I live about 15 kilometers from Kampala city, all by my lonesome. I have neither husband nor child and to many of my friends I appear to free, unencumbered by life’s burdens.
However, while I don’t have a family, I have a family. My unseen family is not one I chose. I didn’t plan for it. I didn’t want it. I don’t really love all its members. But it’s my family and for better or for worse, it’s here to stay.
I speak about that of which many Ugandans are aware: the extended family.
For much of this week, I have had sleepless nights over my extended family. The school term begins on Monday and three young men need school fees. They need new shoes, new books, new bags and new uniform. One of them needs to move into a hostel close to his school so he can concentrate on his studies. Another must have money to register for his A-level exams. The third, frightened of being away from his ill mother, wants assurances that she will be well taken care of. He wants medicine and food for her before he can settle into his studies.