The story I wrote
in march 2004 ended with an apology "I am sorry for this negative
story again. I will write a positive one when I find one which is unlikely
in our present circumstances."
I was going to write a positive story about HIV AIDS in this part of the
world but I have found none so I am going to write this very sad one any
way. It is a true story, a hot one; that is I have just heard it from
a cousin of a friend of mine who died a few years ago.
I used to know Josephat and his lovely family of a wife, 2 daughters and
a son. He used to live in a town 1,000Km from the city. The town is on
the Tanzania Zambia border. He used to come to the city many times during
the year on his pickup van but when I did not see him for over a year
I inquired from his cousin. The cousin informed me that he had a motor
accident on the Dar es Salaam Zambia Highway. He died on the spot. That
was 6 years ago. I had forgotten about him and family till yesterday when
I met his cousin again. So how is your inlaw and the lovely children.
He answered, "Sad, sad, sad.". The first daughter who was dad's
child, after the death of her father wanted to get married immdiately.She
was looking for somebody to comfort her I guess. The man happened to be
from Zambia. His family was unknown to her mother. Her mother strongly
advised her not to marry the man from a neighbouring country from a family
that was unknown to her. in fact she refused her to marry the man and
thretened her. "I will disown you if you marry him." The mother
came home one evening to find the girl unconcious. The packet of chloroquine
tables and the bottle from which she had drank the beer from to wash the
tablets down her throat were sitting on her bedside table. A comon way
to commit suicide in this part of the world is to swallow an overdose
of ant malaria tablets and wash them down with a few beers.(Do not try
it!) The girl was rushed to hospital and after a few hours of attempts
to save her life and the life of her baby (she was pregnat) she and the
baby were pronunced dead.
The gentleman informed me that after the death of Agnes her first daughter
the mother's blood pressure which was always high went higher and higher.
She died of severe hypertension a few months later. Hoping to hear some
good news, I asked him. "So how are the other children- Joseph and
Silvia? He informed that Joseph was working but now he has been laid off.
He has HIV/AIDS. He is sick and wasted. "I think he is going to die
any time from now." "Silvia, mom's beatiful child- well she
married and they have two children but her and her husband are also sick.
The husband must have infected her.He is more advanced in the disease
than her. She is ill, has lost a lot of weight. I see her at work but
she is going to stop working any time from now. You know they do not like
to employ sick peole especuially when they are suffering from HIV/AIDS."
This morning I thought of what Josephat's cousin had narated to me. I
thought of the three deaths that had alredy occured in the family and
the others that are to follow. The father had died by a road accident,
the daughter committed suicide, the mother of hypertension. HIV/AIDS is
now taking over from there. The only son they had is dying from HIV/AIDS,
the second and last daughter and last child is dying from HIV/AIDS and
so is her husband. The whole family will be gone in the next few years.
When the last daughter and her husband die they will leave behind their
two children who will be orphaned. I wonder who will take care of them?
In many cases orphans are looked after by their grandmother and grandfather
but these 2 are also gone. It is a sad, sad, sad, story. Don't you think
Sent via Email December
19, 2005, from Zambia.