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X-files From The Village

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When an elderly person like Mungasa dies, it is normally the daughters-in-law that mourn most. A person like him who only bore sons is said to be lucky by some people since the boys are the ones that take care of the parents in their old age.

“But how life has changed. These days boys are more useless” Margaret mused. “They go to Kampala to work and marry there. They only return for Christmas or for child naming when the child cries”. Whenever a baby cries without ceasing, it is said that he/she is seeking to be named or the ancestors have rejected a given name. Not everyone can name the child. You therefore take that child to the grandfather/grandmother to have it issued a name of the clan.


But Mungasa bore only boys with his 3 women who had all died and left him before he passed on today. It is said that he could not have married the 2 women if his first woman from Bubutu had bore him a daughter in the first place. But even after marrying the other women, they could only bear him boys as well. Everyone blames Mungasa for this though. They had told him to never make love to his women during the dry season but he never listened. All his wives could conceive during the dry season and yet, a man can only produce male eggs during the rainy season when the weather is cold.

But Mungasa was not one to listen to advice, he could sleep with his women and make them pregnant during the dry season.


So even the other women could not bear him a girl. After all when you may have a heir, but who doesn’t want to father girls so that he can get cows? Girls are wealth and everyone yearns to have them. Yet still no one wants to bear only girls since they get married off and cease to be your children. It is said that when she gets married a girl becomes a daughter of the husband’s parents. She will only return days towards the “big days” like Christmas, Uhuru, or Pasika to bring rice and cooking oil to her parents.

In return, the parents give her a cock and a bunch of bananas to take back to her husband for the “big days”.


Some men will be depressed when they don’t bear any boys. “He doesn’t have a heir, who will inherit all that wealth of his?” people will gossip. Some will not show it but deep inside their hearts, they feel hollow. After all, as other men collect “Bumakoki”, you who bore girls will feel out of place demanding since you have no boys with whom you will pay your “Bamakoki”


Bamakoki are those men with whom you share the year of circumcision. You stop calling each nother ames and start referring to yourselves as “makoki”. It also happens when children are born in the same year. They will call themselves makoki and it easy to identify your agemates. But unlike the Bamakoki of birth, the ones of circumcision have a cultural bond. When you circumcise your boys, the Bamakoki camp at your home until you give each one of them a gift or gifts. These gifts are known as Bumakoki.


It is said of one Nangoli who went to demand for Bumakoki and Mataki refused to give him saying that since Nangoli does not have a son, Mataki could not give him Bumakoki despite having been circumcised in the same year. Nangoli said three words and went away. These three words made Mataki to come to Nangoli on his knees begging forgiveness and removal of the spell.


After all it is said that until a man dies, you cannot say that he cannot bear a boy or girl. It is why all Bamakoki are entitled to their reward whether they have boys or not. But most men without sons do not even bother. We hope Mungasa’s sons will come home soon. We cannot burry their father when some are away.

Till then, we shall keep you posted


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