Friday, February 10, 2012


“Luwek” is my birthplace and “Loibo” is my nearby Village in the country side. This is a so small Village where everyone knows each other by name. We know each other’s parents and homes, so it is a small community that a Visitor may even be spotted from a far.

The often dusty murram road that is narrow; trucks, trailers and buses that by passes the Village while leading both to and from Kitgum and Sudan loaded with agriculture produce, ornamental trees and manufactured products frequently use this route.

After the peace has been restored, people started getting back to the country side and the Village is breathing again. But still everyone who is over 18years of age here has fresh memories of the Lord’s Resistance Army {L.R.A} war that left many family members dead. It was horrible, terrible, deplorable, and sad and causing sorrow seeing the killing of humans; we really suffered so much at the hands of the L.R.A. By the time I left for Kampala, the situation had worsened and to me, it breaks my heart whenever I flash on how people suffered.

On the other side of business, agriculture is still the main economic activity. Though the Village doesn’t have any Industrious farmers and instead they do the farming in a Subsistence way, but still Villagers produce enough food for the community and supply the few to the town in exchange of money. People mainly grow cereals crops like rice, millet, sorghum, simsim, beans, pigeon peas, cow peas, soya beans, cassava among others and vegetables include cabbage, egg plants, okra etc. Villagers also keep some poultry birds like pigeons, chickens, ducks and turkey, and animals like goats, sheep, pigs and cattle. With the land issue, here people face problems of land wrangles as they have just got back to the country side after the peace restoration in the area.

With modernity, my Village unfortunately is trying to replace rural lifestyle slowly with urban ways of life style. And boys have adopted some for example boys play cards and gamble all day long. Instead of engaging in Income generating activities. I wonder up and down because others drink alcohol for breakfast-they start from morning! And only God knows where they get the money to sustain that kind of lifestyle.

Under modernity still, no storey buildings are replacing our traditional mud and wattle grassed thatched huts.

With Music and Entertainment, the days of Larakaraka, Dingi-Dingi and Bwola among others of the 1960s are long gone and were the days of my father. Here the youth buy Music played by foreigners for as cheap as1500 [Ugandan shilling] on a CD. Others even record songs on their Mobile phones with the help of memory card. If it comes to modern dance, youth here love dancing modern dances and at times they hold each other’s waist and squeeze each other- which are a new way of dancing that has affected youth in the area due to modernity. And for those who may have time and can afford paying dance fee, they either attend to the one within the Village or go dancing in Gulu Town which is about 30-40 minutes ride on a Boda-Boda. With the fact of many and different friends with different minds and characters, they always close up the Dance with fighting among them self.

My Father-Mr.Kolo Bilentino, told me that he miss the moon light dance of their good old days when they were real men. He added, “We used to go hunting wild animals, birds and dig big gardens to prove our manhood and this is why I have a very big piece of Land.

A real woman used to stay home to do house hold chores like fetching water, cleaning utensils, sweeping the compounds and preparing local dishes. Today, they use machines to make Odi {ground nut and simsim paste}. Really gone are the days of the grinding stone”.

As different Tribes with different likes, so here Youth mostly take Xmas, Easter and Independence Days as their Days of showing off. So these are the most days you will see youth dressed in different ways depending on the weight of their Wallets. They try all their level best to be different on such days so that to refresh their minds off the L.R.A periods. Boys put on heavy clothe, Jungle shoes with a baseball cap on top mostly in a 50 Cent way of design. For girls, they look for nice designs of hair and nice looking dresses that can match with their choices.

Yeah, on the side of Early Marriage, both girls and boys are in early Marriage. Children’s Activist and NGOs have tried to stop early Marriage in this Area like it does in other areas but tradition always wins as transactions are carried out secretly. Dowry here is not so expensive and give people chances of Early Marriages. In the past, early Marriage was un-heard of, but has grown with the problem influx of poverty among families, can you imagine?

With the tradition mud and wattle grass thatched hut everywhere, with dusty narrow road that passes through, and you will never see any electricity pole here! On top of all that, it is my favorite place when I need to get away. In my homeland and I’m feeling so alive cause it’s where I was born and it’s where I did my nursery class from-my first class room to be was under a mango tree and i would writie on the soil because I could not have a book and a pencil to use. I love the Village and it’s my first choice area to develop so as to become known worldwide. I always enjoy getting back to Village for my December holidays. Really this is where Nyero Christopher comes from and it is where I belong.

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