By Denis Wabuyi
Nothing disturbs our village as suspicion in the two families of Wanda and Mwalye. Mukhwana, the sister to Wamono, the boy who died at Bumashebe has got a swelling on her foot. It is said by some people that she stepped on “nalusambu”, a poisonous plant when it pricks and gets stuck in the flesh. Some people are alluding it to witchcraft while others think that being a twin, it is her time to follow the twin brother. So far, the family is quietly treating her with the local herbs.
Mwalye came home to tell our father about Mukhwana’s situation. She has developed a terrible fever emanating from the swelling and her condition is not getting any better. My father recommended using some bitter herb, “Kumururutsa”. It is known to work well on fever. “After galloping the herb, cover her in the same blanket with hot water in a ‘baafu”. After that sweating she will be fine”. “And by the way, lemme give you this aspirin also, it will help a lot”. He gave him one tablet and Mwalye left. Will Mukhwana get any better?
We had a nice spectacle watching the “Kwini” pass above us. “kwini” is like an aeroplane but it leaves a trail of white smoke behind it. We don’t know exactly why they call it kwini, we also found the name in place.
The neighbors next door are preparing for their daughter’s give away ceremony. We hear that the in laws have a lot of property and they have also prepared a lot to fit the pedigree of Buganda marriage.
Preparation is in high gear. We shall eat things and we shall dance transnight
Luseti, the father has even borrowed the best kanzu from Watila. Everything will be colorful. Their son who works from Busoga made a big contribution of toilet paper that will be used as a ribbon.
At 3pm without a sign of visitors, we started asking whether this wasn’t just a hoax. We had sent Wetonyi to the main road that if he saw any vehicles, he should ride his bicycle back and inform us that the visitors are close by. At a few minutes to 5pm, Wetonyi came panting on his bicycle. “I have seen 2 vehicles that turned towards our road. They must be the ones”. We hastily put everything in order to await. Surely, in a few minutes two small vehicles could be seen snaking to the compound from the raised venue. Everything went relatively well until Luseti asked whether we should go ahead or wait for the cows to arrive. “Did you say cows?” “Of course”
“Which cows?” one of them asked in Luganda
“Can you marry someone’s daughter without cows?”
“Mzee, in Buganda it is different.”
A protracted exchange followed until tempers went flared from the girl’s side. “They cannot take my daughter in exchange for these baskets, are they full of money?”. Luseti angrily retorted in Lugisu. Wetonyi opened one basket which was full of clean onions, second one tomatoes, all had some food stuff. “Do they know how much money we have borrowed to organize this function to be left with onions and 60000? Ningila khabili! Ngwami ta, they can’t eat here, they can’t take my daughter”. With those words Luseti walked off to wherever he knows. We were all left in confusion. No coaxing could change his mind, Musuya cried but there was nothing to do. Seeing no way out, the groom and his team with disgrace left with word that they will come back.
When they left without eating, it was now our time to eat. We ate, drunk and even carried. I don’t recall what happened thereafter.
I woke up with a spinning head. All I could do was throw up, a result of yesterday’s excessive eating and drinking. Rest of the day was spent in doors. Which means you have to be patient till next week to know what happened next.
Till then, we shall keep you posted!
The author is an independent accountant, researcher and writer. He writes the X-Files every Thursday and has written other things. Find him on The Insider or via Google.