He wants to be a mechanic, repairing phones, bicycles, electronic devices. “If I were a part of a bicycle, I would be the chain.”, Patience explains. He learnt how to use this machine on his own when he was a little boy. Today the ring jingles:
Read and join us – We want to take a ride through his life…
“When I got birth of Patience, I was a very young lady. And the father of Patience didn’t know he had a child. I raised him by myself all these years because I didn’t know where he lives. Now he knows he has a family. And the family knows there is a child. One day we found them, but they haven’t accepted him as theirs and refuse to support him.”
There always are people in your live that impact its progress even if you never got the chance to know them. For Patience, it is his father:
“When I was young, I always wanted to know how my dad looks like. And whenever I saw my friends having a dad I used to ask myself: Why don’t I have one? I then got the chance to meet him once. I was so excited and expecting too much – I found him for nothing. It was a disappointment; he is not doing any of his duties as a dad. We only met this one day and that day I was very happy having found him, but this feeling stayed for a few hours only. It seems like he has no feelings for me. He just left and we both went on our ways.”
Patience puts on the brakes; the chain is rough-running. We kneel down and oil it a little to make pedalling easier.
“I would love to have a father who always takes care of his family. But mine showed me that he doesn’t need me – So why should I need him? I always thought we might have lost our connection because he didn’t know I was here. But I was so wrong.”
When riding on through Kagugu, we pass by some smaller streets Patience is pointing in. Home. Another home. A third one. And a fourth.
“I was unable to feed him most of the time and we moved from one house to another to another to another. I couldn’t pay the rents so the owners always used to kick us out. And still, we make promises we can’t keep. It always works like this: ‘See I’ll pay you next month, maybe, hopefully.’ But I can’t. Nearly never.
Today, we try to live, struggle to survive. Of course, our problem are the finances. Sometimes we have nothing to eat – I am jobless, so what should I do? Patience does his best – going to school, fetching water to gain some money, helping in the household. In normal life, Patience is just a guy.”
“It makes me sad that we always move from one place to another. Also, it gives me the feeling of the need of becoming a man as soon as possible and working hard to be able to buy an own house. But actually, working hard is what I am doing all the time and nothing changes.”
Patience wants to become a mechanic, make his money with repairing things. Where this passions roots in is what he explains us while pumping the tires.
“When I was young the first thing I did was installing the electricity. I realized that I could do it without help and I went to buy a radio. I always opened and repaired it. One day, I lost it, but I am still in love with that kind of work. As being interested in focussing on this in my future, I wish to finish my school and then continue studying at a technical one.”
We cycle on.
“I am so proud still having my mum and my siblings loving me. We always work together and support each other. I like the way I am – I am honest, hardworking and obey my family’s rules. It’s hard for them and other people to deal with me, because I am talking very few. I think, even if I had a best friend, I would not tell him my whole story. And actually, that is what I wish to change in future: Open up a little. Talk more. I sometimes feel I am too shy.”, he laughs a bit nervous.
Patience spent his whole life in Kagugu – these small stories everyone of us collects in his lifetime are assembled in a small area for our today’s storyteller. We stop at Root Foundation, look down the grassy path to its entry.
“I have been to street when I was in P2 to P5 – 3 years. But I still went to school. Once, I heard about a centre where they support children and I met Patrick to talk to him. This was in 2012. Since then, Root Foundation offered me two things: school fees and the chance to speak in public, in front of others. I never had this opportunity before.”
At this point, we turn and face the road back to his home. On our way, Patience points at some places, shares stories of his childhood. When discerning some children chasing cows in the dust down the hill, he involuntarily starts grinning.
“Did you know I am afraid of cows?”, he is asking. We shake our heads. “When I was young me and some friends got some banana beer as a payment for guiding cows like these littles do down there. We should have drunken it after, not before our work. One of my friends threw up and another one left to tell his family – Me and my drunk friend were left alone. One cow pushed me so hard I flew in the dirt. I never guided cows again since that day. And, of course, never drank banana beer again, too.”
We can hardly hide a laugh. Few minutes later, we stop at Kagugu – shaking hands – and still can hear the silent laughter when Patience’ bike turns right into the street to his home.