Thursday, August 24, 2017

X-Files from the village - #Uganda

By Denis Wabuyi


Ours is the only village blessed to be having three traditional health specialists; we have one in charge of maternity. She offers services to women from the time they conceive to delivery.  She stays in an isolated hut with her granddaughter. She has the powers to tell the sex of the child before birth, she has herbs that induce labour, herbs that can restore fertility and cure countless birth related complications.

In our village she is the equivalent of a gynecologist. She is said to talk with the gods directly and if you annoy her she can cast a spell upon you. There is also a rumor that she died and resurrected on the day she was to be buried.  Since then, everyone equivocally though knows that she will never die. The same is said of her man. He never died.  Wokuti just walked away to his ancestors. His body was never seen. Maybe the same will happen to his wife.

The other specialist is one who removes "bad teeth" (kyimino). She inherited this expertise from her late grandmother. All children in our area and beyond have been treated by her. She is a very generous woman and she loves children. Even us the teenagers like being around her because when women bring for her chicken as payment for her services, she asks you to slaughter one or two for all present.  And of course after slaughter, you know that you can then roast the intestines to the envy of your colleagues.

Payment for these services is in form of chicken, goats, millet, a cow but not a pig. To offer a pig as payment for a service is an insult since these are direct offerings to the ancestors and an insult on their messengers is an insult to them as well. In fact a pig is never used in any public function. However, ever since we realised that the man who cuts "khamilamila" has started asking for money we stopped taking our children to Musyebebe.


We are running out of patience after Nandabah has refused to release rain. Even today when the two women fought at the well, it did not rain despite the clouds indicating it would rain. When women fight at the well, it is always a must that it will rain but it didn't. We are surely losing patience. We are just waiting for the elders to give us a go ahead but they are not giving it yet.

These days many people are doing funny things just because of the drought. Walyaula was caught stealing Wandawa's ground nuts from the garden. The worst thing was to find that he had defecated just under the cassava stem where he sat to eat the stolen ground nuts. Wandawa made Walyaula remove the fecal content with bare hands as a punishment but that was after a number of lashes to his bare buttocks.

We at least got something to wash off our misery with Walyaula's comic event.

Since the elders have failed us, we headed to church. Maybe the God of church will answer our prayers. After church we were treated to a sad scene of children eating nanditi and mangitwe!

Till next week, we shall keep you posted.

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