Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#Parenting - men who cannot cook should stay single

Our father is known for many things in Bududa, Uganda and EAC but there is a funny one.

This one time he drove from Nairobi to the village un announced and I think he came to check on his women and those women had abandoned us.  Probably they were mad at him having found out that he was shagging our nanny or the other maid.

The mangoes were not ripe and we were eating green mangoes given as we were too young to cook for ourselves so he found his clan of kids eating green mangoes which by the way give you a bad belly ache.

The man takes off his kaunda suit and tells us to go fetch water and bring firewood.  These things were daily chores.

He then lights the fire and boils water and proceeds to make for us Ugali with sukuma.  We are washing our hands and getting to eat our ugali which was our staple food since father had not yet bought all the land from the villagers who always needed money to pay school fees for those village bully kids.

And that is when all the village rumour mongers showed up as if someone had called a meeting to discipline us.

So these people proceed to discipline mzee with something that I now find ridiculous.

Umwana wa Weboya kyimyakha kyesi amala ibulaya kyamwonesa!  How can a whole man like you cook?  Look at this shame.  You are cooking!  Shaaa, why do you just not marry another woman to cook for your children?  This is a shame that even your education did not teach you that in our culture men do not cook!

He nailed them.  "So you all come here to tell me that I should not cook for my children?  Do you want my children to go hungry because a man must not cook?  Do you know how long it will take for me to find for them another mother?  They will have finished all the green mangoes by the time I find them a mother".

He continued making our favourite kawunga and sat us down to eat.  When we finished, he sent our brother James Wamema to buy malwa from that auntie who used to brew the best malwa on our village.  Then he sat us all down with lutsejhe which we all had to share and gave us our brew.

Now the villagers are sitting down to drink our malwa and lecture him about how he was ruining his kids. Then they said that his daughters would not find husbands and nebilala ebyobusiru mbu girls must not eat chicken for no man would marry them.  Reply "I will send them to school to marry men who are not from Bududa!"

As he was leaving for Kenya, he promised us that he was gonna return with a mother for us.  And the next weekend, he brought us one of the best mothers ever.  You guessed it.  He returned with our nanny.

People on our village can gossip. All the way on their trips to Mukibuga Mbale they were talking about how Tan had brought us a mother. So the stories made it all to Busoba and Buganda and our 2 mothers hurried home so now is how we ended up with 3 mothers.

Our home became a paradise. All our mothers were competing for who could make us happiest.

Till he returned the following month and put instructions in place.  All his sons now had to learn to cook. So we grew up paired girl with boy to cook together.  My brothers cook very well and that saved them from marrying kafala mbu men cannot cook!

You would have liked mzee Nangalama because he was very practitical and way ahead of the crowd.  He demistified many things in Bugisu.  He even refused for his son Wamono to face the knife until he had gotten his degree from Makerere.  The pressure was intense for him to do imbalu on his sons but he resisted.  He also said his daughters cannot get married into any family which was gonna give him cows for his daughters!

Now I look at half baked young Uganda men eat rolex or kikomando mbu they cannot cook and I wonder if they are smarter than the man who raised TVO's accomplice.

Temuli baavu.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada
PS: Father woke up one morning and found a note on the fridge (we started notes on the fridge way before you) and the note said "I need pads.  My menses have now started.  Poor man goes to Nakawa market and is buying pads.  Mbu the woman asked him if his daughter did not habe a mother to buy such things. He replied that he is the one who had wheels and needed the pads.

Kudos to Stella Nyanzi for raising money and buying pads for the young girls in Uganda.  For all you men, I hope your next kid will be a girl.

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