Sunday, March 1, 2009

The nipped bud

IN him, all his mother's hopes lay. Isaac Bunkedeko was quiet young man who lived in Jinja Karoli, in Kawempe on the outskirts of Kampala. It was the area he had grown in as a child. It was never affluent and is known to nurture a section of society's riff-raff. The furthest he ever ventured out of his mother's place was a nearby Ffenne tree. Otherwise, he prefered to stay home and help out his mother with the chores - a ideal son.

With a father who loved beer more than his wife, Isaac provided all the consolation his hairdresse mum needed in a man. She had met the father of her husband, a habitual drunkard who works at Mailo Biri towards Bwaise.

Last year, Isaac sat for his senior six. He emerge the best in his school Namilyango Secondary School. But before he would know his results, his lifeless body lay in a wooden box. He was dead and with him, his mother's dreams, hopes and plans were buried.

A would-be lawyer who did not live to enjoy the fruits of his hard work. He died on Friday – a day after the Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results were released. He had scored AAAB in History, Economics Geography and Fine Art with a distinction 2 in General Paper. His ambition was to study law at Makerere University.

His story is representative of Uganda's buried dreams that are unachieved because of a poor health care system. The country has lost a lawyer because his parents were too poor to take him to a better hospital for treatment. We have lost a lawyer because the doctors could not treat his sinuses. A lawyer who would have uplifted his family and built his mum a nice house to retire in.

He always suffered from headaches; but he was a strong willed boy. His mum, Joyce Mudondo, fainted in shock, according to relatives. Even after burial, she was yesterday still too devastated.

Speaking to the New Vision, Ms Mudondo said that she had sacrificed her meagre earnings from the hairdressing in order to educate her eldest child, and only son. “My son was my hope and he always reassured me that our situation would change after school. He wanted to be a lawyer and promised to provide me all the good things and build me a house,” mourned Mudondo who is a hairdresser at Kawempe Market.

The deceased boy’s father is a carpenter at Mailo Bbiri, at Makerere Kavule near the Bwaise Roundabout. According to the family, on Wednesday last week, Bunkedeko got a headache attack from their home in Jinja-Karoli in Kawempe Division. He was taken to a nearby clinic where he was given medication, which eased the headaches.

Later, his condition worsened and he was rushed to Mulago Hospital on Thursday where he died at around 1 a.m. on Friday morning. A post-mortem report said that he died of sinuses.
“He had not yet known his results. His teachers from school phoned us to let us know about his excellent performance; but he was too ill and he later died,” his mother tearfully said.

The deceased’s other siblings, both girls study from city schools in senior three and senior five.
He was buried on Saturday at his father’s ancestral home in Tukutwe along Gayaza Road, Wakiso district.

The deceased’s former head teacher Hajjat Hajara Walusimbi said Bunkedeko was a quiet, disciplined boy and not talkative. His performance in class was average and nobody had expected him to perform exceptionally well. His parents were not wealthy and the school authorities were patient whenever he failed to pay the school fees in time. He was a bud nipped before it ever reached maturity.

1 comment:

  1. A sad story.
    Don't you feel the country needs better health care for the sake of its bright minds?
    If the health care is the same old story of better 'unhealth' care, such sad songs will be oft be sang.