My Friend Became My Rescuer

By Ellen Kabango

I lost my father when I was eight years old. It opened my eyes to the realities of life. My father lacked a formal education, but he was a successful farmer in our village. My mother also wasn’t able to further her studies, because she married my father when she was seventeen, and was still in high school. Despite their circumstances, my father knew how to earn a living and provide for us. I remember him as a responsible and dedicated father.

When he passed away, everything collapsed. I blamed him for not engaging my mother into the business, because maybe she could have prevented it from falling. She was a house wife, and her bigger job was giving birth to me and my two brothers and raising us. She had no idea how to continue my father’s legacy. We became poor, had to leave our house, and returned to the village. As a young girl, this was a really big burden, and it cast a long shadow over my dreams.

Having a good friend saved me. Her name was Murissa and we met with in high school. Our first encounter was strange, but it made us best friends. It was time for prep and everyone was supposed to be focusing on their notes. Murissa was being noisy with her desk mate and I told them to keep silent.

At break time, Murissa approached me and said thank you for asking us to be silent in a kind way. She asked me to be her friend since she believed I was a good person to hang out with. I was happy and from then on, we started checking in with each other. We became like sisters. I would pass by her place in the morning so that we could go to school together.

We got used to each other and whenever I had a problem, she was the only person I felt I could talk to. I thank Murissa for being in my life. One Friday I ran out of body lotion. I called her to just have a chat, since I really wanted someone to talk.

I told her that I was broke and out of lotion. It was a difficult for her to hear about my situation. She had some money she saved in her bank account for personal use, but she was moved hearing me have a hard time. She told me that she knew about what I was going through, and she wanted give me money so I could travel to her. I didn’t hesitate, and went to her place the next day.

When I arrived, Marissa welcomed me with a good meal. She told me that I should stay with her so that she could help me find a job. I was very excited to hear this. She escorted me to my mother’s place to ask for permission, and my mother accepted.

To be honest, I sometimes felt like a burden to my friend, especially knowing that she barely had enough money for herself. I got stressed thinking I would be eating and sleeping at her place, while not contributing anything. But Murissa didn’t mind, she said she like having me over, and she felt good helping a friend.

Eventually, Marissa found me a job at Kulima Gold, where I now work as a secretary. It was a life-changing gesture. I will never forget how she helped me after the devastating loss of my father and everything he owned.

21 June, 2023