By JJ Mponye:
The transformation that happened in our house after the incident of Tricia landing on Nama's charms was unimaginable.
Nama gave her life to Christ, thanks to Tricia's preaching and prayers. And in a very rare show of faith, the lukewarm Christian in Tricia shot to boiling point and asked Nama to let her burn the charms that had sent her screaming into the seating room. I only watched in astonishment as the two bound and cast out the powers of darkness from the charms before setting them ablaze. Nama later joined the nearby local Pentecostal church which she had previously complained about for making noise deep in the night all in the name of worship.
And then my home became a house of miracles. Or to be more exact, I became a conduit for miracles!
“Uncle, I believe God is going to perform great miracles in my life,” Nama said one evening after she had returned from the daily evening prayers.
My response was a very brief and cold “Amen.” Not that I had no faith in God's ability to perform miracles for Nama. Far from that! Nama had become excessively and unreasonably overzealous about everything. She was continuously talking about “ekyamageero” (miracle) that was going to happen in her life, one that she had prayed about at Church and knew was just around the corner. Tricia nicknamed her Kyamagero, a name she gladly accepted and always insisted on using when she introduced herself to whoever cared.
Every passing day Nama had ekyamageero to talk about and somehow her miracles came to life.
One evening Nama received a call on her old Ericsson 318. Judging from her response to the caller, I could tell that the caller was complaining about poor connection, just like all her callers usually did, “Yes, I know my phone is too old. Even the numbers have faded completely. But the God whom I serve is going to perform a great miracle. Very soon I will be holding a phone which you have never dreamed of holding,” Tricia prophesied. After that call, Nama looked at her phone, “You phone. You have honestly served me very well, and for a very long time, but now you need to retire.” Then she looked up to heaven and continued, “Father in heaven, open the windows of heaven and grant me a new phone.”
Then, as if on prompting by the spirit, I remembered that I had an old Samsung mobile that I had shelved a few months back when Tricia bought me an iPhone for my birthday. I did not need it anymore as I had upgraded. And I had no one in mind to give it to. I dashed into the bedroom and returned a few minutes later with a box in my hands. “Nama, take. This is for you. Let the old Ericsson retire,” I said as I handed her the phone. The poor woman was momentarily stunned. With her hands on her mouth, Nama looked at me, eyes almost popping out. Then she burst into intense ululations like an overly excited Musoga (tribe in Uganda) woman on her daughter's wedding. She slightly lifted her gomesi and performed one of the best Kiganda dances I have ever witnessed. Nama sang, “Katonda webale, webale nyo. Katonda webale, webale” [Thank You Lord; Thank you very much], over and over again.
“Nama, can you please take this away from me! It is for you,” I insisted until she finally broke off her dancing and singing. She threw herself on her knees, picked the box from my hands and thanked me so vigorously to the point of spraining my shoulder. But it was quite rewarding to see two drops of tears rolling down her cheeks onto the her smiling and trembling lips. Tricia missed the spectacle since she was away on a conference in Tanzania. But I was certain that when Tricia returned, Nama would give an elaborate testimony during our family alter that she had helped establish.
“Uncle, today you don't want to know the miracle I am praying for,” Nama insisted. I did not want to lead her on. And neither did I want to ignore her. Yet I somehow felt I was being led into catalyzing another of Nama's miracles. The phone miracle, school fees for her children, clothes and a lot more miracles had come to pass by her sharing with me. She always insisted on sharing with me, because as she once admitted, “God often performed His miracles through you.”
“What is it this time Nama?” I finally succumbed. “Uncle, the Pastor today told us to fast for seven days for three things that we want to happen in our live this month,” Nama said.
“And what are you going to fast for,” I probed. When Nama said “Polomoson”, I just burst out in a fit of uncontrollable laughter, first at the pronunciation of promotion and then at the kind of promotion that a housemaid would be expecting. “Uncle don't laugh. I am very serious. And I am also praying to have a salary increment. And also a visa,” She concluded.
The salary increment was quite understandable, and she really needed and deserved it. Forty thousand Uganda shillings (15 USD/R120) is not the kind of salary a mother of three deserves to earn. In fact no hard working maid should be paid such an obscene amount. But the visa bit left me completely befuddled. I wondered whether Nama knew what a visa was all about.
Later that night, as I lay in bed, I started thinking of fancy titles that one might create for a promoted housemaid. Something like Home Administrator, perhaps?!
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