001 B.C: Omwokorezi Rwabureire



001 B.C: Omwokorezi Rwabureire
Rutaza, 57, Bujaga, Igara.
Listen, I am a catholic. I didn’t even believe the Bachwezi existed.  But then there were just too many stories going around. You’ve heard about the fire, haven’t you? The cows, the shrines…  There are things I just chose to ignore. And I did, for quite some time. Until I met Rwabureire.
Thing is, I had heard about him before. But I thought ‘they’re all drunks, they wouldn’t tell the difference between a tree and a human’. Besides, I really didn’t like the guy. He was all, you know, you probably wouldn’t understand. He was one of those guys who looked like he didn’t know where he was going half of the time. Like he woke up and just went wherever his feet took him. He wasn’t the talkative type, no.
Rumour had it that he had quite a scattered number of kids that called him father, from around Kibona and Bujaga. But that wasn’t his biggest folly. There were too many men with too many kids thriving with their blood and no one cared. The real freaky thing about Rwabureire was that nobody knew what he was up to. Even drunk, he was careful with his speeches. He only babbled about his cows, his brothers, his daughters, and all those unimportant things everybody knew.
We craved for him to chat about the Bachwezi. Everybody had heard stories about his escapades but the man just flouted all opportunities to talk about those demigods or whatever they are. Some friends would provoke him once in a while, pretending to be drunk, so he could spill it all. But like always, he just took another sip from his drink, looked around and said ‘this is a beautiful day, I should go tend to my cows’ or ‘goodness me, my son needed my help, I better leave’ or whatever suited the moment. And he would exit, his head falling between his shoulders, his feet kicking at stones the way a little boy does.
His refusal to address it made me more curious. Just intrigued really; I can’t say I sat there and thought ‘does Rwabureire surely make conversation with the Bachwezi?’ no.
Then I met him. It was a beautiful night with a full moon and I could make out everything around me. I wasn’t drunk, so you can’t say I was hallucinating. I was faultlessly sober, on my way from night vigil at a funeral in Kibona. At first, I thought the school -you know the school? Kibona Boarding Primary school? I thought it was in space. And I assumed I was the one being visited by the Bachwezi. I believed they had got tired of Rwabureire’s old skinny arms and wanted to pass the school over to me. But then I saw him. His legs trembled beneath him, his arms struggled to balance the four blocks of the school and football pitch on his head. His face was blank, as if he looked though me but never actually beheld me. Meanwhile the school inclined towards his right, then to his left, covered his face for a while before moving back and revealing him again. Then it went to the right and circled him all over again.
I think I stood there for an hour or so, staring at him, inept of comprehending what I was witnessing. I had heard about it so many times but I didn’t think it was certainly possible. Yet there I was, ogling at him suffering, trying to balance the school on his head.
I can tell you this, Rwabureire could have done so many things, and he could have wronged a million women and a million more men. But he didn’t deserve that kind of punishment. I just realised that the Bachwezi are indeed cruel. It doesn’t matter whether they punish wrong doers or those with a historic curse in their family line. Whatever it is they’re after, those creatures are harsh, and I tell you, I hope I never encounter them again.

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