Literally Series by Dr. Ashraf Ssemwogerere
Jalia episode 2
The introduction to Jalia’s story must have left most of you intrigued. The style was short; not my usual way of presentation. Jalia’s pain of loss affected me, too. Jalia’s father, Hajji Kisitu, had been murdered. She reached the grave site after 7.00 pm from school. Let’s continue…
“Hajji Ashraf, we stayed in the village for a week before going back home in Makindye where dad had build a very big and nice home. He had been a rich man. He had two big shops in Nakasero selling hardware.
“Mom was feeling very dizzy with a headache. We thought it was because of the crying that made her lose a lot of salts though tears, hence the headache.
“On the third day, after leaving the village, my mom, Hajjat Safiina, slipped on the steps and fell down. She could not move. Rushing her to the hospital, it was found out that she had suffered a grand stroke. She could not talk, hear or walk. It’s her condition up to today.
“Hajji Ashraf I never enjoyed my S6 vacation. I was at her bedside most of the time.
“Uncle Walusimbi continued to run Dad’s business well. His wife, Zaina, was the auditor of the company. She had studied Business Administration. It was the late dad who had employed her, before Uncle Walusimbi fell for her, ending their story in wedlock.
“The business continued to boom – even much better than when dad left it. Uncle made everything possible to save mom’s life; he even took her abroad for treatment and she was advised to rest home in that condition.
“When the S6 results were out, I was the best in the Science class, with AAAC and a 4 in General Paper. I was given Civil Engineering at Makerere. It had been my dad’s dream for me to study engineering. At least I was happy that his dream was about to come true.
“At campus, Uncle Walusimbi, made me the happiest girl. I only missed the heartbeats of my father’s hug. But the rest, Uncle Walusimbi provided. The man showed me love. He gave me an allowance from my late father’s business and it was big money. He never missed a week without coming to campus as long as he was in the country.
“In my third year, he advised me to start visiting the shops and study my late father’s business. Uncle surprised me when he uncovered my late dad’s chair and nobody had ever sat in it. He welcomed me into the office and sat me in the very chair that dad used to sit in. I was 21years old.
“He said that very soon after obtaining my degree, I was going to take over. He even introduced me to all workers, as their boss. I could see this didn’t go well with his wife, Aunt Zaina, the auditor. She was the apparent boss and all the workers feared her. She used an iron hand when dealing with them.
“I saw the moods of the employees, they looked happy after my introduction. Most of them were recruited by my late dad. When we went to the office, Aunt Zaina, welcomed me warmly to the company. She even gave me a report showing the status of the company. It was very impressive and uncle was very happy.
“Time came and I graduated. The ceremony itself was waaaaawuu. And you coul;d see that my mom, though handicapped, was a happy woman in her wheel chair.
“The day I went to the office after some weeks rest, Aunt Zaina had invited Uncle Walusimbi. The three of us in the office; and she had a surprise for me, as a gift.
“She had got me a big job in Turkey as a site engineer. Uncle opposed it right away, but the benefits overwhelmed me. The salary was $200,000 a month, a car, a house and many other benefits. She said that they needed a young African lady engineer because they were building an African center for women. All the papers were very genuine.
“Uncle looked very sad but I was determined to go. Auntie Zaina took me to some very good office in Kololo to verify the appointment. There, I signed some papers. And because of the excitement, I didn’t even read through them. I wanted to go – very fast.
“Time came to go, and Aunt Zaina, organized a duwa for me before sending me off through Entebbe Airport. I was very happy. I was to pass via Saud Arabia. At Jedda airport, some two Black women were waiting for me. They hired a taxi that was taking me to the big boss, who was going to sign me for the work. The women said that he is the owner of the company I was to work for in Turkey.
“They spoke very broken English and were from Buganda or Busoga. I wondered which big boss of an international company would employ such people to pick an expert.
“As I was still in those thoughts, one of the women pulled out a big peace of cloth and a small bottle, poured some chemical from the bottle in the cloth. As I was busy looking at her, the other one grabbed me; and they covered my nose and mouth with the cloth. I blacked out!
Insha Allha, we shall continue from there. Allha bless you all.