Peaceful vigil in Chaguanas on Monday evening. Azlan Mohammed/AZPNews
‘Andrea was a citizen that reflected the best of our society and the way she was killed represented the worst of society’
By Pradesh Latchman
IMAGINE, if you can – just for a moment, you are repairing a toy for your daughter even though she is in her twenties.
Imagine if you can – that moment, now a memory, now a tear, forever lost… forever gone.
If you saw the video and you know of what I speak, then it was not a tear but a river that would have flowed.
She certainly was daddy’s girl. Still able to drive that toy car. I do not know how many of you watched that video to the end. But, I do believe that even the most vile, stonehearted person would have shed a tear.
Many times, we see the lamentation of women and mothers and often forget that there are many fathers who cannot continue to live knowing that the person he raised was tortured, raped and murdered.
Her small innocent body thrown off a cliff to rot. What type of person(s) can be so demonic that they prefer a few minutes of power over the life of the innocent?
There she was driving the toy car and you could hear the joy and feel the love of the father for his only child. Oh, what a moment for him, to relive the little girl once more.
Remembering the smile and laughter, the joy and happiness that the car brought to his baby girl. Now, what pain fills his heart. What demon has taken his baby? He could not protect her. How many tears did he wipe from that face, how many scrapes did he nurse for her to reach that age?
Let us not forget the aunt- the one who was really like her mother. Caring for her all those years – waiting on that fateful night for her daughter to return. She never came.
What was the last meal she prepared for her, the last Christmas gift, the last birthday cake and when was the last smile she saw?
Surely, she weeps – thinking about the last few hours of her life, the torture, the pain, the agony at the hands of these malicious creatures and vultures. Imagine what they did to that poor girl’s body. We weep too.
That toy car turned into a grown-up car that took her away forever.
What did she do that was wrong? She travelled with a friend; she took what she thought to be a registered taxi. She attended university, she graduated, got a job and was now starting her life.
Andrea was a citizen that reflected the best of our society and the way she was killed represented the worst of society.
The contrast is so glaring – the best vs the worst. How many times in the past has this same story been written?
You can see pictures of her smiling with her friends and enjoying life not knowing that the vultures were circling and waiting to prey on her – simply because she was young woman.
We cannot escape that this attack on her was solely because she was a woman. An attack carried out by men – the most evil and vile of men. Men that are better placed in History books for the atrocities they create and the shame they bring to all of humanity.
How many of you are now so afraid for the safety of your children? How many of you are making plans to try and protect them? Andrea was not the first and unfortunately, she will not be the last.
But, if we can save one, just one by our actions then we are on the road to a better society. All the vigils in her honour and in memory of all the fallen before her give us hope.
In conclusion, we as a society must reflect and decide how to protect and how to change.
To all the other parents who have suffered a lost like this and all the families shattered there are no words I can offer you for the pain.
Call to action- I am asking that on Friday 12, 2021 at 12 noon we stop what we are doing for two minutes, just two – stand silent and let everyone know it is too much. Why Andrea? Why?
To the rest of society all I can ask is – How did we get here?
(If you have any comments you can leave at the end of this article in the comments section)
Pradesh Latchman is an educator with Pmba, Msem, Dip Ed, Ba Cima Adv Dip