On the Heels of the Hill

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Chapter 7: Don't Rejoice in my Destruction


Rooza had now come to the western side of the hill to check on her crops after she had been humiliated in the open. When she set her eyes on her millet gardens, cassava trees and the sweet potatoes on the side, she was blinded by what she saw. She first closed her big round eyes for a moment and opened them again, winked a few glances again on her crops, wanting to make sure that what she had seen was not real. Immediately her big eyes charged and like a snake poised to bite, she paused, tightened her lesso around her waist firmly and then yelled on top of her voice as she leant forward, “Everybody! Out of my gardens!”

She repeated the warning but hey, people were busy searching the millet garden, others breaking cassava branches to use them in bringing down the flying nsenene and others had left the potato gardens dry already. A young boy, fully clothed in his black Adam suit had dug up a few potatoes with his hands and was gnawing on one. He wasn’t really the type of man you would say was interested in what was going on around him, he seemed to not know or care that people were picking nsenene, he stood on a heap in the potato garden and just ate his potatoes with his muddy hands. His colleagues were running around to catch nsenene, others plucking off the potato leaves and stems off the heaps as they searched for nsenene.

Meanwhile in classes students couldn’t concentrate. The noise from Buzina hill was just deafening and almost all students in different classes all just got up on a sight of a single nsenene flying through the classroom window, and the teachers had to keep yelling on top of their voices to calm down the students. At around 10:30am, the bell rang for break and the number of broken furniture registered was overwhelming. No teachers could succeed at commanding the students to stay in class for at least a minute longer, even if those teachers were tougher, stricter and commanded more respect than Iddi Amin.

Rooza had been trying to peacefully get nsenene pickers out of her gardens but everytime she succeeded in getting out some, others would immediately enter the already secured parts. She got even angrier because nobody could hear her. She looked around and the first thing she set her big red round eyes on was a short dried piece of wood. She picked it, with a few nsenene in her left hand and a kavera full of nsenene fastened to the lower edge of her lesso which had an inscription “Usicheze na mimi,” she hurled the piece of wood at one of the groups in the millet garden. Luckily it did not land on anyone but that’s when her presence was felt. At this time she had started entering her gardens throwing stones at people in her gardens as she cursed, and yelled, and insulted and so on. She even got a chance to avenge her earlier humiliation by stoning Vangi’s daughter straight to the head leaving her badly wounded.

Vangi’s daughter jumped around crying and running like a chicken that had just lost its head to a sharp knife. Her head had just been painted red. She was wailing as she stumbled on the rocks running and wailing,

“Mamaaaaaaa……..Yamaweeeeeeeeee, Ai mamaaaaaaaa, Nafaaaaaaaaaa……

Tataaaaaaaaaa mmm, tataweeeeeeeee, uuuuuuuuuuu, mmmmmmmmmmmm, eeeeeeeee……”

Of course this wasn’t the first time people saw or heard someone bleeding and crying during musenene. It had happened all the time, and it was regarded as tradition.

Vangi could recognize her daughter’s wail from the opposite side of the hill. She rested her buveras of nsenene on Kenyonyozi’s laps and she ran looking for her daughter. She took the left side of the hill and found Rooza weaping in her gardens who asked upon seeing Vangi, “Are you here to destroy my crops too, or to fight me?

Vangi answered rather serious, “I don’t have time for that. I heard my daughter crying, where is she? Have you seen her here?”

Rooza continued to show her anger, “I am here protecting my crops from more destruction. Don’t ask me to baby sit your 17 year old daughter.”

Vangi continued her search for her daughter in the rocks, thickets, heathers and so on as she asked different people until she was told her daughter had been wounded. Vangi was only interested in seeing her daughter and she didn’t have time to ask who had hurt her daughter.

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