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X-Files from the village

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A person who commits suicide brings bad omen to the village and especially the family. After hanging herself, no child can ever be named after Bethmesi. In fact when burying her, she was just wrapped in a bed sheet without any clothing and without washing the body. Unlike other people who are buried face up, a person who commits suicide is buried face down. Reason being that such is undesired and her spirit cannot be allowed to return as an ancestor. It is a disgrace to our community. No one could buy the idea that Wotsomu’s wife would still die just like Musuya, Wostsomu and Wanaina.


When the muniafu epidermic came, it ravaged our village for more than 3 years. The continued inheritance of wives and cases of recently circumcised having their first sex to cut “kumulindi” did not make things any better. Apparently, you could not cut “kumulindi” but with an older woman.

During the vigils after burial it is also common for people to make love in the dry banana leaves “mumasatsa” with random partners. It is called replacing the dead, “khusaala umuffu”.


At around that time, people who were envious of others started taking advantage and bewitching other people’s children. But by then it was difficult to differentiate between “Muniafu” and “liloko”. The songs of Khaukha were now very common at the village functions. Even at the funerals where we used to play “Nabyuma umulili we baffu” and “Dombolo ya Solo” no we play “Mwene WA George Umibirabi” the woman who is believed to have brought AIDs to Uganda.

After all the burials the “experts” in tradition have concluded that people who die of “muniafu” never return to disturb the world. No one has claimed to have met a ghost of Musuya or the others. This was not the case with Namwatikho who still appears. Personally I have never seen her but many people attest to meeting her ghost breastfeeding.

Well, meeting a ghost can be a terrible thing in one’s life because there are even those spirits that kill but the ghosts that you meet on the way just follow you til you make sacrifice to appease them or you can chase them by frying pork within the compound. That stench keeps them away.

Now we have problems with drunkenness but Wangamati is taking it too far. In just one month he has drank himself unconscious two times and even when people are grieving and suffering drought like now.

When we found him lying and unconscious, it took us almost an hour to get a woman who could do a favor and get us urine to give to Wangamati. When a person loses consciousness due to high waragi intake the, remedy is making him gulp a woman’s urine. Wetsenge brought the liquid and we poured it down Wangamati’s throat; in a few minutes he regained conscious.


When we told him that it is Wetsenge’s urine that brought him back to life, Wangamati was bewildered. He became angry with all of us. “Did I ask you that I want to regain consciousness? Taking Wetsenge’s urine is same us drinking urine of the whole village. Is there any man who has not slept with that whore?” Wangamati ranted. But that made us laugh and ridicule him even more.

It is our way of getting back at people who make a nuisance of themselves and to teach him a lesson to stop drinking silly.

But even as he complained in the evening he ordered for “khabawo” of local inguli also called kukunjira, “kill me quick” from nasiyata. “Am going to stop selling my alcohol to you. You buy waragi of 300 shillings but sit here all night making me burn my paraffin. What good will you come to in life?” Nasiyata complained as he measured Wangamati’s order.

Even after a tumultuous one like last week, Sundays are always awakened by the call from Faro’s drumming from the Catholic Church. It is a reminder that Sunday is upon us. Women and men look for their best clothing and head to the place of worship to glorify their creator. To many, it is just a custom that you must go to church. So it has been for many years.

Till then we shall keep you posted


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5 Comments to X-Files from the village

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