The Chilling Side

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.


A Batwa family. Immage 'borrowed' from I'm sorry to use such a blatant unapologetic picture

A Batwa family. Immage ‘borrowed’ from I’m sorry to use such a blatant unapologetic picture

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.

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13 Responses to The Chilling Side

  1. frank says:

    That’s so sad that as African’s some still hold very primitive beliefs. Personally I don’t believe in witchcraft. I mean If you have not put anything in my food or drink so that it gets into my stomach, then you cannot affect me by your witchcraft. Nice story.

    I meant literal poison. They put it in your food/drink. Literally.


  2. Igna says:

    Prof. Carlo Cipolla defines a stupid person as one who causes harm to another without gaining anything!

    sadly, there are many stupid people in the world!


  3. woolie says:

    Thank you for sharing Savvy. A very sad post. Frank refers to primitive and witchcraft but I see no evidence of that. It is just a sad tale of human unkindness which is to be found all over the world..

    true, the world is full of unkind acts


  4. Sibo says:

    hmmmm! What can one really say?

    not mich, really. Just a hope that this will not happen to some other helpless victim elsewhere


  5. cyp says:

    hey savvy, today you had random thoughts i cant actually connect your blog btwn the three stories… is it the batwa that poison each other or what? how is it related K’s story?? but anyway was interesting read (you always are). Btw check out ( some excerpt of binyavanga’s book. you need to give us a book too;)

    I guess my thoughts are jumbled. In DRC and Rwanda, they poison you if they are jealous. The Batwa are extremely jealous of each other-even if they have little or nothing- and can kill you, using poison or like they did beating up K. Is there a link now?

    I’ll think about writing a book, thanks.


    • cyp says:

      sorry the link doesnt seem to work just google ‘One-Day-I-Will-Write-About-This-Place’

      lemme google it, thanks.


    • Anchor says:

      No link yet – If the oldwoman was beaten up by ‘hutu rogues’, how is that connected with batwa being jealous of each other?

      I liked your writeup on Ibirunga Tennis kids meeting President Kagame now posted on his online fanclub:

      well, let’s just admit there is no link but there must have been some point I wanted to drive home, just not sure what! A writer can be confused too, at times.


  6. cesky cess says:

    They beat up a grandma? Who does that? Nkt!

    she’s dead now 😦 but we hope the guys who did it will be charged in court


  7. Kirui says:

    very sad story,there are so many bad people in this world. I blog but never about sad events cz am too weak hearted for that.

    I know what you mean, it’s hard to blog about such things.


  8. Jas says:

    that is sad that people try to poison people even infant.. and also beating up grandma?? why would they do so? omg. where is the moral? *sigh*


  9. Richard says:

    It’s hard to imagine how difficult life must be for people in situations like this. It makes all the problems we face in the “first world” seem kind of minor by comparison.


  10. DrDinar Sophia says:

    Don’t they have police officers there to settle this injustice of beating other people?

    DrDinar Sophia


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