A Villager: A Diaspoman’s letter home

Greetings again- the last time I wrote to you, you clearly told me that “friends are strangers that we haven’t yet met” so, I say Hi friend.

Greetings again- the last time I wrote to you, you clearly told me that “friends are strangers that we haven’t yet met” so, I say Hi friend.

If you know a place called “Mukibingo” then you have got it! Needless to say that in the name of “civilisation”, Mfashumwana is now called Kyererezi (a Kitooro term for light)!

But trust me, old habits die hard! If you carried out an opinion poll, 8 out of 10 kids would still prefer Mfashumwana.

What about walking from Mukibingo to Kyaitamba Primary School barefooted! Good bless those TAMTECO (Tooro And Mityana Tea Company) tractor drivers who used to gift us lifts on their tractor trailers (we used to call the “ibiturera”)!

When one boy got a lift onto the trailer on top of green tea leaves, the driver would be forced to cover him deep into tea leaves when he saw “Rutagwera’s” car approaching (Mr. Rutagwera was the Senior Groups Manger for TAMTECO).

Managers never liked the drivers’ generosity as they claimed that, carrying people on top of Tea leaves reduced the quality of the tea.

Mr. Rutagwera was later popularly known as “NINYOMWE” (I am the only one)! Talk about human weakness to claim permanency and lasting pride on this planet, whose point and time of exit we never come to terms with until we..... that every human being has a small dose of ‘Ninyomwe” in his life time! 

(Mfashumwana Vil, by the way, Ninyomwe was Mr. Rutagwera’s normal saying, he always smoked REX Cigarettes, a brand that was beyond the reach of most Kijura residents and would brag that he was the only one capable of smoking such a brand).

Interestingly, you re-activated my mind with the name “Kavanca”! The whole image of his came so vivid in my mind that I could even see him ride his unique and stylish bicycle! Yes, I was told that he was obsessed with caning.

Call him an avid carrier of the “Thanatos syndrom”- an inherent trait whose carrier will have a constant desire to destroy or render vulnerable. He later came to Kyairumba Primary School from Kyaitamba- probably shortening his riding distance because he used to live in “Busasa” and Kyairumba was definitely much close to his home.

By this time, he had developed another weird behaviour- requesting students to bring him food from their homes- amashaza, ibishyimbo- name it! As all odds would befall him, on a certain fool’s day (April 1st), one female student went to a nearby bush and collected some wild beans that apparently look like “amashaza” put them in kavera and proudly “timed” on his way home from school. 

She told Kavanca that she had brought him “Kaho” (amashaza) in Rutoro, to which Kavanca thanked her a million---- (it’s a long story as to what happened the next day)! Thanks for all your work - I am in a tiny room in DeKalb, ILLINOIS in the US, where I sneaked for studies! God bless you!

Regards, Mikayiri, missing home Brother Mikayiri,
I am really humbled and enthralled by this great letter that, I have taken it upon myself to share it with all my fans and foes alike. I hope, my brother (Mikayiri), will not be the least offended.

Look out for the reply to this soul touching letter, especially, when it comes from one of my own village mate, what can I say apart from, begging the almighty God to grant us his mercy so that you can come back home safely and we meet.(Mr. Diaspoman watch out for a new Diaspoman in Illinois!)

Contact: Mfashumwana@fastmail.fm