Thursday, February 19, 2015

How I missed out on the love of a Congolese beauty

During my time at Law Development Centre, my place of habitation was Nana Hostel. Now Nana is a hub for foreign students, mainly Somalis and Congolese.  For the time I stayed there I had a Congolese roommate who was doing a degree at Cavendish University. He knew some English (just a few words) and a lot of Kiswahili. On my part I knew a few French words and the furthest I could go in Kiswahili was Habari- Muzuri.

Our communications were but for convenience because well, destiny had brought us together into one room and like they say I had to stay well and my neighbour also. Otherwise, there was no reason why we should have talked to each other in the first place. We had nothing in common. He was Congolese, I was Ugandan. He was at Cavendish University; I was at Law Development Centre. He was pursuing an undergraduate Bachelors degree in I don’t know what; I was pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

Perhaps the only similarity between the two of us was that we were both dark-skinned Africans and apparently by virtue of that I should have considered him a brother of sorts. But I am not a pan- Africanist and you do not expect me to connect with any hapless African from Congo or anywhere else on this continent just because we share a black skin. Oh priiiz! It is deeper than that.

Nonetheless since destiny had dictated that the two of us would stay together, I was almost certain that at one point, things would change and we would find that connecting dot that we needed for us to stay together happily thereafter.

Indeed, a couple of months later something happened. The sister to my Congolese roommate flew in from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I learnt later that she was here to pursue a vocational course at YMCA Wandegeya. And I was more than glad that she had come. Why? Well, because at least her brother and I had found a topic worth talking about- her beauty and its implications on my future plans.

To tell you the truth, the girl was pretty. So, I started laying my strategies early on. The early bird catches the worm you know. I was afraid of what would become of her when she mingled with some of the slippery Ugandans out there.  I had to find a way of protect her from them by lodging my caveat on her heart. Unfortunately, like her brother, she could only speak French. She could fluently speak Kiswahili as well. However, unlike her brother, she could not speak or even understand any English word.

At first, I thought teaching her English would help me connect with her in ways that many would Ugandans would never be able to. But soon I realized that such a strategy would never work since she knew no English. My efforts to instruct her in a language she barely understood proved futile. Therefore when everything had failed, I resorted to sign language.

Every other time when my pretty friend and I crossed paths, I would wave to say hi and I guess she understood. Unfortunately I could not figure out what signs to use to tell her that I liked her very much. That’s how I missed out on expressing my feelings to that Congolese girl. If only I had been in an institution with schedules less demanding, perhaps I would have enrolled for a Kiswahili class and who knows may be by now I would be telling the story of how I won the heart of Congolese beauty.

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