In the quiet rustic air of Lira town, the birds of the morning chirp gaily to usher in the fresh morning air of the plains.
Filda wakes up, takes a quick shower and heads out in the early morning light to open shop as a retailer in the now buzzing upcountry town. There she sells soda, beer, wine, bread, body oils, little knick knacks that people use often but cannot get to easily, like sugar, soap, and other small utilities. She is also the newspaper agent in the town for a couple of newspapers.
She does this Monday to Saturday everyday without fail. Saving her little earnings and investing the into her shop to turn it into a better stocked shop. On Sunday, Filda goes to church service, has lunch at home and after a short nap in the afternoon she will meet up with some friends to sit and recapture the highlights of the week, to talk about which politician is messing around, who is the new young girl working with the local branch of the bank, the trucks that came in the previous night, and other things. She and her friends will normally catch up at the local watering hole known as “24/7” for being notoriously open all day every day.
Filda’s is a moving and emotive tale; she comes from a little known town called “Anai” on the Apac – Lira border and as soon as two years ago was a farmer in Anai growing and selling grain to earn a living. But she had a dream, to see her little boy; Solomon Ogwang and little Miriam Apiri get an education as well. She gathered 3 bags of Sesame (Sim sim) grain and sold it for UGX600, 000 Shillings and took the proceeds and came to town to start a business.
On one of those Sundays while she was enjoying herself with her friends she ordered for a few drinks and as luck would have it, a woman with a “tictac” sound system ended up with a Sony home theatre system. The excitement on her face when she came to collect it form UBL offices was almost pulpable. Her whole life she had never won anything, never been rewarded apart from her hard work and now here she was with something that would change her life, and Solomon’s, and Miriam’s.
The first born of four has to make enough to send her last sister in Senior four to school; doing what thousands of other people in our country do for their siblings. While she herself did not advance very far in school, she has dreams for her children. Solomon is now in P.1 and Miriam in Baby Class. She wants one of them to be doctor and has taken steps to ensure it happens. It is her waking obsession and driving ambition. It moved her from Ania, made her set up shop in town not her own, has her working 18 hour days six days a week. And now with a little help, she will be able to enjoy her life a little more while spending a little less.