Uganda, also known as the pearl of Africa you would think l live in a paradise. Well things aren't always what they seem. Am going to take you through what it is to live, breathe grow and thrive in this diverse country. Our story begins with a girl called "Nalongo", a name native to these parts which actually means a mother who has given birth to twins but people use it anyway. Nalongo grow up in the eastern region of Uganda also known as Busoga region.
She experienced the incredible sites and sounds every single day. Mellow clouds in the shade of peach and orange would greet her every morning as the backing sun would kiss her skin. Opening the window to let the fresh air in as it was day again. The sky full of different varieties of birds chirping and singing in harmony, and the trees how can l forget the trees every bone in her body worshipped them an envious canopy formed over the ebony and mahogany trees in her compound. Leaves dark green and very pleasing to the eye. It was perfect it seemed perfect or so we thought. Nalongo was an introverted child. Yes, she liked people and of course she liked making friends but the other kids found her rather odd and complex so she would play all by herself. S he enjoyed her own company though her mind would take her into the most amazing adventures none of the kids her age would dare to dream. She liked having her on time and space no of which the other kids would understand. They where all busy playing dodge ball in Luganda we call it "okwepena". She was about 4 years at the time and wasn't sure how complex her world was about to get. Her mother, Nina was a worker at the Lugazi sugarcane plantation. She used to travel miles from where they lived so as to earn a living. She used to harvest sugarcane. At the very bottom of the production line and yes, she would earn mere scrabbles. Her father, Lutaaya was a drunk. He never helped much at home and his wife would always struggle to keep the family afloat. Their relationship was terrible full of bickering and fighting to top it all off he would sleep around with random women he found at bar pubs. The stress of all this was over whelming and this left Nina very angry with not outlet that anger expect sadly her daughter. Nalongo was Nina's punching bag. Any stress from work or her husband would be rested on her shoulders. One small mistake would cause her a through beating and don't get me started with the the cains. With no one to run to Nalongo had to stay strong and save her tears for the the pillow after all it was her mother and she was the child. You see in Africa parents exercise their right of ownership, "they can do whatever they want with you as long as your under their roof even if it comes off as abusive." She was a young girl dealing with trauma in the worst way possible, silently. Don't be sad its not all dark clouds and tears. This little girl had a best friend called "Ogwal". Ogwal was like her light at the end of a tunnel, this black beauty was full rainbows and sunshine and even though Nalongo had a lot of sadness in her heart she would always be cheered up by her. Non the less. She was the only person that tried to understand her and actually speak her language mentally that is to say. Ogwal always seemed happy but her parents where separated they supported her in the best ways possible. Something Nalongo wished her parents did or better yet tried to do. Nalongo spent a lot of time at Ogwal's home partially because she wanted to be there and also because it helped her get her mind off things. For one, her family was a moving train wreck ready to crash at any moment. Her drunkard father and abusive mother weren't the best combination. Well it could have been worse, they would have been drug lords from Mexico. Nalongo would get home in time for dinner. It was never fancy when the breadwinner of the family is earning under a dollar. They were poor but some how used to rent a small house two bedrooms one bath and it worked for a while. They were lucky God gave them a daughter who didn't like to eat. Nalongo would eat what she could and live the rest for her parents not because she wanted too but cause those where the calories her body could take. One amazing day her uncle Richard came visit. She liked visitors because she knew they would take her out to eat ice cream. Unlike all kids it was a privilege for her to get special treats like ice cream and chocolate because her parents simply couldn't afford it. She knew this from a very young and understood the economic situation without being explained too. So she want out with her uncle Alex out for ice cream. She didn't talk much but was amazing company with that dazzling smile and bright eyes who wouldn't be captured. A sweet, innocent, spirited child. No one could see the demons hunting her, the ones eating her up from the inside. Trying to dim and plug out the light and hope she was to bring into this world. At the age of four, Nalongo was struggling with anxiety which would later turn into depression as she progressed further into her life. Tragic isn't it, well am not righting something for you to be smiling about. Nalongo had pain that drenched down her soul as if carried onto her from her passed life more importantly into this one. The ice cream shop had a big window, clear as glass. Her mind would often wonder as she looked at the people on the streets the rocky cracked old cemented streets full of bumps and uneven pavers. It was cold raindrops fell on the window class slowly and calmly. S he believed the clouds where crying for her because they felt her pain.