Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2015 Contents 4 | WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 3, 2015
| PROFILES |
By Onika Nkrumah-Lakhan
KENISHA THOM is happily married to her second husband, UWI registrar, William
Iton. She lives in Jamaica with her six-year old daughter and two-year old twin
sons. In July, she will complete an MBA in International Business; she has a post-
graduate diploma in Diplomacy & International Relations. Thom represented
Trinidad & Tobago twice, in 2004 as Ms. World and in 2006 as Ms. Universe. Both
es, she made the final top ten. In January 2010, along with her mother, she
vived a frighteningly brutal attack. The following is her story, told in her own
The day began like any other. My Mum had a back injury; as part of her physical
therapy, she needed to get some exercise. We decided to go for an early morning
walk. I asked Mum what direction should we go in, and she said, "It doesn't mat-
ter". We decided to take the scenic route that follows the beach.
I felt like my Mum's protector; I would let her walk on the inside and I would ob-
serve passing vehicles. I heard a vehicle approaching, as I stopped and turned to
look, I saw it hit Mummy. It threw her into the air and she fell by the roadside.
I thought she was dead! The vehicle didn't stop; it kept driving slowly but it didn't
ed off. By this time, I'm in shock, thinking: this can't be happening! I looked at
mother, then at the vehicle. My hands were shaking as I pulled out my phone.
I was hoping to call my Dad and my then husband, but the calls did not go through.
I decided the best way to get help was to make a dash for home; I began to sprint
in the opposite direction. Then, I heard the vehicle stop, I turned to look and realised
that he was turning around to head in my direction. Fighting panic, I tried to assess
the situation, I already knew in my spirit that this was no accident. If he means
well, he will stop for Mummy; after all she's the one who's down. But if he heads
for me, I know I'm in danger.
The vehicle drove past my mother lying on the ground. I turned and ran for my
life but he was gaining on me. Processing my next move, I decided that if I ran to-
wards the sea, I would be cornered, I would have to swim into the ocean. I hesi-
tated. He stopped a little distance away, shouting, "Come, let me take you for help".
He tries to coax me. I shout back "NO, go help my Mother and I will go for help!"
He insists more aggressively this time. I'm trying not to aggravate him because I
don't know what weapons he has. I try bargaining. I say "The only way I'll get in
the van with you is if I ride in the back", because it was an open-tray van. He agrees
to this, his facial expression is totally blank. "Get back in the van first", I say. He
goes back into the van and I tentatively make my way around, and climb into the
tray. At first, he's driving at a reasonable speed, I'm looking at him in the rear-view
mirror and he's looking at me. Suddenly, he increases his speed, driving erratically
and swerving the van from side to side, trying to get me to fall out the moving
vehicle. He loses control and the van runs off the road, I'm flung from the tray and
hit my head.
I feel dizzy; I start running though I'm disoriented, but he catches up with me. Fling-
ing me into the bushes, he begins his demonic assault, choking me. I'm fighting;
he grabs a rock and tries to beat me into submission, saying, "Come on, baby". I
feel the rock banging my head and I'm thinking, "Is this how I'm going to die?" I
think about my two-year old daughter; she needs her mother. I have a reason to
live. A burst of adrenaline keeps me fighting. I scream, "You already kill my mother,
what you want with me?" My inner spirit answers for me: "He wants you dead".
I feel like I can fight him but I realise that with my head injuries and dizziness, it
may be a losing battle. Instinctively, I stop fighting and I pretend I'm dead! Blood
is running down my face and I'm praying not to lose consciousness. I hear him run
off, I force myself to lie there a little longer before I get up and stagger towards
My former husband and my father are in shock as I blurt out the harrowing ordeal.
Dad keeps yelling, "Where's your Mother?", and I fear that my attacker may have
gone back for her. My father and brothers run off in my mother's direction and
my former husband calls an ambulance for me.
Throughout our ordeal, I'm in a state of shock, I'm just going through the motions.
I received numerous stitches to the back of my head and my forehead, I'm just
thankful to God that he didn't rape me. Safe at the hospital, I finally break down
in uncontrollable tears. The police are able to trace him through his vehicle, his ID
card was in it! Mum has no memory of the traumatic incident, but she now has
permanent back injury and walks with a cane.
I feel strongly about sharing my story; as women we need to share our stories
with each other. It is also a way of healing. My mother and I have forgiven that
depraved individual, it's really for our own sakes. We are not going to let bitterness
keep us from living our best life. My message is live everyday as if it were your
last, give your best, be nice to people.
Kenisha plans to start a women's support group in the near future.
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