The day Joseph Kony considered taking his life

Joseph Kony became one of the most notorious and sinister warlords of the 21st century, in part due to a viral campaign. But monsters (and their victims) are usually more surprising and complex than we appreciate.

An excerpt from a new memoir by one of Kony’s forced wives, on a day he thought of ending his life after a favorite son was killed:

I then told him, “If you die because of your wife and son, then you may as well kill everyone in the bush. They are here because of you. If you kill yourself, it is as good as killing all of them. No one here is capable of leading us home.”

That day Kony told me to make him tea and juice. Kony said that everything in this world happens for a reason. He told me that he was not going to shoot me; he believed that I loved him and that I was strong. He said it is hard to be a prophet. He said that God had tempted him. We talked a lot. He said that one day we would overthrow the government and live a good life and that I would be the first wife in his home because I did not leave him when he was going through such a difficult time. He said he would try his best to take care of me so that my future would be bright. He said to have hope.

This was the time that I was close to Kony. I told him of my hope to return home to Uganda with the children. The rebels were releasing their wives at this time because the war had become so intense. Kony said that he was going to release all of his wives to return home. He said that he was going to remain in the bush with only men.

I became happy.

I thought he would release us and allow us to return home.

Read the full excerpt in the Guardian.