Before I became this opinionated, big headed curvy Mugisu; I was a little girl who was among the many gems in Mr. Masaba’s house. Of course he still sees me as a little girl, even now as a 25 year old. My Parents and the rest of my relatives have grown to raise us in our way that we regard them as friends, not figures of oppression and that is how I have always seen my Mom. The first time she talked to me about sex, I stared at her with this look of horror as she tried to explain how since I am maturing soon I will get certain feelings or how boys/ men will start looking at me differently from the way they looked at me at that time. Very awkward for than it was for me!
I met this girl when I was in P7 during those holiday study sessions, she was very friendly. I was not, I was shy and had my nose stuck in a book no matter what time of day it was. Due to her family; I am calling her Angel, she was very inquisitive and finally won me over as a friend. After we finished Primary school, we kept in touch via letters (you see mobile phones were quite pricey those days so only our Parents owned them). In 2005, Angel was going to a school near mine and we became even close, then did she started divulging a lot of secrets.
Angel was seeing someone older at school, someone part of the staff in her school. She said; he would buy her gifts and sometimes under the guise of chaperoning her to go buy things in town he would take her for dinner and lunches at the Collines Hotel in Mukono. To any young girl this kind of treatment is awesome; it blinds any girl that never got a chance to be told that the older she grows the more her body will start attracting unwanted attention and gifts. Angel was beautiful, she had this smooth skin that used to glow and since most girls at that time used to wear a lot of “Fair& Lovely” we jealous admirers thought she did too. She had hips that never could lie and breasts that any plastic surgeon would wish he could create, I adored her. In fact, I wanted to be Angel, in my weird way I admired her and wished we were twins to get the same attention. In 2006 after we got done with our final exams, I had not heard from Angel for months now and I was worried but did not put much thought into it. We had holidays to look forward to and I was sure I would meet her along the way after all she lived near my home.
In early 2007 in jubilation for the good results from our exams, I got the strangest news. A former classmate to Angel, told me she had passed on during childbirth. I was shocked and confused, Angel had told me she was a virgin and that she was saving herself for Omarion (At that time he was teen heart throb) like I was, so how would she die like that when she didn’t have sex? I later found out that when the teacher took her for dinners, they would go to cheap motels and he would defile the girl. She didn’t know it was wrong, no one had told her it was wrong or that it was a crime for man twice her age to force himself on her. No one offered her that information, no one bothered to see what was happening in my Angel’s life. No one did, but I did. I knew what was going on, but in my teenage mind I was more concerned with the gifts she got and attention to see the darkness ahead, I let Angel down. I should have reported her teacher, I should have told her what my Mother told me; “No present is worth your body…” Angel has been dead for 9 years now, but I remember her smile, her child doesn’t, her mother regrets not being there for her and that man who violated her is walking this Earth like he didn’t lead to her death.
This month and the next, the Uganda Straight Talk Foundation is pushing a campaign under the Youth Enterprise Model (YEM) in a bid to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies in Uganda, we have to empower our youths and end the scourge that is eating away at our future leaders. Please report any cases of defilement and rape of young girls to the nearest police station.
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