Charles Wabwire Autobiography
When I was two and a half years old I attended Nasewa Sunday school church where I was baptized and my father changed my name to Charles Wabwire, himself being Timothy Wabwire. My parents parted ways. My mother left me under the care of my father.
When I was six years old I came to Nairobi with my brother for few days only. We later returned home. I was very happy to see my mother, but sad that it lasted for three days only. My father didn’t want me to live so far from him. He wanted me to stay with his wife.
One day I was not happy with my step-mother then I decided to run away from home, when she had gone to see business and left me at home. I did my cleaning then I ran away. Only that is the day I got freedom of movement. When my father came back home, they didn’t see me. They searched for all around the village, but they didn’t see me. They thought I had got lost. I was at my uncle’s home. I never worried because the problem which I had was not seeing my mother.
The villagers had told me that my real mother was far away in Nairobi. I came to realize that if it was my mother she would not have mistreated me, like my step mother did. I sneaked out through the back door and took the foot path in the village, I was going to my uncle’s home.
I ran and ran all the way to my uncle’s home. 5 km is too long for a 7 year old boy, who is not well fed and who is tired. I don’t know how I did it but I arrived there. I was very tired and hungry. My uncle and aunt were very sorry for me. They gave me food and put me in a warm nice bed. I slept like a baby. In the morning when I woke up my uncle and his wife were taking their breakfast. They did not say anything but first gave me a cup of tea and mandazi. After that they took me outside and calmly asked me about my father and step-mother. I told them all my problems. I requested them to take me to my mother. My uncle said it was impossible, only my father could make the decision. However he promised to convince my father to at least allow me to visit my mother in Nairobi. That gave me some hope.
The next day my uncle returned home to my father and step-mother. I was full of apprehension that my father would beat life out of me but he didn’t do anything. He did not agree to my uncle’s suggestion. So when my uncle left I started planning for the next escape. This time I didn’t know where to go. I just left without knowing what I was doing. I ran and ran for a whole day and went far away from our home. I found an old abandoned house in a strange village where I slept. I had a lot of fear. I just waited for good Samaritan from where I did not know. At night I went to a deserted market and found some abandoned fruits in the garbage heap.
Sleep was difficult in the strange village. All kinds of animals and noise came out at night. There was pain from a wound in my right thigh. I licked my fingers as a way of cleaning the wound. I thought about my step-mother’s well fed children back home, in a warm bed. I must have fallen asleep a long time because I woke up in the morning and found the sun shining warmly.
Memories of my earlier short visit to Nairobi came flooding back to me. I remember how my mother had been happy to see me. I decided I was leaving for Nairobi at once. I had no bus fare. It was expensive to travel from Busia to Nairobi by bus. I decided to get in to a bus and see what would happen. When one bus came I got in and took a seat. I went for almost two hours before they asked me for fare. I didn’t have any so I just started crying. The bus stopped with intentions to throw me out. All the passengers crowded around me. One woman recognized me and called me by my name. She was kind and paid my bus fare. I sat with her to Nairobi. When we got to Nairobi I was lost. I did not know where I would go to find my mother. She called all her friends to see me. One of them knew her house. She decided to take me to school at once.
After three or four years her job ended. She had to look for another job. At that I had dropped out of school. Then a friend told mother about Hamomi. And so now am at Hamomi. Father gave up hope of getting me back. When he heard I had accused his second wife for troubles.
My academic state was bad. I had started late at 8 years. The pupils at Hamomi were ahead of me. I worked hard and hard but it was hard to catch up. Now am in my final year and I hope to pass my exams. Next year I will join secondary school. That’s where my future career will be born.