Literary series by Dr. Ashraf Ssimwogerere
This is Martha’s story: I went to Pine Yard and met one of my friends who is stationed there to get more information about this story. This is what Magezi told me:
“Hajji Ashraf, we have so many people here; some like me are in formal business: of buying and selling used cars and others just come here to con people. Here, guys are very well-dressed. A guy may come here in the morning without a coin in his pocket and leaves this place in the evening with over two million shillings.
“But this happens occasionally. They bring girls here always, and for a Ugandan woman, when you talk about a car, she will do anything for you. For example, in Martha’s case the two million Jimmy paid Kizito was for Kizito himself.
“Jimmy had paid Kizito some money before, may be like 100, 000 shillings, for him to act until the mission is accomplished. In other words, Jimmy was just giving Kizito his money that he used to play the game.
“And they do it in the evenings, so as to claim that the banks are closed and on late Saturdays to get you the whole of Sunday before the banks are opened on Monday for the girl to be suspicious.
“It was unbelievable.”
What I got at Pyne Yard was that Jimmy had unceremoniously disappeared from the scene and cutting off all his contacts. Kizito, the Pine yard guy who received the deposit money for the car Jimmy was buying for Martha was looking at her as a stranger. All this time Jimmy had enjoyed the fruits of Martha who was a virgin to his satisfaction. Three weeks later Martha found herself pregnant.
“Hajj Ashraf, at first when the man told me that ‘Muwala, baakufera’ (Girl, you were coned), I thought he was joking; maybe because he was laughing.
“Another one added: ‘Girl, dayo osome bitabo byo Jimmy mwerabire. Gwe wawedde.’ (Girl, go back, forget Jimmy and read your books. For you are finished.) All of the men who were there in a group of ten, or more, taking tea and porridge in mugs just laughed at me uncontrollably. I felt very very small. Another one shouted calling a Kaggwa to tell me the truth.
“To my surprise, Kaggwa was the one I knew as Kizito. I got completely confused and decided to leave and go back to the hostel. I thought I would get Jimmy in church and report him to the pastor, but he never appeared again.
“When three weeks later I realized that I was pregnant, I thought of abortion, but I had no money and our final exams were in a month’s time. I imagined meeting my Dad, Lyagoba of Kiwani and my step-mother with my pregnancy, and cried the whole week. I decided to meet my pastor and tell him the whole story.
“It is thru this Muzungu pastor that God saved me. Hajj Ashraf “obulamu bwali bunsinye. Nga nyenda kufa bufi” (I only wanted to die”). He counselled me and advised me to keep the baby. He promised to cater for my upkeep.”
“Hajj Ashraf, I settled and concentrated in books. I made sure no body in the hostel and at campus suspected me. I finished my course with a second upper degree. I worked at the church after my exams and kept my pregnancy away from Dad and Mom until after I delivered I stayed in a church house around Kampala suburbs.
“Hajj Ashraf you can’t believe a girl from Kiwani delivered her baby from Kololo hospital. The bill was 1.7million. Pastor cleared everything. That is how God works. Amen. Mom and Dad saw my son on the graduation day. Because l was not doing bad they didn’t bother the father first.
But they were happy for their grand. The graduation was organized by the pastors wife. I was her darling among the church members. After two years the Pastor and his wife sent me out to UK for my masters.”
“Today after 14yrs since I met Jimmy in church, his son is a member of that church choir that has traveled the world. He is in S2 in a very good school. For me I’m a civil servant, a commissioner in this ministry of … .”
I’ve met Jimmy on the streets of Kampala several times and he pretends not to know me. I inquired a lot about him. He is ever in police and prison cells. I once saw his pic in a paper wanted for car robbery Its good for me that he doesn’t know that I have his child.
I’m happily married but a bit sad that I told my son that yo dad is dead when he is alive. And I don’t expect ever to change my mind to forgive that goon never. My kid is a son of the Church. Period.”