Every so often we come across something or someone that reminds us how our perceived issues and desires and problems are nothing more than … mere drops in the ocean of life.
Yes, my electricity bill is way past due and my TV don’t work and I need a new phone and I’m in hiding from a few creditors and my bank balance is in the red and I don’t have a presentation for fellowship this evening and celibacy sucks and I owe y’all an apology for going AWOL but damn, I do not want to be in the shoes of this young lady! (If i bungled up the link, please find the story on page 16 of today’s New Vision – April 15, 2010).
I grew up in Jinja; it is one and a half hours from Kampala, 90 minutes away. 90 minutes from where i’m going to spend this evening gorging myself on bottomless coffee and Black Forest, a 16 year old girl needs at least Ushs 2 Million to fix her urinary bladder so that she can stop walking round with a catheter and smelling of susu all the time and her classmates will hopefully then stop keeping their distance from her. on second thoughts, maybe I won’t have the Black Forest, maybe I should take that Ushs 7000 and – I don’t know – stick it in an empty salt shaker for Rehema. That’s her name, Rehema Kutesa. One of my favourite Aunts is called Rehema, one of my hottest friends is a Kutesa (with 2 e’s I think).
Banange, I want to – scratch that – need to do something for Rehema. How hard can it be to raise money (y’all saw that coming didn’t you) so this young girl can smell like young girls are supposed to smell … soap, water, baby powder, samona, movit etc … and finish Primary 4 and go on to Primary 5 and – maybe even Primary 6 – and dare I dream it, finish Primary School? How hard can it be to fix up Rehema so that maybe a young boy who just bought his first bicycle (in Jinja you’ve arrived when you buy a bicycle, not a BMX or Mountain bike but, a bicycle) can ride up to her and tell her, “eii muna, ida nkutwale kku gyojja”, and then she’ll smile shyly and maybe reply, “sshya, twale ele, nze tyenda kuntabulatabula!”, and then he’ll buy her a chinese made hankie and some Copper Girl and then maybe she’ll accept the gifts and then maybe he’ll start giving her rides on his Hero bicycle with the padded passenger seat with the tassels round the seat cushion and … who knows?
How hard can it be to put a colgate smile on a 16 year old’s face?
Does anyone empathise with Rehema? Does anyone feel like doing something, anything?