#SSWCIII – ‘Kemigisha’ by Tuape Ernest Jacob

It’s no secret. You, my friend, have a crush on Kemigisha, the uptown girl whose list of admirers stretches beyond the horizon of the furthest mountain, a fact she’s well too aware of. No, not your crush on her but the innumerable number of thirsty men who wag their tails in pursuit of her royal sweetness.

Kemigisha is blessed with a fine skin tone which the waters of her shower hug onto so tight, yearning for more cuddles once they let go. Her long legs with just the right blend of flesh, muscle and bone confidently carry her as she sways her body in the most admirable walk anyone has ever watched. She has hips so refined, they don’t lie and a backside so bright the shyest of animals, sheep, can’t help but raise their heads and nod in veneration of the beauty of creation. Long live the creator of she who is all gorgeous, they sing in unison. Her voice, low but powerful, produces the perfect alto sound for your ears. When she speaks, her eloquence beats anything you’ve heard before. She’s a combination of charm, brilliance, and perfection, a marvel to behold. Except for one thing, her grating laughter is a total turn off, which to think of, is a sad reality.

Where’s she from?

You wonder.

Fort Portal, a town which legend says is the maker of the whitest milk, producer of the tastiest honey and grower of the sweetest guava, a fruit that’s been reported to have aphrodisiac properties. Maybe that explains why she’s so sensual.

When you step out of that bus and for the first time place your feet on the soil of Fort Portal, you’re welcomed by lines upon lines, circles and circles, squares, triangles and all, of alluring belles, all of whom are like Kemigisha.

Angelic hands, in all directions, there to hold you from tripping because this is a sight you’ve probably never seen before. It’s only natural you might lose balance and trip. The rolling hills with green pastures, well tethered tea plantations. The blue sky, dotted with signature white cotton clouds. That’s part of the scenery you’ll find.

The birds of this land, sparrows, pigeons, and weavers, all line the air, singing songs of welcome to you. Then the imposing animals, medium size with long horns, join in to show you one thing; the hospitality of this revered land, Fort Portal.

You, on the other hand, come from a place so far, so they say.

Some refer to it as the wildest wilderness of this country. A place whose records this land isn’t sure it wants to keep. Apparently, no one seems to pay attention to it. They keep writing it off like it’s some piece of rotten molokoni which dogs, the hungriest of them have rejected. It’s a place that has its treasures well-hidden beyond the comprehension of the average lazy head who thinks the only thing people of Karamoja do is run around with their willies dangling and boobies swinging uncontrollably while waving at any helicopter that passes by, shouting bye Museveni, bye, with smiles so wide they’d earn themselves a slot in the Guiness World Book of Records for the most authentic display of joy. They say your place, Karamoja, is so remote western civilization is afraid of stepping there lest it gets swallowed up by its amazing traditional way of life.

The manyattas made of mud and wattle are an attraction of their own that don’t need the blemish of modernization. They would lose their very essence if that ever happened. This land is so rich King Solomon would be envious of the vast deposits of gold across its face, a richness that’s kept hushed up as if speaking about it would open the floodgates of space, aiding a zombie dash for all its wealth. Where, in this country, will you find uranium, copper, limestone, gypsum, cobalt, and all precious metals you can possibly ever think of? One place. Karamoja.

But for some unfortunate reason, you’ve faced the wrath of the not so good aspect of this land. The sun has had many field days on you, spanking your oblong head with every ounce of heat it can afford to strike you with. You’re so dark light is afraid of your presence.

The melanin on your skin is biting its teeth in anguish after all the struggle it’s gone through to keep itself black so you can survive to this day. Only your well-kept whitish teeth, wide round eyes, and brownish palms have a chance at being recognized by the light spectrum. Your smile too is so captivating. It’s the envy of babies. Your biceps, those ones God has blessed you with show the strength of a man who has taken off time to keep himself fit by exercising daily. The weight lifting you do has kept your body in shape albeit your weights are locally made of concrete in scrap saucepans and disposed of plastics. That almost perfect six pack abdominal muscle you don is testament to this hard work you put in tri-weekly. It’s a feat to be celebrated.

