As a little girl, in the early 1970s, my parents had a temporary separation. I was probably two or three years old at the time. I stayed with my dad. My mum moved out and was busy with her job as an Air Hostess with East African Airways. Her working, was possibly one of the reasons for the separation, me thinks.
That one aunt we all have, my father’s half sister, Ija ngin, was also living with us. I don’t exactly recall whether she came to live with us after my mum had temporarily left or she was already living with us by the time my mum had temporarily left. If the latter be true, it is possible that Ija ngin may have been among the reasons for the separation.
That one aunt, Ija ngin, was mean to me. You see, my mum had bought me a teaset – teapot, cup and a serving tray. I used to insist that my tea or milk or porridge, etc. should be poured in my teapot, placed on my tray and with my cup; and then I would pour from the pot to the cup and drink.
Not the exact one, but something similar. Photo credit e-Bay
One morning Ija ngin poured my milk into a mug and berated me. Something like: “why do you think you are special, drink your milk from a mug like your siblings .” She made me angry and I screamed out so loud that my dad heard and he came rushing from his bedroom, where he was getting ready for work, to the kitchen to see what was the matter.
On finding out, he simply took the milk in the mug, poured it into my teapot, placed it on my tray with my cup; and he gave me my breakfast tray to carry back to his bedroom to have it as he watched over me, while he got ready for work. Yes, my aunt got told off and from then on she grudgingly had to tow the line.
Now, you can imagine my surprise when on 2nd November 2020, as I made arrangements at our ancestral home to receive the remains of my father, Ija ngin confronts me about something so stupid and silly. And mark you, I was the only child of my father present at our home at the time and I had absolutely every right to make the decisions that I was making.
This time round, I assured Ija ngin properly and she backed off. But throughout my dad’s aipuduno I saw her do things that would ordinarily provoke me, but I stayed calm and did right by my father’s legacy. May papa Ejakait Engineer George William Obityo Owaraga continue to rest in power and to send us signals of what to do with those people, those ones.
Seriously, it is amazing what memories a child retains to adulthood.