By Kiiza Mohamed Minani


Back in primary school when I was in grade 4, we were given a task to write an essay about our home country. I literally lacked words to write because I had no idea of how my home country Congo looked like. I never even got the chance to feel its atmosphere. I went and explained to the teacher and asked him to give me a day so that I can inquire from my mother. Good enough the teacher understood and my request was granted.


When I went home at night after having supper, I asked my mum to tell me about our home. She looked away and hid her face. I went closer to her and spotted tears crawling down her cheeks but she didn’t want me to notice. I then asked her what the problem was about and she kept on insisting that she doesn’t want to talk about it. She stood up and went to her room.

I wondered what the problem was and why doesn’t she want to tell me about our home because I have a right to know where I came from and where I belong. I went to my room to sleep. In the morning I woke up and went to school. The teacher asked me to submit the essay and I was unable to. The teacher then punished me and I felt so bad and went home angrily. I refused to talk to my mum or even eat the food that she had cooked because she was the reason why my English teacher punished me today. She asked me why I refused to eat the food and I kept quiet. During supper I locked myself in my room and she kept on calling me but I refused to respond. The only question that was ringing in mind was why doesn’t my mother tell me about home? Why did she cry when I asked her about home? And what does home look like that she doesn’t want to talk about? I demanded answers to those questions. She came and knocked the door to my room and pleaded that I should open and promised to tell me about home.

 I opened hurriedly because I was eager to hear stories about my home. She started with a narration. Our home country is called DRC and we came from a village called Uvira. Back at home, we faced a lot of challenges due to war brought by the rebels. The rebels could attack our village and kill, capture people and mostly rape ladies and especially young innocent girls. (Tears crumbled down her cheeks). I was a victim of rape and unfortunately she got pregnant. I then asked my mother where the child went. She told me that am the result of that rape. She then had to escape with a group of people to Kakuma Refugee Camp. She was helped by some good Samaritans to get here safely. I then felt pity for her going through all these plights. She left all her family behind and does not know whether they are dead or alive. I then asked her who my father is and where he is. She told me that she does not know who my real father is because she was raped by 6 rebels.

 I then hugged her and rubbed the tears off her cheeks and told her to stop talking and we smiled at each other as we hugged. That’s a glimpse of the nature of my home.

12 December, 2022