Letter From a Concerned Mother

Dear son,

How are you, my dear? How is life over there in the white man’s land? I wonder how the weather is, over there.

You see, son, I get confused with summer and winter. Summer sounds like the time when you need heavy sweaters, and then winter sounds like the time when it is windy. I am sorry my son, if I am confusing the two, but you will have to explain to me over again.

We have had many problems at home here. Our neighbour, Omutaka Luutu, died in a very mysterious way. Everyone suspects it is his wife who killed him. Your aunt, Ssenga Guleesi, also died. Sorry for losing your aunt, but you know what was between me and her? We never saw eye to eye. She was against your father marrying me, and since then, we never got along.

Now, the biggest issue here is your wife. My son, your wife is seeing, not just another man, but other men. I aised her to stop working and look after her children herself, and send away the house girl, but she refused. Actually, she said bad things about you my son, my favourite son, that sometimes you take long to send money so, she needs the extra money she gets from her job. How could she say that about you?

My son, your wife comes home late, she brings her sisters and brothers in the house, they hold parties there and they don’t even invite me. Men spend nights in your house. Imagine!

My son, you have to come back and send this woman packing. What kind of daughter-in-law does not find time to help her mother-in-law, at least once in a while? That distance from Ntinda, where she lives, is not too long. In our days we used to walk from Kampala to Seeta.

She has a car, but she complains of fuel all the time, and so she can’t drive to Seeta on Saturdays when she does not go to work, to come and help me weed my groundnuts garden? Eh? My son, what kind of woman did you marry?

Hey, tell me son, do you know this new man she went to visit recently? His name is ‘Liv.’ She is so in love with him, that she can’t even pronounce the name fully. I have put spies around to look for this Livingstone. I will get him, and take their pictures, and send them to you. Your wife spent a whole two weeks with Liv, and even had the audacity to say, her boss permitted her a full two weeks just to be with Liv.

I will tell you more when I know about this new man. Anyway, son, the ‘Kasaana Women Group,’ will be holding a party. You know I am the head of that women’s group. I told the women that we should dress appropriately, not like the Kikona women who came dressed in poor material gomesi.

And you know, my son, everyone knows I have a son in the white man’s land. So, I must dress better than the headmaster’s wife. By the way, there are many new people in our village, and I am not happy, because they want to outdo me in terms of wearing expensive gomesis.

The other day, I was asked to tell them which country you are in, my son, but that word keeps dodging me. When I am alone, I can say it, but when I am in a crowded place, I fail. Isn’t it ‘Kopin-Koton Dendimak’? The name does not matter. What matters is that you are in the white man’s land.

About the money and the gomesi, my son, please send me the money to buy these things before the function. And don’t worry about your wife. I will always keep an eye on her and tell you what she is doing. Should I help you send her away? You stopped me the other time, but I wanted to send her packing. I don’t want you to die of Aids, my son.

Please come back home soon, son, and DON’T FORGET THE MONEY FOR THE GOMESI.

May God bless, you my son,

Your Mother, Mirisenti.

Source : The Observer

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