Would-Be Redeemer Becomes Destroyer [opinion]

I was born in a family of royal lineage.

That was the reason my paternal aunties were dissatisfied with my mother because she gave birth to only two children my brother, Mulangira Junior, and I. I was the first born. This was unacceptable because a woman of my mother’s time was supposed to give her husband seven or more children.

My aunties tried to persuade Father to marry another woman who would produce more children, especially boys, in order to make the clan grow bigger. My father, who was also called Mulangira, was reluctant to marry another wife, because he was a very peaceful man, and he thought the peace and joy that prevailed at that time would slowly disappear with the arrival of the new wife. But he eventually bowed to the demands and pressure from his sisters and other relatives.

My stepmother was a good lady. It was such a relief to know that we would still have the peace that we were used to. She gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. I looked after the baby with a lot of love. She gave birth to a second baby a girl. My father was still very happy, because for him, we were his children, and he loved us all. And besides, he already had a male child.

Third, fourth, fifth born, were all girls.

Everyone called my stepmother, Maama. My mother was Omuzaana. My stepmother became bitter. She started yelling at us, saying that my mother, Omuzaana, had bewitched her. The much-cherished peace started disappearing. The home became chaotic Father became withdrawn and decided to shut himself away.

I was the only one trying to put the home together. My mother, Omuzaana, was also bitter because she was blamed for making her co-wife produce only girls. One Saturday morning, Father was making a local brew called Tonto, with the help of his friends. I was fetching water and filling a big pot.

My stepmother, Maama, called me and gave me a big gourd of juice, the first product of the local brew, which is very sweet. This seemed unusual, because Maama had not shown such love for a long time. She told me to rest a little, have a drink first before I could proceed with fetching water.

She asked me to drink with my brother, Mulangira Junior. But I thought, if I sat down to have refreshment, I would feel reluctant to go back to the stream. So, I called my brother, Mulangira Junior, and all my sisters, and shared the juice amongst all. I kept some for myself intending to take it later.

“Mumbejja Dora, I have been very busy down in the banana plantation. I am tired. Please get me some water,” Father’s cool and pleasant voice echoed.

I gave him the juice that I had kept for myself and quickly ran back to the stream.

As I came back home, with a jerrycan on my head, there was a lot of commotion from the compound. My mother, Omuzaana, was holding my brother, Omulangira Junior, father’s friends were holding him, and my sisters were being held by my stepmother. They were dying. They had been poisoned by me!

“Maama gave me that juice, to share with my brother Omulangira. But I was still fetching water so, I shared it out to all my sisters and brother and the remaining juice that was meant for me, I gave it to Father.”

All questions shifted from me, to Maama, my stepmother. She denied giving me the juice, and kept shouting that I had killed her children.

“If I knew that juice was poisoned, I would never have given it to my brother and my father,” I explained.

We did not have quick means of transport to take our seven patients to the nearby health centre. By sunset, we were mourning Father Mulangira, Brother Mulangira and five innocent little girls.

Maama, my stepmother, left the house immediately after burial. Omuzaana died a month later of heartbreak. A once peaceful home had been destroyed and I was to blame for being too open- handed.

Source : The Observer

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