Nassuna Hasinah: My rocky, worth a smile journey

My childhood was far from idyllic, and as I reflect on those years, my heart aches. I am Nassuna Husinah, and my story began in 2001 in a small town named Mulimira in Kampala City Suburb. My father passed away when I was only two years old in 2003, leaving my mother and me to fend for ourselves.

Our living quarters were a cramped single room, with a curtain separating the bar where my mother sold liquor from where we lived. To supplement our income, my mother also sold chips in the evening, and I would bring the leftovers to school for lunch. We had very little, but my mother’s determination and hard work kept us going.

In Primary One, my friends pushed me back home one day, assuming that I came from an affluent background. Little did they know that I lived in a bar with my mother. It was a difficult moment, but one that I will never forget. I was so ashamed that I bypassed my mother’s place and went straight to our landlord’s house. My mother was puzzled when she saw me, but I explained the situation to her later.

Perhaps one of the most devastating experiences we faced was when thieves broke into our rented room and stole our only blanket. It was one of the things my father had left behind, and my mother treasured it so much. She used to save money under the bed, which was also taken. It felt like we had lost all hope, and we were left with nothing.

Despite all these hardships, my mother’s love and resilience kept us going. In 2009, my grandfather got us a house in a small village called Jinja Karoli. Our rental was the only one with a room that had a metallic door, which was a big deal for us. Even though we still faced challenges, we found ways to be grateful and to laugh.

Looking back, I am amazed at how far we have come. I am grateful for my mother’s sacrifices and hard work, and I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Even though our journey has been rocky, we are still standing, and that is something to smile about.

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