Take a walk with me in the life of Nimusiima.
When i heard this painful story of this young 19year old girl.I couldn't help but cry with her as she narrated her own story tearfully.
Nimusiima hails from Bushenyi district in Western Uganda.As i sat down to listen to her,a visibly sickly and improverished baby was tagging at her almost shredded skirt.I later learnt it was her daughter whom she concieved at the age of 17 after dropping out of primary school while in P.5.
With swollen eyes,visible from perhaps a long night of crying.She still amidst sobs,narrated the story of her life.She says she lost her mother while still young and that she was living with her father and step mother and at this point round,both had sent her away from home to come to the city and find her baby's father,that apparently,she was to leave the child with her father and return home to get married to an older man and if not she had no option but to leave the home.Nimusiima then said she sold off a sack of beans she had harvested from her garden in order to raise the bus fare.
So she embarked on the long journey to Kampala city,where the man had told her he rides a passenger motor bike for a living.Now for a girl who hardly knows the city but only armed with her baby,a small handbag that has just a baby sheet and a wrapper,plus two phone numbers,one belonging to the man's friend and the other to the man,she arrived in the city.
Here is then the beginning of Nimusiima's woes as if the village drama of a forced marriage isnt enough,on arrival,she said she called the man's number and it was picked by a woman who was rude to her and from that time,it's the woman who recieves the calls,to make matters worse,she doesn't even know the man's duty station which could have made it abit easier to trace him.She then decided to call up his friend,who took her in for a week and just this one day,he turns up and tells her"if you dont leave my house,i will rape you".I didn't know what to term this guy at this point.She then said she chose to seek shelter from a police post where she spent some nights and she was hoping for help,which she didnt because it became harsh for her.On the morning that i met her,she says she had spent the previous night in a makeshift church...at this point am so engrossed in her story yet drenched in tears at the same time that i forgot to ask her if i could get her some breakfast,it's just what she was waiting for,i walked with her to a nearby restaurant and got her breakfast.She then proceeded to say,she wasn't willing to marry the old catholic man her parents wanted her to marry,i asked her what she wanted and she said she wanted to return home and stay in her late mother's house.
Looking at how much she had suffered and how almost all doors had caved in on her,i wondered at the cruelity and harshness of the world and it's adversaries.That how could it put such a heavy burden on a young and vulnerable girl like this?
At this point,i told her that i would refer her to an organization that i thought would help and she said she would be glad and that was what i did.
I later sat down and wondered at how many Nimusiima's where going through a similar sad tale in their lives,each time i thought about it my heart sank deeper with pain.What does a girl/woman do when the very people meant to protect her and make her secure are her enemies?Who is she supposed to turn to??
When we still have the strength,lets not remain silent,you may not have that immediate financial help,but you can help in so many other ways even if it means just giving a smile, a hug,a shoulder to lean on and a reassuarnce of love,it lights up the affected person's world,it makes them feel not all is lost..atleast i managed to offer her the above and i was glad she had a smile though faint,but it was one good one..
The reason you and i encounter these scenarios is not because others dont see,but it's because God has chosen you in particular to journey with that person so you can be the voice that speaks for him or her.
Dear sisters and brothers,lets keep our ears to the ground and eyes wide open,because there's a voice crying out in the dark and only you can be their redeemer..