UGANDA: X-FILES FROM THE VILLAGE
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By WABUYI DENIS
Nabumia was a beautiful girl. She had a long neck and when she walked, she walked with a grace that left many turning heads. When Weboye’s mother first brought her to our village, she was the attraction of all young men; when she went to Musweema to fetch water, there was at least a young man who would willingly carry her jerrycan. The home suddenly became a refugee for the young men who were willing to help splitting firewood, taking the goats to the grass. It is very common for the homes with teenage girls to get help of young men just in a bid to get closer to the girl. Isn’t it just recently when Khaekye helped to clear a full acre of land (iparingo} so as to get close to Khaitsa?Surprisingly, Masifa who never did anything for her is the one who married Khaitsa.
With that beauty, it was unthinkable that any man would turn down Nabumia, especially Weboye who is known to be shy. In fact, it is rumored that even to initiate himself into a man (a process referred to as shedding off kumulindi), it was his elder brother who had seduced Namutosi.
But as the saying goes that “kamasika k’engafu nilyo lisanyu lye mbwa”, it was to Wandwasi’s advantage when Weboye wanted to rid himself of Nabumia.
But that night when Weboye let Wandwasi in, he felt a deep conviction that what he was doing was wrong. He had made up his mind to stop Wandwasi but then he thought of what explanation he would give. It was when he was in a fray of these thoughts that he saw a figure standing in his father’s banana Plantation. He suddenly halted his movement to keenly look at a person who was also looking straight at him. As any circumcised person, he “threw his fears” away and slowly walked towards the dark figure. As he approached, the figure turned into an old person leaning on walking stick (kumusyendo). It was after his reaching there that he realized it to be a banana tree supported by itseko which holds bananas with heavy bunches.
“How stupid of me!” As he walked back to his hut, he heard a squeak of the latch to his door and out came Wandwasi. Without any exchange of words, Wandwasi walked away as Weboye entered the hut. Reaching inside, Nabumia requested him to escort her outside to also pee. Calmly, Weboye asked why she can’t use the metallic basin given to him by his father’s “makoki” (a person with whom you’re circumcised in the same year). Metallic basins known as kalaya were very common by then and were used as water bowls for bathing. In the night, for fear of night dancers and wild animals, women would pee in the kalaya but wake very early to dispose the urine in the banana Plantations.
But Nabumia insisted and Weboye escorted her!
He could not hold himself back and that night, Weboye also made love to Nabumia. She had wondered in soliloquy why he is cold but Weboye was too much taken up to answer.
That was the last night Wandwasi visited with permission. They met the next day and Weboye told Wandwasi about the change of plans. “Whose child will it be if Nabumia is pregnant?”. Wandwasi asked but Weboye waved him off not wishing to think of the worst. “Telling the father of a child is not something difficult”. But even as Weboye downplayed it, his mind was aptly bothered. What if?
The morning was a usual one for Weboye’s mother and Nabumia’s mother in law. They had extensively talked about their son’s marriage and especially the need to formalize it.
Weboye had accumulated 4 cows since his circumcision and also had 3 goats which he has kept with his uncle, Wokomoli. “Weboye should pick from his cows and pay the dowry” father said. But mother thought otherwise.
“It’s the responsibility of parents to pay for their son’s dowry”, she said.
“The very healthy bulls and cows that I paid to your brothers as dowry was from my own sweat. My father did not even contribute a hen to my marriage, Weboye should pay for his wife. And why do we even pay dowry when we, the men are meant to carry the lifetime burden?”
“My husband, you should stop drinking in shisatsa. They mix their busela with waragi. Whenever you go there, you lose your mind”
Then the man drifted into sleep and soon snoring. Before she could sleep, she made sure that her husband was well covered lest mosquitoes feast on him.
Till then we shall keep you posted!
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: February 01, 2020 at 12:16PM