UGANDA: X-FILES FROM THE VILLAGE
|Mt. Elgon National Park Uganda side. Image may be subject to copyright|
By WABUYI DENIS
Weboye was the quiet child in the house, he was blameless and was never among those to be suspected whenever a wrong was committed. But he is one if found in wrong, it would be the kind of wrong not expected of him. He was one that you would call “a silent burner”. Bagisu have a saying that “inulla yam’anyana” meaning that a fleshy cow will start showing signs while it is still a calf.
In his childhood Weboye used to claim not to eat meat until he was caught red handed stealing. To cover it up, he swallowed a large piece which choked him and stuck in the oesophagus.
Because Weboye claimed not eat meat, on “big days” like Christmas, Pasiika, Uhuru and whenever visitors were hosted who necessitated preparing meat for, Weboye’s mother would prepare a special dish for Weboye. Sometimes, he would even eat fish. It was believed that he has taken after his grandfather Nambafu who was never known to have eaten meat his entire life. Nambafu had tried meat while still young but caused him skin rash (libuure). Rituals were done and the great seer from Bunyole proclaimed that Nambafu is not allowed to eat flesh for a purpose. Since Nambafu, he never tasted meat. But whenever there was need to distribute meat in his clan, Nambafu would be called to distribute. That was the call!
Just like any other home which only eats meat during the “big days”, there were always cases of missing pieces in Kakari’s house (Kakari was Weboye’s dad. We remember one time when the missing pieces of meat caused a big fight between Weboye’s father and mother.
He had bought the meat because his makoki, Mungau was visiting to talk about Namwano who had reached the age of marriage . As it is the norm, ground nuts were prepared for Weboye since he would not share of the meat.
On this side of the village, meals are always prepared and served in time, it is only in times of hunger when meals are served late so that they serve both as lunch and supper.
On this particular day, the meat had been bought early morning, in fact it was got before Mark even called out for Kuronya. Kuroonya is a a notification to the people that the village butcher has meat. Mark would climb the tall tree and call to the East, West, South and North. Therefore, the meat was ready before the potatoes and Weboye’s peanut paste. The meat was therefore transferred to the main house as the potatoes and Weboye’s paste were boiling in the kitchen.
As soon as everything was ready, the mother of the house readied everything to serve and she started with pouring out the potatoes to the large wooden plate, lulweelo.
When she opened the saucepan of meat, lo there were only countable pieces of meat.
All the children, including Wangamati the son of the neighbour were summoned for interrogation and since none acknowledged to stealing the meat, all the children were subjected to strokes and as further punishment could only eat the potatoes with water. The pieces of meat that remained were served to the visitor and the head of the family.
While others were punished, Weboye was exonerated, after all he does not eat meat. In fact, he was gracious enough to share his ground nut sauce with his mother and Mutuwa, the last born.
However, when the stealing of meat intensified, one time Weboye’s mother set a trap to get who eats the meat and the trap caught Weboye.
All along, he claimed not to eat meat so that he can eat without being served the small pieces and to his advantage, steal without being suspected.
On the day his mother realised that it was Weboye who was stealing the meat, a family meeting was organised, Weboye punished and also put in charge of always making sure that no piece of meat ever goes missing. Since then, whatever was cooked was available for serving.
That is the brief history of Weboye!
Till then we shall keep you posted!
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: February 08, 2020 at 04:20AM