Sakarier is a very pretty
young woman with a timid smile. I did not know her before I went
to a friend's house to meet her and listen to her tell her
story. While the others listened and asked questions, she gently
shared the events of her life.
I was born in Mokoulou. When I was 12
years old, we moved to Tchalon. When I was fifteen years old I
married a man from Mokoulou. I did not live long with him.
He sent me away, and I went back to my parents in Tchalon.
A short time later, I got to know another man
and we got married. He was in military service and we were sent
to serve in N'Djaména, then in Oum-Hadjer and Mangalmé. We
lived in Mangalmé for a year when the civil war of 1979-80 broke
out. There were a lot of soldiers there. They attacked
Mangalmé at five in the morning. I had just given birth to my
first child. We had two rooms and a large shaded porch in the
middle of the compound. The shaded porch, being covered with
straw mats, caught fire. I left my house, holding my baby, and
they immediately opened fire on me. The bullet went through my
shoulder blade and left through my stomach. I fell to the
ground, wondering what had happened. I felt nothing at all, as I
lay on the ground.
The rebels retreated and the shooting
ended. There were a lot of people killed. They spent two
days burying the dead, the second day under torrential rain.
They gathered all the wounded soldiers and a military plane came to
pick them up. My husband asked them to take me but they refused,
saying that a woman should not go with the soldiers. My husband
decided to abandon his post to take care of me. At the same
time, among the other soldiers, no one was authorised to leave his
post. Thus they were obliged to take me with the other wounded.
After my treatment I returned to
Mangalmé. Nine days later, we were sent to Bol, and after a few
years of being there we returned to Tchalon.
I had two fellow wives to my husband. I
was the second wife of the three. There were occasionally
problems between us. For example, the two other wives were
Dangaléat. Among the Dangaléat, co-spouses prepare their meals
and eat them separately. I am Moukoulou and in our tradition the
co-spouses prepare one meal and eat together.
So, the two other women went to see the
Marabout (Muslim religious leader), and soon after that my husband
sent me away. Among the Muslims one can pay a Marabout to do
evil to his neighbour. For example, a woman can ask the Marabout
to make her co-spouse to lose her sanity, or a man can ask the
Marabout to make him charms so that a woman will really fall in love
I raised my five children until today.
God was with me in my difficulties. My father was sick from a
sickness cast upon him as a spell and he was inhabited by ants.
Then in 1974 there was a famine and we ate leaves from the soapberry
My husband is Dangaléat and among the
Dangaléat the men grow the millet while the women grow groundnuts,
sesame seeds, okra, etc. Among the Moukoulou, however, the
couple works together in all the fields.
Among the Muslims, one must pray five times
per day: very early in the morning (around 4:00 AM or so), at 1 PM, 3
PM, 6 PM and 7 PM. One must also fast for one entire month (the
month of Ramadan) without eating anything during the day.
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