A young man dressed up in brand new cloths for the first time in his adult life set out to join Gulu University in the year 2012. He carried with him a calculator, half a sack of rice, confidence and blessings of the village. He sat on a boda – boda and crossed his arms like many rich people do when aboard such machines. Gulu he was told, was like London; tarmac all over right to people’s door steps, this town never slept because it did not tire, vehicles were as many as the people and beautiful buildings erected everywhere.
Several people gathered for the send-off; his parents held themselves and sobbed silently like they were witnessing his abduction. They had heard stories of iron bar men and prostitutes who could toy with their sons’ good looks. The local village councilor, a big bellied poorly built mayor partisan to any opportunity that arose stroked his mustache in awe. Many were happy for he would return with first hand stories from Gulu. The small engine roared to life, jerked forward and he waved to the confused looking crowd. It would be a new chapter in his life.
3 years later dressed in a black academic subfusc/gown with a square cap seated on his head, it was time to leave the district where alcohol is more common than water, where girls spread their legs for food and boys still think sagged pants has any meaning, where tarmac is just small stones pilled on or besides each other like lazy lovers lying by a pool not some hidden treasure, a city where no same story is actually the same, and go back to the little confinement that birthed him.
Opira had acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. It would be the first degree within his clan or village, the first across the many hills he has to travel through to get home. He was happy to have accomplished something the village mayor and chairman of Anaka only romanced over the radio.……………..