Whispers, Emmanuel Ssebaggala

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]This is one of the stories that came out of the  Writivism 2014, a  project of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence, with the assistance of several partner organisations, which identifies, trains and engages readers and writers in public discourse through literature. As part of this years activities, they will have The Writivism Festival from 18 – 22nd June 2014. Like the Facebook page for more updates



“… and the tests show that you have AIDS…”


How did I get here?

I wish it were a straight path I had taken. A highroad. The main road perhaps – with a name and street numbers. Any landmarks to remember.

I was young and so full of life. Scratch that. I was life itself. People breathed me in so they could live. If ever I missed a party, it was for one bigger and better. In the crew, I was the ladies’ ultimate. The body, the clothes, the shoes – all divine. I could have any woman I wanted. All I had to do was to point fingers and they would have come crawling. But I stuck with only three – the three; Party Penny (P-Square), Lady Georgina (LG – Life’s Good) and Dirty Diana (Di-Di).

How we met! That’s another story.


It was beating hard. The falling drops hit my body like little marbles in the game of chestnuts – Kill or be killed! The piercing cold froze me to the bone. The seven days’ starvation ensured I had no back up warmth to counter.

I could not bank on survival.

A quicker alternative was more delightful than this slow passing.

I dragged my weary bag of bones into the middle of the road. The reflection of rays of headlights on the wet tarmac suggested there was a car coming. It had to be. And it ought to be at high speed. Who cared what speed it was at? My feather-light frame could be swayed by any speed.

I stood somewhere in between the reflection of the rays from both headlights.

I closed my eyes.


A rainbow of wigs towered above me when I awoke.

I was still alive.

What a waste!

Who was going to foot theses bills!


As I eased up over the following days, I found out that LG was behind the wheels that night.

She had stopped just in time to accord me a second chance. To what! I can’t tell.

They were working ladies. They sold ecstasy.

Each with their own story.

So, what was mine?


Well, at 17, a few months before we met, mum walked in on me – with a boy on top. It would have been ecstatic if she had come in a few seconds late. Five maybe.

The sound of breaking china as the tray holding Pa’s food hit the floor was my cue to terminate procedure.

Mum had gone to visit a friend. She was to stay there for an hour or so. At least that’s what she had said before leaving my best friend Enoch and I to work on our holiday assignments. What had brought her back so soon? Or was it us that had stretched our bliss across time?


Dad could not lie still after the noise he had heard.

The sight before him was too much for his frail heart.

It let go!


If ever I gave my stepmother reason to drag me to family court and to ensure I got no portion of the inheritance, this time they were two.

Before dad was laid to rest, I was officially no longer his child, and officially homeless.


Having been sheltered all my life, blame it on being born with the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth, and having barely graduated ordinary level, life in the open, wide world wasn’t easy.

Ending it all was a more welcomed line of thought.

Executing the plan had brought me to these angels.


They had clients who could make use of my skills. It was therapeutic, they said.

I gave it a try.

Soon, I was living the good life. I gave pleasure. I got pleasure. And I was paid for it.

They paid in cash. They paid well.

I guess that’s why I ended up putting my health up for sale as well…


“… Mr. Sembatya, are you with me…”


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Written by Emmanuel Ssebaggala (0)

Emmanuel is a terribly reserved person. He does not need to be around people to muse himself. Yet, analysing human behaviour is his inspiration. He writes to make sense of the world he inhabits...

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