A true story of an orphan From Nakaseke Children’s Home.
My name is Nanteza Zainab from Nakaseke Children’s Home. I am a 16 year old Ugandan girl. I was born on 24th April 2000. I grew up with my mother until I was 9 years old in the village of Kiwenda, Zirobwe road 20 kilometers from Kampala City.
During that period, I asked my mother o take me to my father because they lived separately since my childhood. She eventually took me to my dad and he took me to Real Light Day and Boarding Primary School in primary four in 2014. While at school, my mother passed away. She died of AIDS. I was left with my father.
My father was not financially well and I was given a bursary in that school by the Director of the same school. I completed my Primary level in 2013 and I got a second grade in the following areas:
From there I joined Blessed Hope Secondary School in 2014. My father was so happy with me because I was clever and showed me parental love since I was the only child he had in his life. As you know some people are sometimes not happy when someone is in peace.
I was still in my second term in senior one 2014, my aunt separated with her husband and came to live with my father. She came with her four children and because she was jobless, she wanted my father to take care of her children even at school. My father took all the responsibilities of her husband.
My father was not financially healthy but we lived happily with him before my aunt came. My aunt did what was possible and impossible to limit my father from showing me parental love. In that my father could stop his care of me and take the responsibility of those children. To pay for the school fees, and look after them in every situation.
Life became hard and harder for me because that is the time when I lost my parental love from the only parent I had left with. My aunt tried hard to convince my father to stop paying school fees for me. The reason was that she thought I was going to waste the money my father would spend on her children. And that I was going to get pregnant very soon and drop out of school.
In our Muslim faith, a girl child is considered less than a boy child. She wanted me to get a man and get married before even reaching my maturity. “Don’t waste money and time on that girl. She is going to disappoint us and produce and get married. After all her mother died”. She used to tell my father.
My aunt used my father’s weakness to stand a chance of ignoring me. She started telling me a woman’s responsibilities in marriage life even at 14 years. I started crying for my beloved mother because by then I was left alone. She spoke abusive words plus cursing me saying “Heeeey…!!! you will be like that ever because you don’t want to listen to my words. You are girl..go and marry and make a family so we can get dowry from you like others”. In too much pain, I finished form one.
I I left school and home after my last examination paper so I could leave them in peace with my father and went to live with my grandma in Wobulenzi 16 kilometers from my father’s home. She was also a jobless house wife who could not afford to pay for my school fees the following year. Although she loved me, I saw no future in living with her.
I tried to go and look for work as a baby sitter or a shop attendant but life was so hard for me because they could not pay well and I was being tortured continuously. While still at work, my grandma fetched me from work that my father had passed away!! That was March 2016.
I then heard of Nakaseke Children’s Home that they help orphans and children without enough care when I had come back for burial of my father. It was July 2016 when I went there. The Director asked me what I loved most between going back to school and joining a vocational school. I told him I loved to go back to school but it was in the middle of the year. I could not join senior two since I had to start from the first term.
I have sat home for almost two years . Had I been schooling I would be sitting for my O level examinations in 2017.
From my childhood, I had a dream of becoming a surgeon. If I get a chance of going back to school, I would like to show and discover my ability of being a surgeon.
Right now am at Nakaseke Children’s Home training as a Hair Dresser, a course I am pursuing until I start my school early 2017 for my senior two class.
ZZainab Nanteza (Second from left) attending a Hair dressing class at Nakaseke Children’s Home