One day in Nairobi when we were too young, we used to collect dead batteries. Before mzee would come home (he worked long hours, no idea why), we would go out in the dark to throw the batteries at dogs. One time, one battery hit a dog. Soon after, the chickens started to behave funny so we knew dad was coming around the corner. No idea why animals can learn the sound of cars. We skipped right back home and that was it.
The following week, James Wamema (RIP) was sent to the store to buy milk and bread. Can you imagine the dog which his dead battery had hit remembered him? Next thing we know, mzee comes home early. Kenyan police were superb. They had taken him away and put him in the Kenyatta hospital and mzee had gotten a call at work to go to the hospital. So when he showed up early, we all knew we were screwed royally. We had to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. WAPI, we were not even beaten. I think the biggest relief was the dog bite did not give our brother rabies. Come to think about it, he was pretty lucky. However, from that incident, we were not allowed to hoard any dead batteries and neither were we allowed to get out of the gate. Our brother, on the other hand, found other ways to get all of us in trouble. That is when we learned to go exploring in the woods. Very very dangerous because there was a river and one day one of our sisters nearly drowned in it. We were trying to catch fish with no hooks and jumping into the river with no swimming skills.
Aaaah, that was a great life. So we got banned from going to the river and then we found edible fruits in the forest and used to climb trees. Till we found our Tortoise. I feel sorry for kids these days, they do not go out on adventures. We even had hedge hogs and got stung far too many times but we were alive. We were living. We had no boundaries. Nelson Wamema had a full time job to keep us safe. The nannies had nothing on us because we only listened to our brother. AND mean time, our bad mommie who used to ferry us from Uganda to Nairobi each holiday season could not contain some 20 little people running into forests. ON second thought, I think she would have loved coming after us.
Our ears are all very long though. Hitting was not allowed (except by mzee and only very rarely). But apparently pulling our ears around was acceptable. LIFE. LIFE was great. Until we returned to Uganda.
Father, I miss you more than you will ever know and you actually know this yourself. You live in me.
For God and My Country
Born and Raised in Uganda (Bududa District)
Martha Leah Zesaguli (Nangalama)
BELIEVE! I wept because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet." Ancient Persian saying I am a Social Justice and Human Rights Activist. Find me on Face Book. All my opinions are mine and do not reflect on any employer or organisation.