Nested Savings

Essence Nadia, Munir Primary School

My name is Essence Nadia; I am in primary 7 at Munir Primary School. Many children in Uganda are facing problems in schools, parents and sugar daddies.

A girl in our class call Naima sat dreaming under a shade of a big tree besides her jerrican of water, she was on her way to fill it at the well but stopped for a short rest. Naima was just 13 years and very beautiful; she was not good at school because she was always day dreaming and never paid attention in school. She dreamt about the husband that she wanted to marry one day, he would be a handsome young man. Naima didn’t think about her studies, she was thinking about the big house the husband would have a handsome businessman. He would have a beautiful car, many servants and would keep her in comfort for the rest of her life.

Hello Naima! Come here my dear a voice said. Naima woke up from her day dream and saw Mr. Jamal standing nearby. Mr. Jamal was the richest man in the area; he was forty years old, fat and ugly. Nevertheless, Naima was not thinking about studies, she smiled at him because he was kind to her. Mr. Jamal said that it was a shaming to see a beautiful girl like her going to the well to carry a heavy jerrican of water, look at the old dress you are wearing, if you had some little money, you could buy some nice clothes then a rich young man would notice and marry you.

I know Mr. Jamal said Naima; I was thinking the same thing myself. I cannot afford these things you just told me. Mr. Jamal came closer to Naima and whispered softly in her ears, I could help you with the money. My dear, come to my shop tonight and we talk about it. Naima knew that Mr. Jamal was suggesting that he should become her sugar daddy. She did not really like him but he was rich, if he gave her money, she could go to Kampala where she would meet the young man of her dreams. Naima after filling her jerrican that night decided to visit Mr. Jamal’s shop. Naima went to Mr. Jamal’s shop twice a week for about three months. Mr. Jamal had sex with her and gave her little money every time she came; she bought perfume, handkerchief and some skin lotion with the money. Then one evening when she wanted more money to buy skin lotion and fees, her parents told her that they didn’t have. Naima decided to go to Mr. Jamal’s shop; he told her to go away. She heard another girl laughing behind the shop.

Naima felt very angry, she made up her mind that she would never have anything to do with men like Mr. Jamal ever again. Then one month later, she missed her period; she was frightened and surprised I cannot be pregnant with him because he knew all about family planning and contraceptives. When she missed another period, she really got worried and decided to discuss her problems with me. Please advise me! Nadia I think I might be pregnant, what should I do? I cannot have the baby. My father is very strict and will kill me if he found out. What do you think I should do? Please help me I am very worried. Fortunately my mother was a social worker with the local council. When she heard of Naima’s problem, Jamal was guilty of child abuse and if Naima reported him; he would be arrested, taken to court and tried for defilement. But she also knew that Mr. Jamal would plead not guilty and that without any witness the judge or magistrate would declare him innocent of the crime.

Naima’s father would be so angry and force her into early marriage, with no hope of allowing her to continue with her education. In such a marriage the young girl might be mistreated by an elderly husband while the real criminal Mr. Jamal would not be imprisoned but would enjoy his freedom and escape being sentenced for his crime. My mother talked to Naima and her father and explained the position to them and talked about the rights of Naima and her unborn baby. Naima’s father was indeed very angry, but he agreed not to punish Naima instead she was sent away to stay with her aunt in Gulu until the child was born. This was the end of all her day dreams.