You first saw Kemigisha at this church cell meeting. She struck you with her glowing presence. She radiated such energy and passion that you froze in your crust. All your concentration flew out through the window. Could she be the one for me? You pondered. Could she be that long lost rib that’s mentioned in the Bible? You wondered. That whole evening, your gaze was fixed on her. Your mind drew up all possible permutations on how to possibly launch your move. Your heart beat faster. Your breathing a little distorted. You’d just seen what could possibly become your treasure. You were dying to have a moment with her. And you did, at the end of the meeting, a triumph that melted your heart with joy. You looked like a five year old who’d been given a cone of ice cream. The beam on your face couldn’t be erased. What you didn’t do though, was get her phone number. First blunder. What a waste of a golden opportunity!

You looked forward to the next prayer meeting. She didn’t come. Not to the next one and the next one and neither to the next. Days went by. Nights too. One thing remained constant, her image with a cute smile imprinted at the back of your mind. Every day, you thought about her, calling yourself a stupid asshole for not getting her contacts. These continuous thoughts you had about her ended in one thing; a definite boner. But you are Christian. Jerking off in the gents with her in your mind was never an option. That wouldn’t go so well with your conscience. So you fantasized over her and dealt with the consequence of hiding that boner; on the road, at work, in class, on a boda boda, everywhere. She was the one for you after all. You were super infatuated. You drew pictures of you and her making babies, going out shopping, taking a walk down the park. Love had really struck you deep.

The internet became your ally. You surfed it for possible pop ups of her face. You stalked her on Facebook but to your disappointment, all the Kemigisha’s you found weren’t her. Maybe she went by some unconventional alias such as Sweetlolipops. You prayed to God to give you a sign that you’d have another moment with her. The Christian in you came to its fore. It just had to. Whether it was an answer to your prayer or life just decided to take pity on you, Pingu, your not so tight buddy shared a document which happened to have her email address. Yessss! You punched the air in excitement like you’d won the billion lotto. This was the most precious thing you’d ever received. There was nothing more you needed in life. This is it, you said to yourself. You dropped her an email. She replied, with smileys and, you guessed right, her phone number. You were beyond thrilled that she remembered you. How high you were, drunk in elation! You’d scored points with her, you thought. You kept the communication going, imagining the feelings were mutual. Maybe they weren’t. That possibility hadn’t crossed your mind. You were smitten, anyone would detect the whiff of your smitten-ness a long distance away. The cats, dogs, and pigs knew it. The wind, sometimes blowing slowly, at times fast, knew it. The trees; tall, short, big and small, all knew it. There was nothing to hide. The writing was on your face.

You quickly learnt a few things about her. She liked tilapia, you didn’t even like the sight of fish. She studied Botany, knew all these shrubs, herbs and grasses. The words Lantana Camara and Bidens Pilosa rolled off her tongue with such ease you were intimidated. None of that shit was your forte. You could tell the time by standing under the sun and seeing the direction of your shadow, a craft your grandma taught you, something Kemigisha knew nothing about and thought it was kind of cool. That made you grin always. She read these large volumes of books. You couldn’t finish one page of a children’s story book. It was evident. You two were so unlike. You remembered what Physics said about magnetism and attraction; unlike poles attract. This was enough scientific evidence to prove you weren’t crazy for falling head over heels for Kemigisha, a girl who was immensely different from you. Strangely (maybe not), you’d never got the nerve to walk up to her and make your intentions known. You were timid. What if she says no, you worried. It was the first time you’d felt this way.

Finally, three weeks after staying in touch, you get the balls to do it. Walking along the Northern bypass, a stretch of one of the best tarmac roads in your neighborhood. You pull out your phone. Look at the screen. She likes me, she likes me not, is the tune playing in your mind. You dial her number. The phone rings. Forty five seconds later, she picks up and says your name. You’re ecstatic. Your thought process is distorted. Words can’t come out of your mouth, as if a nuke had been launched, with its aftermath leaving you numb. You pull yourself together, patch your words up. It’s getting awkward. The conversation isn’t flowing. Uncertainty is slicing through your whole being like lightening.

You take a deep breath and say those three precious words, very uncalled for at this particular point. The most ridiculous line you could ever pull to ask a girl out on a date, a first date moreover. What were you thinking? Have you not any better tricks? There’s a moment of dead silence. She then laughs her graceless grating laughter for six of the longest seconds you’ve heard anyone laugh at you for. You quietly hope she’s thrilled by your confession.

“You’re not my type”, she responds.

Heartbroken you are, embarrassed beyond measure. You swallow a heavy lump down your throat. Face down. Left palm covering face. You sit on the side of the road, wishing you never made that call.

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