Memoirs of a Ugandan Slum Dweller: Part V

by James Tayler

Kampala, Uganda

**Cross-posted from The Age of Zinc** 

Age of Zinc is proud to present the fifth instalment in a new memoir from the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Check back every week to catch the next part of the story!

I was sixteen when I moved to Kamwoyka. Life was very different. Most of the children were staying with their parents and everything was given to them. Everything they wanted was always there. Before I was living in a toilet, but at least we were all together so we could share everything. But I had left my family to stay with my uncle and his wife and their children. It was a hard time, harder than living in the toilet, because sometimes I could not eat. I would have to run back to my mother to get food and then come back to Kamwoyka to stay. My uncle would have liked to give me food but my auntie did not like people coming to stay with them. I didn’t mind though because at least at school they would give us posho. When I would eat lunch it was enough for me until I got back to school the next day. Then on the weekends, I would go to my mother’s for food.

My aim was to complete secondary school and get some education so I did not mind a thing. But I passed through some very hard times. Even women in the area were sympathizing and asking me, “Why I don’t go back to my parents?” But I always knew this situation was temporary and would come to an end. I also wanted to see how this world is when you are not with your father or mother. How are you treated? That’s what I was asking myself and others, “If I am alone tomorrow, how does the world treat me?” I realized that it was not about food, but about tomorrow. What I wanted was education. That was my target.