Thursday, November 18, 2010

The string that knotted our hearts

If there is anything I have failed to define on this planet then it is the
word “love” despite that I go to a church that claims to be the place where
love is ministered unto the hearts of men.

One of the reasons why I have failed to define love is probably because I
have heard all sorts of things about love. A lot about love; both good and
bad to the extent that I have heard people that accuse love of being wicked.
However, I had the most interesting thing about love recently. My friend,
Donus told me that it is only in love where we do the silliest of things but
get excused just because we claim to do them in the name of love. Donus
claims that because we do them in the name of love we tend to simply refer
to these silly things as crazy things we do for love and honestly I agreed
with him because as far as I can remember all the crazy things I have done
for love are actually silly only that I had never thought about them in this
perspective before. And while I was still scratching my head to bring back
to memory all those crazy things that I had always done in the name of love
that is when I remembered one of the craziest things I have done for love in
my life. Probably I should say the silliest thing I have done in life and
decided to tell the world about it just that I may tell the world how
“crazy” we can be for love.

Back then in the days when my chana, Christine and I were in high school,
her parents were tight markers of her young soul. Fortunately, despite the
tight marking I had managed to maneuver a way of passing my message of love
to Christine and it had been gladly received on that end. Our love had thus
grown in leaps and bounds since that trademark achievement. Nonetheless as
young and energetic lovers then, we always thought we needed more private
time together since most of the time we had always met only coincidentally
when we had gone to fetch water at the well which we thought was too public
a place for us to share our secret love at such a place. Yet with the
behavior of Christine’s dad it was almost impossible to get this private
time. That is when I decided to hatch a plan of meeting this daughter of a
man more often. It is the craziest plan I have made in life and I made it
because I loved Christine. Luckily she accepted the plan.

The plan was such that we would meet late in the night when the whole world
had gone to sleep. She would have a long string tied on her hand, part of
which string she would let to hang outside the window of her bedroom such
that when I came, instead of knocking on her window which I thought would
easily attract the attention of the other sleeping fellas in the house,
instead I would gently pull the string tied to the hand to beckon her soul
from slumber. She would then wake up, open the window and have me share a
moment of conversation and love with her. The extremely soft and sweet
conversations between Christine and I would then stretch far into the night
with the two hearts knotted together: but knotted with a string of love.

By Tiberindwa Zakaria

A peasant in the city but a king in the countryside

After two or so years, a few weeks ago I boarded a bus back to Hoima. Hoima
for those of you that may not know is in western Uganda over 200 kilometers
away from Kampala. It is that district that is found in the heart of Bunyoro
sub- region which sub- region is also known as the region that flows with
milk and oil. I had gone back to see my 93-year old grand ma that lives in
one of the villages in Hoima called Kikara which is about 15 kilometers from Hoima town.

Having taken sometime without going back to that village, the moment I
stepped foot on that village after those two or so years I was given an
unforgettable welcome. Almost every person in the village came over to have
a handshake with me the son of that village when they were told that I had
landed right into the village, straight and direct from the capital,
Kampala. They were so excited to have had me back. One thing I realized and
I really liked about our village when I went there is the fact that once a
person is from Kampala, it matters not whether all that he does in Kampala
is spend days on the streets of Kampala as a beggar or hawker. All that
matters to the fellows in that village is that one is from Kampala for one
to be showered with reverence and honor of a king. When I realized this was
the case, being the wise fool that I am, I took advantage of the situation.
I started moving around and about the village with the swagger of a peacock
and I ensured that they all took notice of that swagger. I also
started a project which was to last a single night. That project
was to educate these village bofoons about Kampala. That night I invited all of
them and we sat around a huge fire, then the stories about Kampala started
flowing like a river. Obviously the stories were littered with so many lies
and exaggerations about Kampala: gigantic and soaring buildings, the cars
and the traffic jam, the pickpockets that are common in down town Kampala
and all those other things that villagers want to hear about Kampala. It was
not until late into the night that my river of stories reached its
destination and we decided to go and slumber.

The next morning, you should have seen how those villagers flooded our home
just to have the last word with the Kampala bound boy since I had told them
that I was to live the next morning and just as a matter of courtesy my
grandma that morning prepared a meal for me to have with my village
admirers. It was a meal of kalo or millet bread the staple food of the
ancestors of the sons and daughters of that land and the source of smoked
meat mixed with groundnut stew. When I sat to have that meal, started to
swallow my kalo and saw all those adoring eyes glued to my disposition, I
remembered that time when these fellows in the city had treated with
detestable despise just because I had told them that I was a son of a
Munyoro peasant. Yet when I saw the admiration that was all around my soul
that morning I was surely delighted: my soul knelt down, right there and
thanked the almighty that though the Kampala fellows had loathed me just
because I was product of a peasant at least I had got people in this world
that really admired and respected me.

By Tiberindwa Zakaria