back and threw her in the back seat of a car that was waiting nearby.
There were two other men in the car and suddenly the car picked up speed.
“A piece of clothing was forced into my mouth, while I was screaming throwing my arms and legs up crying to let me go, it was my wedding day, that’s when I got the first punch, while one of the men ordered me to cooperate with them or die,” Terry said in an interview with BBC.
Terry remembers that the men started raping her one by one. She said that she felt that she was going to die, but she continued to fight for his life.
She remembers that one of the men who was driving the car, stopped it on the side, and it was his chance to rape her. He took a piece of cloth from her mouth that was used to suppress her voice.
“I knew that my life was over, I decided to leave an eternal mark on that man, that’s when I bit his penis hard, while he screamed,” Terry said.
What happened next was that Terry was stabbed in the stomach and suddenly pushed out of the car which was being driven very fast.
At that point she passed out. It was a child who witnessed her being thrown out of the car, who screamed and people came to save her.
She noted that she had fainted and people assumed she had died. So when the police arrived, they covered her with a blanket as if she had died on the road to take him to the morgue.
“I wasn’t getting enough air because I was covered with a blanket, I was helpless and that’s when the police officer said that I was alive, and they turned the car to the hospital when I started getting treatment,” Terry said.
Terry arrived at the hospital unconscious, so when she started to gain awareness, she was just crying and talking about wedding and marriage, she says that her whole body was swollen, not to mention she had a big wound in her stomach due to a knife wound.
Efforts to find her relatives started, in the church too the worry had started because the bride was not there, and therefore people had started looking for her not knowing what to do.
Later her fiancé, his relatives were informed what happened to Terry, and it was a shock for all of them.
“I remember when he saw me, my fiancé was happy to take care of me until I got better so that we could get married. My fiancé was carrying my wedding dress, and he was saying that he still wanted to marry me despite everything that happened to me,” Terry said.
Terry says that while in the hospital, she received news that she would not be able to conceive due to the knife wounds that cut to the uterus, besides that she was given treatment and medication to prevent pregnancy and even to prevent HIV infection.
Terry remembers that she felt as if it was her fault, and when she was in the hospital she was apologizing to her fiancé, but her fiancé was encouraging her along with the people of her community.
In July 2005, seven months after being raped, Terry got married, and later went on a honeymoon.
29 days after their marriage, she remembers that the house where they decided to live as husband and wife was very cold, so her husband lit a charcoal stove to protect himself from the cold, Terry says her husband put the stove in their bedroom, after eating dinner, the husband removed the stove and put it outside, at that time their room was warm enough.
But when they slept, her husband started having trouble breathing, as well as Terry started having trouble breathing too.
And after a while her husband couldn’t breathe completely, while Terry struggled to call the neighbors to help them.
Neighbors helped them get to the hospital, both of them in critical condition.
“My husband died that night, the reason for his death is that he had inhaled carbon monoxide which is poisonous, this air came from the charcoal stove in our room. Doctor said that I was very lucky to be alive because I also grew up breathing that poisonous air,” recalls Terry.
Returning to the church for her husband’s funeral, people had started talking badly about Terry, some saying that she was bewitched, or that she was the one who had bad luck in her life, others were also of the opinion that her rape was the source of bad events in her life.
Terry began to believe a lot of what was said because even she was asking herself a lot of questions.
Terry swore to herself that she will never marry again in her life, because of what she went through.
“The pain of these events was too much to my nails” Terry tells what he was feeling at that time.
At that time, there was a man who was following Terry’s emotional recovery and also her life. This is a man named Tonny Gobanga, who encouraged her in life and often visited her.
It wasn’t long before Tonny told Terry that he wanted to marry her, but Terry didn’t have an answer for him, she started by telling him to buy a newspaper that covered the news of her rape ordeal before he could propose to her.
And in fact Terry says that Tonny read about her life and still told her that he wanted to marry him, and when she told him that he was unable to give birth to a child, Tonny told him that children are a gift from heaven.
” So I said yes and accepted Tonny to marry me, but when Tonny told his parents about the intention, knowing what happened to me, they forbade him to marry me, despite that, the wedding was held even though the father-in-law did not come.
Against all odds, Terry got pregnant for her husband one year after they got married.
“One year after marriage, I started to feel bad, but when I went to the hospital, the doctor told me that I was pregnant, I was really shocked and didn’t know what to do.” Terry said.
She gave birth to a girl child and after another four years she was blessed with a second child.
Terry has written a book about his life called ‘Crawling out of the Dark’.