Memorable Forfeiture

By Seraphine Nimbona

Irankunda’s husband’s death was a particularly difficult period in the whole family. She thought her life had turned upside down after losing the love of her life. Her husband was always there for her in times of hardships. When Irankunda’s mother would get sick, her husband could make sure that she is taken to hospital and get better treatment. After spending two months in the hospital, she learned that her husband had kicked the bucket. She was devastated by the news because she was not prepared to lose her other half. She had reached a point where her brain had become stuck and she could no longer think. Irankunda learned that her husband was no more at around 3am in the morning. When she heard about it, she became absent minded for close to one hour while sitting down. She then started crying very loud after coming back to her mind.

Irankunda’s husband left her with three children, two sweet boys and one cute girl. It was really hard for her to welcome the life of raising three children on her own. It was not easy for her to afford daily breakfast for the three children. Also, the school fees were not available at home so that those children could attend school. Irankunda is not educated enough to secure a good job to be able to get a good salary and raise her children. The jobs that she did include being a cleaner and cooker at a restaurant in Dowa. She started struggling the first day her husband left her. She started having strange dreams seeing her husband in the room and when she walked up, he was not there. She started feeling lonely and decided to be sleeping with her two children in the same room. The family on the husband’s side did now support their marriage and it was difficult for her to seek help from them.

Irankunda decided to do any kind of job for the family to be able to survive. She became a cleaner at Dowa Bakery where she was working every morning for 2 hours. She faced challenges of working without a full contract. She had a doubt whether that job would take long. She was not a contracted worker because the boss had promised her that she would sign a contract after finishing the probation period. She is also a good cook and many restaurants in Dowa book her to go and work for them. She was not only lucky but smart enough to learn cooking on her own and change it as a profession for himself otherwise, her family would be suffering so much. She got hired by Umodzi restaurant in Dowa, Malawi where she works for 6 hours per day. The salary she gets is not that big but it helps the family to survive on a daily basis. The salary helps in paying the rent of the house, buying groceries, providing for the basic needs of her children, paying for water and electricity.

The husband had a project of selling livestock that he was doing before he passed away. The project was left with ten pigs. However, everything was stolen by thieves. This incident added too much pain in Irankunda’s heart since the business that her husband left has been demolished by thieves. The business had remained as a legacy of her late husband. She could tell her children that, “If my love was here with us, thieves would not come to steal from us”. The loss of her husband brought too much pain in the life of Irankunda and her children. For the respect of her late husband, Irankunda decided not to get married again and focus on raising their children that they had together when he was alive. Moreover, she made the decision to uphold their pledge and remain single because she and her husband made it clear when he was still living that after one of them passed away, no one should get married again.

12 April, 2023