Ever heard of places where people are so jealous of you, they literally poison you? They’re jealous of your success, mostly financial success, and instead of breaking and stealing (that may help them perhaps) but they kill you?
Well, come to think of it, when in Kenya it’s very rare to hear stories of poisoning because your neighbours are jealous. One time, I was talking with a friend here in Rwanda and she was telling me of her friend who eventually left Congo after she got poisoned. She’s originally from England and when she couldn’t take it anymore, she left DRC. Someone else told me her sibling was poisoned when she (the sibling) was a baby. Why would anyone poison an infant?
The Batwa in Rwanda (and Uganda too) are a tribe that is described by the politically correct term, marginalized. They are a minority (1-2%), very poor with no sources of income. Originally a forest people, they now live in communities in towns surrounding the forests where they used to gather and hunt. They are short people very skilled in dancing.
On a Friday, am walking into the hospital corridors of the district hospital. We’re here to see K, a little old woman who’s been beaten up by some Hutu rogues. No, it’s not a tribal issue but I’ll explain later.
The mood is solemn, in my hand am holding a paper-cup of milk and I’m taking care not to spill a drop. The hospital corridor smells of disinfectant, though not of a strong kind. We enter this ward with about six people, it’s an open kind of place. The little woman is lying in bed, she’s been here for over 24 hours. She hasn’t spoken a word, hasn’t even opened her eyes. She lies unconscious, still breathing, her head a little swollen. Her husband tries shaking her a little, I suppose he’s asking her in Kinyarwanda to wake up, open her eyes. But they remain closed. She looks so vulnerable, half alive really. I can’t stand the pitiful scene any longer. I hand the milk paper cup to the husband and walk out.
K’s son and grandson had a quarrel at a bar with those rogue guys I mentioned earlier. They (K’s family) left before they could settle scores. The rogues swore they’ll punish the first person they met from K’s family. That Thursday, K was coming from the market with another of her grandson. They beat her unconscious, using metal(objects) to bash her head in.
It’s been about 3 weeks since she was taken to hospital. She hasn’t spoken a word since. My boss who’s concerned for her has been buying the medicine the doctors recommended. No change. Yesterday, there were rumours that she had died, but she’s still breathing. It seems like just a matter of time. It’s just a sad situation.