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The Voice of the mad people, who cares??

I can not avoid it any more, the more I keep quite the more I see them, the more I think about them. I saw one last week (Friday morning, 1st October 2010), a beautiful woman in her mornings of getting mad. I had never seen someone in their first hours of getting mad, I guess it was the first hours because she was smartly dressed, carrying a nice bag, fitting and matching her dress code. A hawker was walking ahead of me, ahead of him was this beautiful woman, at a glance of the fruits the man was selling she hurriedly pointed at him with the five thousand shillings note ($2.2), as he walked closer to her (to sell to her) she began dancing, she was dancing and dancing…. She begum feeling proud of her dressing (as a child behaves when they feel so smart).

I walked slowly pondering why most mad people behave like children. I did not find an answer, not even as to why and how they people run mad, someone must help me out, is madness incurable?
I started recalling and flashing back on all the mad people I have seen, I have never seen an organization caring for them here in Uganda except for one hospital where they are dumped and treated as prisoners. I have never heard anyone speak about them or for them in public.

My own step brother Conrad ran mad at 24 when he was in his second year in the university – in 2002, up to date he is still mad, the mother tried taking him to that hospital (Butabika) where he was treated like a prisoner, injected with strong drugs to sleep, get weak and more confused, form would drop from his mouth as though a pig dumped under the hot sun not until he was taken back home. Conrad can stand all day all night in one position, he talks to “unseen people”, he laughs... The mother and relatives have spent millions of money to treat him, including going to consult many Witchdoctors of which each had their own demands, tried churches in vain, she has given up almost.

I grew up seeing Asinde mad, off and on, it is said that whenever she eats white ants (hunted in villages as food using grass lite fires from midnight in certain months of each year), she runs mad. Asinde is a very beautiful woman, when she is not mad she is the most hardworking young woman in the entire village, she plants her crops both for food and for sale. Should she get mad, her father 80+ years old and mother 76 + years old are in total hell. She will beat them like no man’s business. She will abuse them day and night (hot abuses involving their sexual lives), she will disappear and reappear and when she disappears, her parents will not sleep, they keep looking for her. Men here are not shameful at all, the rape such people and even impregnant them, no one follows up, no one cares except their relatives whose voices do not go beyond their door steps!

Kalooli was familiar to me too, his madness was off and on too. Whenever he was mad, he would use his last right small finger to dig a hole, whether blood was dripping off his hand or puss using out, he did not care, he would keep digging. He would get a knife and cut himself too. Unfortunately he died in October last year. On the other hand, Ongwen would time when you are about t serve food, he eats and after eating he walks away while abusing you and your entire family, unfortunately he also died.

Same Friday, last week in the evening as I was walking back home, I met the usual one I have always seen. I thought to myself that maybe there is need for me to speak for the mad soon, I am doing it now….. This one today was sweeping the highway, sweeping with her beat hands, on the other had she was throwing hips of dirt on the road, no one minds, neither did I. She loves at and by herself, it is common in many, who knows the logic?
Just yesterday 4, October I saw a mad man having “a long call” I had never seen a mad person in that scenario. He was half naked, with torn pieces of cloths as his skirt, he did it close to the high way, I was in a Taxi and in a traffic jam, he bent abit and he did it! He was wild, after doing it he grabbed grass, cleaned his behind and threw it at the passers- by, he started picking stones and was throwing at people walking close to him, he had a bottle of DIRTY water that he poured on his body, drunk and was spitting everywhere. The mad eat rotten foods and they never die of poor hygiene, they never get Cholera, they rarely fall sick. What causes madness? Why do the mad behave like children? Who cares about the mad???


aimeeknight's picture

You care! That is important,

You care! That is important, you are becoming their voice..I’m not sure of the answers to all of your questions. Perhaps they behave like children because their minds are not inhibited by rational thought, so they are innocent in a way..and need someone to speak for them. As to why they this happens..looking at everything that happens in the world the turmoil and strife, is it really a surprise that some are afflicted in this way. As to who do and I do and more than you know..that’s why we have world pulse to share what is important to us. Thank you, this was a very moving essay.

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

AchiengNas's picture

Does madness have cure?

Thanks Knight!
I have heard a lot of advocacy for most of the vulnerable in the communities but I have not heard about those for the mad. There are MANY mad people in Uganda, in the city, one can not move 400miters without meeting one yet is no project here that focuses on the mad.
I believe if a mad person gets cured, they would change the lives of many too.

Thank you,

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

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