My parents live in Nebbi Town, West Nile, Northern Uganda. Nebbi is a small but lively town near the DRC border. On Monday 5th March, my mum called to tell me of an event set to take place in Nebbi soon. It isn’t a sad event to be. It isn’t a planned Jospeh Kony attack. There’s going to be a mass wedding aimed at setting a record. Couples from all over Uganda and several countries are going to travel to Nebbi to wed. They even plan to set show it live on the internet.
The same day, I realized something was trending. The ‘news’ about Joseph Kony, posted by Invisible Children. My adrenaline shot, but just before I picked a phone to call my mum, I saw a link to a video. After watching that video, I was only filled with emptiness. I felt our past was being used by some external figure to attract attention to their cause; which cause is obviously not a better life for my relatives.
In 2000, travelling to Kampala from the West Nile was suicide and Invisible Children didn’t realize we were invisible and holed up there. Today, more than ever, we are visible but someone suddenly feels the need to exploit our past and paint it as our present! I wrote this poem, short as it is, to reflect how I feel about it.
Mocking a Mocking Bird
The mocking tweet of the bird
Sounds a pitch too loud
than the croak of the frog
Wrestling up to the tree top
Who knows what she tends to attract
Perhaps a leaf carrying male!
Who knows what she speaks to the jungle
A mockery of the frog’s tune?
Do not be fooled by her whistling
They are only the clinking of precious metals
Do not move to her rescue
She flies above the frog at the stump!
Yesterday I asked the frogs
If the song she sings is one they composed
They gaped at me and croaked to differ
And took leaps of faith to a branch of berry