Forced to Fend For Myself After Losing my Father at a Young Age

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I will never forget that painful Sunday afternoon, March 5, 1990 while at home in Rubaare-Ntungamo district, when the Resistance Council (RC) came home requesting to have a crucial talk with my mother. However, my mother had delayed in a church meeting with the Reverend and church wardens, so the RC rode me on his bicycle to find her.

Being shocked seeing me at church, my mother rushed out of the meeting and asked me what I was doing there. I told her that Mr. Kamugisha was the one looking for her. My mother then told me to walk home and she would come after me. However, I didn’t Β understand why she wanted me home.

The Fateful Day

After an hour, my mother came home with sunken eyes and sat me with my seven siblings saying, she had something important to tell us. She then broke the news of our father’s death.

By then, I was at the age of 15 years old in Senior Two. So, being a bit old, I understood what death meant and knew that I would never see my father again, which my little siblings could not.

I eventually broke down on realizing that our father was no more after he got involved in a car accident in Kampala which ended his life.

It was a tough moment as I was trying to figure out how life would be without our beloved father since he was the family’s bread winner. My mother was a house wife that depended on our father who was a soldier.

Eventually, people started gathering at home and my father’s remains were then brought home. After two days, my father was laid to rest, and that is how I got to know the real ” meaning of death!”

Few months later, life changed as my mother could not afford to pay third term fees and scholastic materials for the five of us that were school going.

She suggested I don’t go to school but rather help her on the farm to get school fees for my siblings. I could not imagine myself dropping out of school, but due to the prevailing circumstances, I started working in people’s plantations every evening and holidays to get money, a strategy that worked for us.

During my Senior three third term holiday, I got a job in a restaurant which required me to be there by 7am to serve breakfast to travelers especially trailer drivers who spent nights in their vehicles by the road side.

A man from Burundi who preferred me to serve him, always tipped me but little did I know he was sexually attracted to me.

In my Senior Four vacation, Bernard (the Burundian) expressed his interests and started dating me. He showered me with gifts and money which I used to support the family.

One day, he invited me to Kampala and I lied to my mother of how my boss and I had to offer catering services at a function in Mbarara, but I ended up in a Kampala hotel with Bernard. This was my first time to leave my home town.

That evening, I was given a sweet drink (king fisher) which made me dizzy and sleepy. That is the night I lost my virginity. The next day, I went back to Rubaare since Bernard had cargo to deliver in Burundi.

A month later, I started feeling funny every time I would brush my teeth. One morning I vomited and my mother asked me if I had “opened my legs” for any man, but I denied the way Peter denied knowing Jesus though knowing I had missed my periods. But she said that pregnancy can’t be hidden forever.

It was time to report to school for Senior Five but couldn’t since I didn’t want to waste money paying school fees because I would be expelled.

On realizing that I was not reporting to school, my mother insisted on opening up to her which I did. This broke her heart, and worst of it all, Bernard refused to take responsibility after telling him that I was pregnant with his child because he wasn’t ready to have another family. Much as I regretted my actions, I remained determined to raise my child with or without him.

Months passed by and I gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. Two months later, I went back to work at Travelers restaurant. This time, I had to work even harder since I had my siblings and my baby to take care of.

After a while, Bernard came back looking for me but I didn’t want anything to do with him and asked my boss to transfer me from Rubaare, and she got me a job at Speke hotel in Kampala.

I then requested my mother to take care of my baby and promised to constantly be in touch.

My Turning Point

One evening, a white man who was a resident at the hotel for about a week asked me to accompany him to a club which I did.

Two days after, he went back to Arkansas but we kept in touch. A month later, he sent me a three weeks invitation to the US.

After four months of dating, he proposed to me. He then came to Uganda, visited my family and later on processed my travel documents to the US. Two years later, my daughter joined me in the US. My siblings were able to access good schools and later joined universities.

God had seen me cry enough, meeting this white man turned my tears and trials into a lifetime joy. We are now happy and financially empowered. Never give up as long as God is on your side.

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