â€œI used to cry whenever I remembered that incident,â€ Shaban explains. He says it was at dawn at his late fatherâ€™s home in Gichara village in Yumbe district, formerly Arua, when his mother sneaked out of the house with his younger brother, Chaguwa Angoliga. â€œShe patted my back and with tears in her eyes, told me she was sorry she could no longer tolerate the situation at my fatherâ€™s home and had to leave me behind,â€ he recalls.
Shaban was only 10 years old when his mother left. He says his father, the late Shaban Lemeriga, used to work away from home. He, however, had another wife who lived in the same homestead. Shaban says his step mother failed to produce children and used to fight a lot with his mother until she was fed up and decided to leave.
He recalls that the day before she left, she packed some clothes and tied Angoliga on her back. She then held Shabanâ€™s hand and they trekked to town. On their way, an uncle was tipped off of the escape and followed them before forcing them to return.
She decided to leave the following morning at dawn, without Shaban, because she would not be able to move quickly with if she took him along. Shabanâ€™s mother was called Jane Maria, from Ankole, but at home she was known as Jena.
Jena met Shabanâ€™s father when he worked in Kampala as a driver in the 1970s. They first lived at Old Kampala with Jenaâ€™s sister, also called Jane, who was married to Sila Oba, who hailed from West Nile. Oba also had a home in Bugerere and worked in the construction department of the Ministry of Defence. He had three children and his son was named Juruga.
Shabanâ€™s mother had relatives in Nyabushozi, Ishaka and Fort Portal. Shaban says he later learnt that Jane, his aunt, had fled to exile in Nairobi but later returned. He believes that she is in Mbarara or Fort Portal. â€œIf I can get to my aunt, the mother of Juruga, then I believe she will tell me where my mother is,â€ he said.
Shaban thinks his mother did not learn of her husbandâ€™s death in 1992, otherwise she would have gone back to collect him.
He can be contacted on 0774 133 552.
28-year-old man searches for mum