REAL STORY as told by Giradina Kobusingye and Charles Mugisha WRITES, Leonard Kamugisha.
On the night of Sunday 3rd April,1994, few days to the infamous Rwandan Genocide, Giradina Kobusingye an expectant mother living in the city suburbs of Bukoto got antenatal labor pains as any woman would have prior to the delivering process.
Dressed to the nines in a Kinyankole wear is Mrs. Kobusingye Giradina a woman rare to find.
In order to give birth to a healthy baby, the heavily pregnant Kobusingye was rushed to Mulago Hospital in Kampala under the help of her husband and some generous neighbors but her journey to the hospital was shortcut because the labor pains increased on the way to the hospital and she was rested on the roadsides of Kamwokya little did she know that she would give birth to a baby boy.
After giving birth, she was taken and admitted to a nearby clinic (St Bruno) to ensure health post-partum thereafter she was discharged and she happily returned home with her newly born child.
Athough Kobusingye gave birth successfully, her baby boy was not in good health. It had a thick rough skin like that of a pineapple, she was advised by the neighbors to take it to a nearby traditional herbalist for proper medication and it’s from there that her baby developed a good looking skin.
Time passed and being a strong Christian family, the little baby was to be baptized. Kobusingye and her husband conversed on what name they would name after their baby. However, their conversation met with fierce opposition after the dad chose Kamuhanda to be a baby’s sur name. The mum outrightly overruled the name because of its barbaric nature in the Kinyankole culture. (Kamuhanda means somebody who was born alongside the way, it’s a masculine and its feminine is Korugyendo in the Ankole set up). In that state of opposition, the mother suggested for a name Kamugisha (blessed) which the baby was named after.
According to Kobusingye, this was the first time she ever showed tooth and jaws with her husband, she say unlike other children who were baptized in the city churches, Kamugisha was baptized at her local church in Ruhinda, Bushenyi the present day Mitooma district.
Baganda have a saying that; “Kyotanalya tokyesunga,” ideally meaning that you cannot rejoice of what you have not eaten yet. Kobusingye’s postnatal life with her baby started to diminish six months after giving birth due to strong illness she acquired and could no longer breast feed her baby any more. She was taken upcountry for enough care since her working husband could not afford to take care of his sick wife and children on top of working for family survival.
“I spent nearly a year and a half bedridden without knowing what befell my baby, but the Lord was on its side that it survived. I call him Kawonawo because she survived death right from his birthday till I regained my health almost in late 1996” she says.
Kobusingye left her children with their dad in Bukoto where a kindhearted woman Jane (surname not recalled) a neighboring barren woman caught compassion for the six months old baby. She approached the dad and had the baby adopted.
For the last 25years my life has been in the hands of a woman. All this time, I have realised that raising children as a single parent is not an easy task. Parents and Pediatrics should warn their children in marriage against the daily trending single parenthood particularly in urban set ups.
After a long period of illness, Kobusingye went back to Kampala to check on her family determined to leave the city and go to start a new life in the village. She got homage at her neighbor Jane where she spent few days convincing her husband to relocate but the husband was not ready. She kept a faith and later on together with the children, they walked away from the Dad to the village an ambition she achieved.
It was at this point in time that Kobusingye started living a single parenthood life a practice she says had slopes and valleys. She worked hard in all walks of life to ensure her children got all the life necessities as those who grew up with both parents.
She nurtured up her children well despite the fact that she was a single mother. Kobusingye and her children have no regressions for growing up without a Dad by their side.
Today, she has managed to educate her two sons to a University level, buy plots of land, and support her family as a single bread winner.